Monday, July 31, 2006

Mock Printz: Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

Title: Skin
Author: Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Publisher: S&S (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Starred review in: Kirkus (3-15-06)
Review: I have to say that this book is nowhere near the top of my list of favorites, or even on my list of favorites at all. Quiet, friendless Donnie defines himself by his vivacious older sister, Karen, who dies on page three of heart problems related to anorexia. In flashbacks, we see Donnie's memories of Karen's anorexia, his infatuation for her best friend, and the havoc their dysfunctional parents wreak on their lives. While the writing has a somewhat lyrical quality to it, I found the characters too unbelievable to consider this for a major award. Donnie defines himself mostly by what other think of him. The parents are caricatures, sort of Teen Novel Evil Overlords. Also, I wasn't entirely convinced by Donnie's transformation through Karen's illness and his eventual romance with Amanda. He was a completely different character inside than out, and while I don't necessarily have a problem with that, it did make for uneven storytelling.
Reviewed by: Carlie Webber, BCCLS

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