Monday, August 29, 2011

Skinny by Diana Spechler

Author: Diana Spechler
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Published: April 13, 2011
Paperback: 337 pages
Source: purchased at Borders

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from After her father’s death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor, Sheena; the self-aggrandizing camp director, Lewis; his attractive assistant, Bennett; and a throng of combative teenage campers, she is confronted by a captivating mystery: her teenage half-sister, Eden, whom Gray never knew existed. Now, while unraveling her father’s lies, Gray must tackle her own self-deceptions and take control of her body and her life.
Visceral, poignant, and often wickedly funny, Skinny illuminates a young woman’s struggle to make sense of the link between hunger and emotion, and to make peace with her demons, her body, and herself.

My Thoughts: This books seems like it would be a good one. As a woman, I know the battles with food that overcome us all. There are days when I can just gorge myself on anything and everything, and other days when I have no appetite whatsoever. So this book, focusing on a young woman's battle with food following her father's death, seemed like it would be a great book. It order to deal with everything, Gray (the main character) spends the summer at a weight loss camp for teens in North Carolina. She truly believes that running away from her life in New York City to this camp will help her overcome her issues. That, and the opportunity to meet her half-sister, Eden, who she had no idea existed until after her father's death.

The plot could have been great and moving, but Diana Spechler always seemed to fall short of reaching that greatness. Instead of battling her real issues (her father's death, her relationship with her boyfriend, her job), Grey just complains about everything and withing moments of the campers moving in, she seems better. She even says that since she is the skinniest person there that she feels better about herself. She never really deals with her issues with food, as witnessed at the end of the book. She doesn't seem to help the other campers that are there either, so her purpose at this camp is for her to feel better about herself because she's the skinniest when compared to all the overweight teenagers.

I think that if Spechler had just written about a summer spent at a weight-loss camp and not had Grey as the main character, it could have been interesting. I never went to summer camp so I always enjoy reading books about people who work at one. It's just something interesting to read about. But as it stands, this book isn't very good. Instead of tackling a topic that so many women identify with, Spechler fell far short. 


  1. I would have been more interested in meeting in the long lost sister, and isn't twenty-six kind of old for a teenage camp? I enjoy your reviews!

    Beth ^_^

  2. I was very disappointed by this one as well. I thought the characterizations left alot to be desired -- the campers were for the most part stereotypes of the "alienated fat kid" and I found Grey to be pretty annoying.