Book Review: Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

18378832Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: March 1, 2014

Pages: 259 (Hardcover)

good good

 

Sixteen-year-old Jack, nicknamed “Bones,” won’t eat. His roommate in the eating disorder ward has the opposite problem and proudly goes by the nickname “Lard.” They become friends despite Bones’s initial reluctance. When Bones meets Alice, a dangerously thin dancer who loves to break the rules, he lets his guard down even more. Soon Bones is so obsessed with Alice that he’s willing to risk everything-even his recovery.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Albert Whitman & Company for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Eating Disorders are something that I know a lot about because they have impacted my life in such a harsh way. So I expected to be able to relate to Jack’s story yet I couldn’t at all. It all felt very flimsy and rushed, nothing is properly explained and the characters are so choppy with the ever-present insta-love. Nonetheless, I liked the ending solely because it’s not necessarily a typical one.

Skin and Bones biggest problem has to be how unrealistic it is. The ICU unit in this is really relaxed and don’t seem to care about anything until Jack’s first weigh in. He exercises and no one’s there to watch him like a hawk his first few days there. This is actually mandatory pretty much everywhere no matter what is wrong with a person, there should always be a nurse watching especially on the first few days to get them to stop their horrible habits.Like I mentioned before, the characters are a bit flimsy and barely have a back story except for their parents. Jack doesn’t seem like an actual boy either. He’s like a girl trying to be a boy because of how emotional and stuff he gets. It’s very hard for a female writing to create a realistic male voice and Shahan didn’t capture it at all. Another thing that I didn’t like is the romance between Alice and Jack because it’s too forced and odd especially at first. It never really progresses and just suddenly ends just as the foundation was sloppily being built.

The story is fairly short and the chapters are short so it’s an easy read. The ending isn’t typical and I wasn’t expecting that which is why I’m bumping this book up to two stars.

Although Skin and Bones isn’t an original story and it felt more like a pamphlet rather than a story that could happen to anyone, it’s an easy enough read that some people, who might have to try pretty hard will enjoy. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys these kinds of novels but beware, it isn’t something new.

2 Clouds
2 Clouds
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Book Review: A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

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A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 189 (Hardcover)

good good

Mike Welles had everything under control. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they’re getting confusing at school. He’s losing his sense of direction, and he feels like he’s a mess.

Then there’s a voice in his head. A friend, who’s trying to help him get control again. More than that—the voice can guide him to become faster and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything that’s holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.

opinion

I think what made this book so interesting is that it’s told from the perspective of the illness and how it matures and takes more and more of Mike everyday. It’s different and creative, making me feel like I was the illness itself. Unfortunately this novel is barely 200 pages and because of this, it moves far too fast. Eating disorders are things that I know well and I was expecting a heart wrenching, gripping, fast-paced story about the ups and downs of it. Instead I just felt like I got a longer version of an anorexia pamphlet.

The characters feel very flimsy and childish, going from best friends to complete enemies in only a matter of days. It’s not very realistic. I was also hoping for a more sadistic protagonist who, not only told Mike what to do but told him horrible things about everyone around him. The protagonist albeit creepy, isn’t creepy enough for me. I was hoping for a lot more from this book that I just didn’t receive.

Something that I really liked is the writing style because it’s told from the illness and it gets stronger and stronger and kind of knows everything there is to know about Mike Wells. Chapters are extremely short which also helped make it a very short read.

A Trick of the Light is overall, just like a brochure on anorexia and how it progresses. Even though it’s told in a unique light and way, it’s far too short to leave any lasting feelings and to really connect with it. Still, I recommend this to anyone who wants to refresh their mind on this disorder or just enjoy these types of novels in general.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds
2.5 Mess Up Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

3.6/5-The beginning of this book really drew me in with the intense feeling of something bad yet exciting about to happen.

(Summary From Goodreads)

I’M TELLING YOU THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ASK. I’VE GOT IT ALL HERE, GROWING LIKE A TUMOR IN MY THROAT. I’m telling you because if I don’t, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn’t count because when he asked, he didn’t even listen to me answer because he was listening to my sister’s heart not beat with his stethoscope. I want to tell. It’s mine to tell. Even if you didn’t ask, you have to hear it. 

Fourteen-year-old Donnie’s older sister, Karen, has always been the one person in his life on whom he could totally depend. But as Karen slowly slips away in the grip of an eating disorder, Donnie finds himself alone in facing the trauma of his parents’ faltering marriage and his new life as an outcast at school.

