This book marks the first time I was contacted by an author and asked to read her book! I was beyond excited and dug in the minute I received it in the mail. Because I didn’t pick it out for myself, I purposefully didn’t read the back, so I had no idea what it was about going into it. I knew that the author, Diana Spechler, also runs a highly successful blog, Body Confessions, where women (and men, I suppose?) can go and post their body confessions. I first read about this blog on The Great Fitness Experiment, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. A website that appears to exalt negative images, where people post things like “I admire the will power of anorexics.”, and that 105 people have clicked “Been there” in response to. It just didn’t seem to be a good idea.
But that has nothing to do with the book, other than sharing the author. I can’t tell you what I was expecting, but based on my negative reaction, to say I was skeptical is probably an understatement. Skinny is a novel about Gray, a 26 year old woman who just lost her obese father to a heart attack. She is in a solid relationship, but turns to food and begins binging. She decides, due to a series of events and reasons, to be a counselor at a “fat camp” for teens for the summer.
We get to meet all kinds of characters at the camp; teens with issues that run far deeper than weight, adults with issues that run far deeper than weight, and everyone deals with their own problems in different ways, while losing weight. While Gray doesn’t have a lot of weight to lose, she does have a lot of “weight” to lose. She finds it hard to help others lose without working on herself at the same time.
Skinny reads very easily. I found myself getting much more into than I felt I “should”. I was almost reading it guiltily, as someone who has never really struggled with my weight, but still finding that I could relate to various characters’ feelings and thoughts. In the end, Skinny is about more than weight loss. Its about learning to accept yourself along with your own flaws and do the same for others. Though, I guess that isn’t much different than what weight loss really is, isn’t it?
Bottom line: A solid B.