by Donna Cooner

October 2012

Ages 12 – 18 . Grades 7 – 12

Library of Congress: 2011047419

Lexile measure: 670L



Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies's head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she'll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.

But there is another voice: Ever's singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical - and partly to try and save her own life - Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own.

Donna Cooner brings warmth, wit, and startling insight to this unforgettable debut.
Donna Cooner

Donna Cooner is the acclaimed author of Skinny, Can't Look Away, Worthy, Screenshot, and Fake. A Texas native and graduate of Texas A&M University, Donna currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband, a cat named Stu, and two chocolate Labradors, Roxanne and Murphy. Follow @donnacooner on Twitter or visit her online at


  • Praise for SKINNY:
    “This book is relatable for anyone who has ever felt insecure (not only those who have struggled with weight issues) which, let’s be honest, is everyone.”

    “Debut novelist Cooner’s real-life experience with gastric bypass lends the story an irrefutable authenticity…this remains a crucial text for any teen considering such a life-changing surgery.”

    “[Ever’s] agonizing self-awareness, imprisoned in a body under severe stress, is compelling.”

    Publishers Weekly
    “The negative voice that Ever constantly hears in her head, a voice she calls Skinny, will connect with anyone who has suffered from low self-esteem or been self-conscious…”

    School Library Journal
    “The surgery is discussed in detail; readers can see this isn’t a quick, easy solution, and that Ever’s problems don’t magically go away. This story will appeal to girls who struggle with doubts and fears, whether dealing with weight issues, loneliness, or lack of popularity.”

    Voice of Youth Advocates
    “At a time when many teens are struggling with personal obesity, overweight, and the definition of beauty, public and school libraries should not hesitate to include this modern tale, only loosely based on the Cinderella story, in their collection.”
    “There haven't been very many young adult books that deal with weight loss surgery, and I applaud the author for her choice of story. I hope Skinny can start a conversation for young people who are thinking about the surgery, so they can be prepared for the major physical and mental transition it brings.”

    The Mash (Chicago Tribune)
    “Skinny leaves you turning the pages, eager to see Ever grow as a person and become more confident and comfortable in her own skin.”

    "Resounding . . . with wit, compassion, and courage, Skinny will speak to everyone who has ever felt invisible or unlovable." -- Kathi Appelt, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Honor

    "The best--and truest-- depiction of the joys and pangs of transformation I've ever read. Deeply moving, totally addictive, utterly fabulous." – New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle


--- - I know what they think because she whispers their thoughts into my ear. I can hear them. Clearly. Constantly.
“If I ever look like that, just kill me.”
Her name is Skinny.
I don't know how long she's been sitting there on my right shoulder, whispering her messages. She popped up when I was about ten, when I started gaining weight after my mother died. At first, her voice came infrequently…softly…but as I got bigger, she grew stronger. She probably looks like a Goth Tinkerbell, maybe a winged fairy kind of thing, but I've never actually seen her. I only hear her.