Donnie makes it his responsibility to cure his sister’s illness and fix his parents’ issues, letting every part of himself disappear in the process. It is more important — and somehow easier — to figure out if today is a day when Karen is eating, or to know if Dad and Mom are sleeping in the same bedroom, than to deal with his own problems. In the end, though, Donnie must decide whether to float through life unnoticed, or to claim his rightful place as a member of his family and of the world. This powerful story from a brilliant new talent introduces a memorable boy in Donnie, who, from his funny and painfully honest point of view, describes a harrowing year that leaves both him and his family forever changed.

(My Opinion)

Told from the perspective of Donnie, this story was interesting. The idea was pretty interesting because it wasn’t told from Karen’s perspective, but from Donnie’s and how it effected him. Some of the characters were funny and easy to read about while others were boring. It felt like a toss-up between them and which one I would be reading and liking. The ending didn’t seem good to me since it was so typical and bland I didn’t care for it. I wished Adrienne Vrettos could have done something unexpected for the ending.

Skin was a disappointment because some of the funny parts weren’t that funny and the sad scenes weren’t sad at all.Everytime there was a flashback,I was waiting for information about the first chapter. I wish that Donnie stood out more because it didn’t seem like there was anything special about him or what he was doing for his family. I didn’t like that half of the characters didn’t have that much background and weren’t well-organized. 

The writing style didn’t bother me which was a good thing. I liked how she described the beginning with Karen and Donnie and the ambulance all huddled around Karen’s body. It was so intense, I loved it. Skin is a book that started in the middle of the story then goes back to the beginning and then back to the middle and then the end. I loved that it started in the middle since not very many books start there. The relationship between Karen and Donnie is like most relationships between siblings with the constant fighting and unpredictable moves. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with an eating disorder. Also for people who feel like they disappear silently into the background, lost forever. 

Skin By Adrienne Maria Vrettos

3.6/5-The beginning of this book really drew me in with the intense feeling of something bad yet exciting about to happen.

(Summary From Goodreads)

I’M TELLING YOU THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ASK. I’VE GOT IT ALL HERE, GROWING LIKE A TUMOR IN MY THROAT. I’m telling you because if I don’t, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn’t count because when he asked, he didn’t even listen to me answer because he was listening to my sister’s heart not beat with his stethoscope. I want to tell. It’s mine to tell. Even if you didn’t ask, you have to hear it. 

Fourteen-year-old Donnie’s older sister, Karen, has always been the one person in his life on whom he could totally depend. But as Karen slowly slips away in the grip of an eating disorder, Donnie finds himself alone in facing the trauma of his parents’ faltering marriage and his new life as an outcast at school.

Donnie makes it his responsibility to cure his sister’s illness and fix his parents’ issues, letting every part of himself disappear in the process. It is more important — and somehow easier — to figure out if today is a day when Karen is eating, or to know if Dad and Mom are sleeping in the same bedroom, than to deal with his own problems. In the end, though, Donnie must decide whether to float through life unnoticed, or to claim his rightful place as a member of his family and of the world. This powerful story from a brilliant new talent introduces a memorable boy in Donnie, who, from his funny and painfully honest point of view, describes a harrowing year that leaves both him and his family forever changed.

(My Opinion)

Told from the perspective of Donnie, this story was interesting. The idea was pretty interesting because it wasn’t told from Karen’s perspective, but from Donnie’s and how it effected him. Some of the characters were funny and easy to read about while others were boring. It felt like a toss-up between them and which one I would be reading and liking. The ending didn’t seem good to me since it was so typical and bland I didn’t care for it. I wished Adrienne Vrettos could have done something unexpected for the ending.

Skin was a disappointment because some of the funny parts weren’t that funny and the sad scenes weren’t sad at all.Everytime there was a flashback,I was waiting for information about the first chapter. I wish that Donnie stood out more because it didn’t seem like there was anything special about him or what he was doing for his family. I didn’t like that half of the characters didn’t have that much background and weren’t well-organized.

The writing style didn’t bother me which was a good thing. I liked how she described the beginning with Karen and Donnie and the ambulance all huddled around Karen’s body. It was so intense, I loved it. Skin is a book that started in the middle of the story then goes back to the beginning and then back to the middle and then the end. I loved that it started in the middle since not very many books start there. The relationship between Karen and Donnie is like most relationships between siblings with the constant fighting and unpredictable moves. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with an eating disorder. Also for people who feel like they disappear silently into the background, lost forever.