Skinny by Diana Spechler
Release Date: April 13, 2011
Publisher: Harper Perennial
“In what, if not food, was she finding relief? How was she managing these days, these minutes, if not by sinking her teeth into things, filling her stomach, and then waiting, exhausted, as digestion made space for more.”
Gray Lachmann finds herself in a tough spot after her father passes away. Wrought with guilt about his death, she begins to eat to fill the void and bury her grief. Anxious to stop her compulsive eating, Gray drops her life in New York City for a weight-loss camp in North Carolina. There she finds the egotistical and self-obsessed camp director, Lewis; Sheena, a scheming co-counselor; Bennett, the hot in shape assistant; plus a hoard of young teenagers that would rather be anywhere but camp. The mystery of her father’s life deepens when Gray discovers that might have a half-sister, Eden, who just happens to be attending the camp where Gray now works.
Filled with confusion and anger, Gray must unravel her father’s lies and begin to take charge of her body. She knows that her eating will harm her health and the relationship she has with her comedian boyfriend Mikey. When things at the camp begin to heat up, Gray must decide to either stay the woman she was, or become the woman she wants to be.
At first, I actually enjoyed Skinny. I related to a lot of the body image issues that Gray went through, along with the compulsive eating and eating to fill voids. But once you get past that, the story is actually nothing special and quite awful. Gray is selfish and cares about nothing else but becoming skinny and being attractive to men. The whole book shames people who are fat and Gray shames them most of all. As she started to lose weight and get back to her slim figure, she started writing notes entitling them Dear Fat People, and they were none too kind. It’s frustrating that a book like this could have been a truly amazing testament to body image issues and accepting ourselves. While Gray didn’t have to stay overweight, it would have been nice to get a positive message about loving your body through the process of weight loss. Instead, this book shames anyone who has ‘fat’ or is fat. It fell completely off the mark, and while the dialogue was honest—everything else about the book was horrible. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone and I’m a little irritated that I paid for it and wasted my money.