Title: Skinny
Author: Diana Spechler
Pub: Harper Collins; 2011
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary Lit
Etc: ARC from NetGalley

In summation:

Gray is at a crossroad in her life.  Her estranged father recently died and while working through those feelings she turns to food.  The final blow is when Gray, as executor of his will, finds out that she has a half sister.  After some internet sleuthing, she finds out that Eden will be spending the summer at a fat camp in the Carolinas. Gray decides that she must meet Eden and applies for a camp counselor position.

In my opinion:

I admit, I requested Skinny because I wanted something relaxing to read over vacation.  And it seemed like the perfect Spring Break read - summer camp, weight loss, reunited siblings.  What else is there, right?  Well, in this case...a lot more depth than what I was expecting.  Depth is good, ya'll.  And I'm TOTALLY a shallow judgmental book judger because it WAS unexpected.  I never thought that there would be as many layers as there were to this book.

So here we have Gray.  She's about twenty-five and I gather that the boyfriend she is living with and has been with for the past three years has been her first MAJOR relationship.  Oh, and of course he was the reason why Gray and her father were estranged.  Gray's dad could not accept the relationship.  Yup.  Been there Gray.  I definitely get being on your own and OWNING your decisions.  Of course I couldn't imagine having that decision fill me with so much guilt and anger.  Which is, of course, what happens when Gray's dad dies.

Now, a year later, twenty or so pounds heavier, and about to embark on a journey to find her half sister, Gray is pretty unsure about everything.  And, she's pretty naive at times, which leads me to wonder where her girlfriends are, but her authenticity is never doubted.

Gray's relationship with men is explored through her her father, current boyfriend, and lover.  Levels of intimacy are questioned when she finally meets Eden and the other campers.  Gray appears to be awkward around most people.  I don't know if that was intentional or not, but she just seems overall uncomfortable being her.  Plus, I love that food and the relationship one has with food is thought about.

There aren't that many contemporary women lit books out there that surprise me.  Generally, I choose them because I want to be comforted in the formula.  Skinny broke out of the expected mold and in its wake left a strong and realistic portrayal of a young woman's journey. 


  1. I've considered requesting this one on netgalley and wasn't sure if I should or not. Do you think it's one I'd enjoy? It sounds good!

  2. Ohh I passed on this one but it sounds like something I'd like. I get irritated when the characters are too naive but it sounds like she was also authentic so I may need to get a copy of this after all!

  3. Amanda - Glad that you ended up getting it.

    Jenny - You must. It comes out in a couple of weeks.

  4. It's sad that Gray has such guilt about her father. I think it's wrong when a parent's relationship with their child stalls because they don't like their child's significant other (for lack of a better term!. There's a way to let you child know how you feel yet still love & support them & maintain the relationship or, at least, try too. It isn't surprising that Gray has insecurity issues. But I hope she and her half-sister bond.

    As you can tell, I really enjoyed your review and was impacted by Gray's story. I am intrigued by this book and just listed on my TBR!


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