Monday, 30 May 2011
Skin by A.M. Vrettos
Published: January 2006
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd
Donnie: 'I think back on things that happened. And I think about how if you were to tell stories about us, about our family, you might raise up your eyebrows and you might say, 'Well, no wonder.' I bet you think you could pinpoint where it started for her. It's easy to think that, when you can look back as something as a whole. But when you're living it, day by day, it's like you're in the belly of something and you can't see its whole shape from the inside.' Our summer by the lake was perfect. Then we came home. And that's when it all started to go wrong. 'SKIN is Donnie's story. It was Donnie who came first, when I was remembering an acneriddled classmate in high school who, despite being ostracized and discounted, seemed to have a pretty amazing life outside of school. I remembered seeing this kid with his friends, his girlfriend, his band, and I began to think about why this kid had had no problem opting out of the school cool chain to find his happiness somewhere else. He just didn't seem to care what the kids at school thought of him. When I was a kid, on the other hand, I cared a whole lot. A distance had spread between me and my junior high friends, and as high school began, I found myself adrift. Of course, now, it's obvious that everyone feels adrift at some point in high school, but at the time, the pain was very real for me, and there was no friend I could flop down beside on the couch and say, "I'm so lonely!" and be reassured.'
I've had this book for many years now, it is one of my favourites. The story deals with 14 year old misfit Donnie and how he feels he is dissapearing. His home life has broken down, what with his dad leaving and his sister battling with anorexia. At school he is one of the most unpopular kids and his two best friends have ditched him.
The book opens with the death of his sister Karen and Donnie trying to revive her, which is quite an interesting opening, because the first chapter starts from the beginning of his story, when his parents are still together and his sister hasn't really developed anorexia yet.
I'll be honest the book always makes me cry when you get to the chapter where Karen dies and Donnie tries to revive her, even though this is shown at the beginning of the book the beginning doesn't make me cry because you don't know anything about the characters, but because A.M. Vrettos has developed the characters so beautifuly you can't help but feel as if you were Donnie this time round.
The author is very talented in making you feel as if you are experiecing Donnie's life yourself and I like how the author conveys a message of experiecing anorexia not from the person who is anorexic but from someone in your family who loves you.
I would recommened this book to anyone.