Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Skinny Oozes Quirky Humor, Lots of Heart

(Image from Indiebound)

When Gray Lachmann's dad dies of a heart attack, she feels responsible. Wracked with guilt and grief, the 27-year-old New Yorker turns to the one thing that always brought comfort to her obese father - food. By the time Grey finally feels steady enough to deal with her duties as the executor of his will, she's toting around an extra fifteen pounds. And a bingeing habit that's taking over her life, sucking away every ounce of self-worth she possesses. It's only when Grey finds the name of a mysterious woman in the will that she wakes from her calorie-induced stupor.

Gray never knew her father cheated on her mother, had no idea he fathered another child. Now, she's determined to find Eden, her teenaged half-sister. Taking a job at the North Carolina summer weight-loss camp Eden will be attending seems to be the perfect kill-two-birds-with-one-stone solution: Gray can work off her spare tire and bond with her sister at the same time. Simple. Except that it's not. Battling her own hunger is difficult enough, but she also has to break up fights between drama queen dieters; deal with the mantra-spouting joke of a camp director; and keep her hormones under control whenever Bennett, the sexy physical trainer, comes around. As the flabby barrier she's built around her heart begins to melt away, Gray must find the courage to face some harsh truths - about her body, her family, and herself.

Skinny, Diana Spechler's sophomore novel, surprised me with its quirky humor and raw, but sympathetic exploration of obesity. The characters come on strong, yanking the story in all kinds of crazy directions by the sheer force of their personalities. It's a warm, zany book, that's easy to relate to and difficult to put down. I enjoyed it. And quite thoroughly, too.

(Readalikes: Reminded me a little of Plus by Veronica Chambers)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for strong language and sexual content

To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Skinny from the generous folks at Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours, for whom this review was written.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the beautiful review!
    -Diana

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  2. This sounds like such a great, quirky book that approaches a topic of weight (no one likes that topic) with a sense of discovery and humour - what could be better than that??? Thanks for sharing!

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  3. It was so nice to meet you this past weekend, Susan! I wish I could have talked to you more and gotten a picture! There was always something going on, and so much to do! I hope you come next year. It was such an amazing conference!:)

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  4. Sometimes I really enjoy characters that "come on strong" - they can be the most entertaining to read about.

    Thanks for being a part of this tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much!

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  5. Susan, it was so great to meet you at Storymakers! And fun to find out that we had already met.

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  6. Another book for the ole' pile.

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