Donnie’s older sister Karen has always been the person he turns to when he gets upset about their parents’ constant fighting. But now Karen is the one who needs help – the family has discovered that she has anorexia and everyone will need to work together to make sure she gets better. Except Donnie’s parents can’t stop playing the blame game when it comes to Karen, and Donnie begins to feel invisible at both school and home in the wake of Karen’s illness. He feels guilty for feeling relieved when she’s in the hospital and he actually gets some attention from their parents: “Without her to absorb all the energy, there’s some left for me.” When the worst happens, Donnie will have figure out who he is if he’s not the family peacemaker, not the invisible son, not Karen’s nerdy little brother. This first novel is a riveting look at how anorexia affects not only individuals, but their families and friends as well. Donnie is hauntingly real and his pain is palpable. Keep some Kleenex handy.
Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos