Read Skinny by Diana Spechler Online

skinny

After her father’s death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor, Sheena; the self-aggrandizing camp director, Lewis; his attractive assistant, Bennett; and a throng of coAfter her father’s death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor, Sheena; the self-aggrandizing camp director, Lewis; his attractive assistant, Bennett; and a throng of combative teenage campers, she is confronted by a captivating mystery: her teenage half-sister, Eden, whom Gray never knew existed. Now, while unraveling her father’s lies, Gray must tackle her own self-deceptions and take control of her body and her life.Visceral, poignant, and often wickedly funny, Skinny illuminates a young woman’s struggle to make sense of the link between hunger and emotion, and to make peace with her demons, her body, and herself....

Title : Skinny
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062020369
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Skinny Reviews

  • TinaB
    2019-04-11 03:32

    I chose to review this novel due to the witty write-up on the back cover and the promise of wicked funny laughs. I wanted to read about this girl who was suffering from grief and eating her sorrow and see how she overcame emotional eating. What I got was a girl who ate like an out of control pig (Specher's idea of fat people diet) for an entire year, yet only gained 15 pounds. I watched this girl go to fat camp with untrained professionals to council teens and overnight- watched her trade binge eating for starving and sex. I wanted to see a woman address her issues and become stronger and better by the end, not a girl who throws all sensibilities out the window and completely fail at life. I wanted to see her connect and help these acne-faced overweight teens learn true life skills, but all I got was a cheating, shallow skinny bitch who complained about being fat. Gray as the main character of this novel, invoked about as much emotion as the dull color itself and as I painfully read through her thoughts on fat people I pretty much just wanted to punch her.Gray Quotes~ There are men who like fat women. Fine. So? There are also men who like women to dress up as teddy bears....pg 84The novel ticked me off not only for Spechler's stereotype of obese people, her preachy you’re a huge disgusting fat slob hate letters to all fat women, but the overall message of "skinny" being the only true happiness in life, the only true way to be beautiful is to be a size 2. Maybe I jumped to conclusions here, but the vibe I got was there's no such thing as happiness, beauty or sex if you're overweight...and that if a man loves you overweight then its a fetish? How unbelievably rude and thoughtless to write. