Skin

Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos.

Donnie has always had his sister to rely on.  Through their parents’ fighting, through his unpopularity at school, and through his loneliness.  But when his sister develops an eating disorder, it is Donnie that starts to look out for everyone, even though as he does it he loses himself, turning invisible in school and at home. 

This is a stark, vivid portrayal of an eating disorder from the point of view of a sibling who is also damaged by the disease.  The writing pulls you into Donnie’s world filled with loneliness and confusion.  Even as you realize that Donnie is disappearing, you are struck by the quality of the writing that can create a main character who is becoming nearly invisible.  Yet Donnie’s voice and point of view are never compromised.  Karen, the sister, is equally well-written as the reader and Donnie both continue thinking, hoping that she has defeated her demons and overcome her disorder.  The author has created a book with a unique perspective that is one of the best eating-disorder novels for teens that I have ever read. 

This book will be an easy sell with teens who enjoy problem novels or books about eating disorders.  But it will also be enjoyed by boys who may not usually pick up problem novels.  It is a searing look at a serious issue, so boys looking for reality books will enjoy it.