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3.7 113
by Ibi Kaslik

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Do you ever get hungry? Too hungry to eat?

Holly's older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her love-deprived relationship with her late father, this once strong role model and medical student, is gripped by anorexia. Holly, a track star, struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with the mental and physical deterioration of


Do you ever get hungry? Too hungry to eat?

Holly's older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her love-deprived relationship with her late father, this once strong role model and medical student, is gripped by anorexia. Holly, a track star, struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with the mental and physical deterioration of her beloved sister. Together, they can feel themselves slipping and are holding on for dear life.

This honest look at the special bond between sisters is told from the perspective of both girls, as they alternate narrating each chapter. Gritty and often wryly funny, Skinny explores family relationships, love, pain, and the hunger for acceptance that drives all of us.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Family secrets play a role in Canadian author Kaslik's powerful first novel about 22-year-old Giselle's struggle with anorexia and its devastating effects on her family. Giselle was one of the top 10 in her class at medical school before suffering a breakdown. While at home recovering, Giselle is on a mission to figure out why her father (who has been dead for nine years) didn't love her. The first two-thirds of the book move slowly: Giselle's narrative shifts between the present and flashbacks of her childhood as she searches for clues to her father's behavior. When her condition slightly improves, Giselle allows herself to enjoy the attentions of Solomon and imagines going back to medical school. In alternating chapters, Giselle's 14-year-old sister, Holly, expresses her concern about Giselle's condition while grappling with her own issues. Together their narratives convey the unbreakable bond between the two sisters. Giselle's downward spiral begins when she suspects Solomon and Holly have acted on their feelings for each other, and the final third of the book chronicles Giselle's losing battle with her illness. Readers may find the scene in which an emaciated Giselle escapes from the hospital to be highly unlikely, but, overall, Giselle's battle with self-image is painfully realistic. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
Giselle and Holly are sisters, eight years apart in age, but emotionally close. The story of Giselle's fight with anorexia is told alternately by, fourteen-year-old Holly and twenty-two year old Giselle. After collapsing at the end of her first year of medical school, Giselle is hospitalized and eventually released to be with her mother and sister. At this point, there is hope that she will conquer this illness that is killing her from the inside out. However, after a pivotal plot turn, the story loses hope and Holly is not just running for her own pleasure but now to escape her own life. Both sisters fixate on their father and his death eight years ago. Giselle is not sure if he is her biological father and dreams that this may be the reason their relationship was always so strained. Both girls are well developed characters, and the sinister character of Giselle's alter ego is so perceptively drawn that when she tells Giselle not to eat, it repulsed me. The mother, however, is a shadowy character, filling in the background, smoking, crying, and begging Giselle to eat. The writing is complex, not always easy to navigate, but often beautiful and evocative. Some of the medical information is not correct, in spite of the author's attempt to research this field. Perhaps it would have helped to have a medical professional proof a draft. Kaslik references Plath in her writing; the reader would be reminded of Plath even without this reference. The grim content deems this appropriate only for older readers.
VOYA - Kimberly Paone
Athletic and boyish, solid-bodied Holly has a hearing impairment and learning challenges. Her older sister, waif-like Giselle, is a brilliant and beautiful med student. The sisters have always been very different and were treated differently by their now-deceased father-Holly beloved but pitied for her deficiencies, and Giselle all but ignored. Now even years later, both sisters are still coping with their father's inconsistent attentions, his long-kept secrets, and his ghostly visitations. Holly acts out at school; Giselle stops eating. While Giselle gets smaller, her problems get larger and permeate the lives of all the people around her. Giselle's mother, her boyfriend, and Holly are all wooed, manipulated, and angered by the new ultra-thin creature that she has become. This novel is heavy with issues, and Kaslik tries to do too much in too few pages. Giselle's anorexia and the areas of her life affected by it would make for an interesting story, but the addition of the complexities of the sibling relationship, Holly's difficulties, Giselle's boyfriend's issues, her unresolved problems with her father, and the question of her paternity all serve to cloud the original tale. The alternating chapters-told from Holly's perspective and from Giselle's-further confuse the reader. There are several other books that tell stories of anorexia much more effectively, including Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self by Lori Gottlieb (Simon & Schuster, 1999) and one that also deals with sibling relationships, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Viking, 2006/VOYA April 2006).
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-In her first year of med school, 22-year-old Giselle Vasco seems to have it all together. But a lifetime of bitter relations with her deceased father is slowly catching up, and she falls into a downward spiral that her mother and her younger sister, Holly, are powerless to stop. Skinny, though, is much more than a study of one young woman's battle with anorexia. What starts as Giselle's story quickly develops into a rich and powerful tapestry of a whole family. When Thomas and Vesla Vasco emigrated from Hungary in the 1970s to escape communism's rigid caste system, Vesla was already pregnant, and Thomas had always questioned whether the baby was his. His doubts color his whole relationship with his older daughter, and when Holly is born eight years later, the divide becomes more apparent. Holly, a natural athlete, struggles to understand and avert her sister's self-loathing. The chapters alternate between the sisters' voices, and the ability to see the events unfolding through their eyes adds a depth and a poignancy that would not have been possible with a single narrator. Kaslik's first novel hits the mark with characters with whom teens will empathize, and tackles a relevant and painful subject with grace.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Unflinching and raw, this story of two sisters is powered by a frenetic energy that can't be ignored. Swapping medical school for an eating-disorder clinic wasn't 22-year-old Giselle's plan, and her 14-year-old sister Holly didn't see it coming either. Reading chapters that alternate between their distinct and sometimes startlingly aware voices, readers will be intimately imbedded in each sister's mind as they each deal with Giselle's disorder and the complicated family issues that their struggle unearths, especially regarding their deceased father and their parents' earlier life in Hungary. Although brimming, sometimes to the point of nearly overflowing, with intense and masterful poetic imagery, this text and its heavy subject matter are presented with clarity and truth. Without blinking, Kaslik tackles lesbianism, drug abuse, suicide and other mature topics, making this text appropriate for older teens and college students. Brave and unique. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Ibi Kaslik is a freelance writer and novelist. She has an MA in creative writing and lives in Toronto, Canada. Her first novel, Skinny, was short listed for both the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book Award.
Visit her Web site at www.ibikaslik.net.

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Skinny 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 113 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Skinny was beautiful. It was brave in the way that it said what people really think but are to afraid to say. It was unforgettable with the relationship between the characters and the unique way it was written. Like with the conversations between Giselle and her own enemy within her. It is emotional; within every chapter you would find so many emotions! Anger, fear, love, acceptance, longing, envy, suffering, pride... This story was important. So many of us put a bandage around anorexia. And many people, including me, feel angry at those who suffer from it. But it is not all about food and being, well, just being skinny. Throughout this whole book Giselle was never concerned with fitting into those couture clothes... it was more than that. It is about control; a channel of fear from the past and the unknown future. I loved this book! I enjoyed the free and sometimes "unclear" style. It made it sound like a real person was sharing their mind with you... not something that had been analyzed and edited to stereotypical perfection (and would therefore become mundane)... because people don't think that way. So, I guess I appreciated that rawness. Read it. ~Lo
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first ever book about eating disorders and their affects that I've read and it blew me away. I have 3 eating disorders myself and reading this book always makes me feel like I'm not alone in this fight. I have read it 5 times so far and don't ever think I will get sick of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was obviously not edited well. Or at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really don't recommend this book, I didn't enjoy it at all it was slow and honestly just really boring to read. There were some parts that were okay but even the ending was terrible. Don't waste your time.
Ambi More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I am not a reader and couldn't put it down. I got through this book with enthusiasim. I was inspired to read it when I saw my 8th grade students reading it in class. Loved the relationships between the two sisters and how it gave an interpretation of each individual experience. I laughed, cried and was shocked at some points. I did not want it to end. I wanted more. I am sharing it with friends and family of ages from teens to older adults.
Kristi-Reads More than 1 year ago
I bought this book! With my own money! Don' worry, I didn't get too crazy. I got this and other books all for about 15.00 USD at thriftbooks.com. A lot of eating disorder books focus a lot on the person who is sick, with family as an afterthought. What I like about Skinny is it focuses on Giselle, who struggles with ednos, and holly, her sister who has a disability but is otherwise healthy. The story pulls you in not only with the author's awesome writing style and Giselle's drama, but with a powerful family narrative that has you attached to the characters and wanting more if them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially after the disaster that was Purge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't say if this standsls for the full ebook file also, but the sample isn't for Skinny. It's some random book on Hinduism. Buyer beware.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On nook, I was given the sample to another book. It was about religion, sefularism, etc. Please fix this problem.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally liked the plot of the book. It was really good. There is alot of terminalogy that referrs to doctor stuff and medical things so that might get confusing. I HATED the ending! It was terrible. The rest of it was good. I still dont understand if she knew why her father didn't love her or not because I got confused. If you have not been exposed to the idea ot knowlege of intercoarse then this book might get intense although it does not get too graphic. There are a fair amount of curse words so if u do not like tht then this book is not for you. If the ending was better then I would have given thisbook five stars. I also don't know if Sol and Holly shared a kiss or heated make-out session before Giselle walks in. I got confused there too. Thus book is kinda miss leading in the title because ut is not all about her and her eating disorder. So yea...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It taught me somthing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mabie it talks about some verry innapropriate topics because you need to know about them and today nobody talks sereously about some of this. Get a grip. Be mature. Lord. And the nook "hes mine"/kisses stuff? Nasty and we dont give a flying eff. Kay? Kay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is soooooooooo bad i got the sample and it is reallly bad
Kaitlin_S More than 1 year ago
Some of it was a bit confusing and at times it went slow, but overall a very good book. I loved how it showed both sides of an eating disorder--both what it does to the victim and their family/friends. I also liked how realistic it was, where Giselle saw it as something she had to do and couldn't live without.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brianna cadet is a fatty and loves brendan lynch pass it on
SpartanReading More than 1 year ago
I would give this book 2.5 out of 5 stars because overall it gave you a really good understanding of the characters and why they felt the way they did about certain things, but it tended to be very confusing and there were parts like the ending that weren’t very clear. Skinny is about a med school student named Giselle, who is not only battling with anorexia, but also struggling with personal issues that are causing her life to spiral out of control. The book is told from both Giselle’s and her younger sister Holly’s, perspectives. Holly also has to learn to deal with Giselle’s struggles and problems. I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone, because it can get very confusing, but I think it would be good for someone who can understand a lot of complex situations and is looking for a very deep book. One of the things in the book that is difficult to understand is that the main character Giselle has arguments and conversations in her head with a different side of herself that criticizes her and is mainly responsible for her being anorexic. Also, she struggles to find out why she had such a bad relationship with her late father and the stories from his past that she learns about are never clearly explained. Overall, Skinny was a very complex and powerful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He was with me from the get-go so just back off missy!!!! HES ALL MINE!!!!!!!!!!!(Insert evil laugh here)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank u*kisses him* oh sheyna...back off...hes all mine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I think it us very..... raw and life changing. It gives you an idea on how not only the girl suffering from anorexia feels but how her sister feels too. It is very moving truthful and raw. I recommend it