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SKIN by Adrienne Maria Vrettos Kirkus Star

SKIN

By Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-4169-0655-X
Publisher: McElderry

First-time novelist Vrettos finds a fresh angle for a familiar topic by focusing her story about Karen, an anorexic, on Donnie, her younger brother. The work paints a portrait of a dysfunctional family through the eyes of its youngest member, detailing the issues that may have led to Karen’s illness and, more important, how her illness affects Donnie. Donnie has a unique personality and a vivid imagination, but unfortunately he defines himself only as Karen’s brother. Friendless, Donnie thrives on opportunities to tag along with Karen and her best friend, Amanda, and his constantly warring parents focus what little attention they have left on Karen’s eating habits. When Karen’s illness worsens, Donnie believes it best to become invisible—completely withdrawing to avoid drawing attention away from his sister and onto his own problems. As the story reaches its climax, though, Donnie must make a choice between disappearing forever and staking a claim on his life. A marvelous debut featuring an unforgettable character whose affective voice captures the ill-effects of psychological disorders on families. (Fiction. YA)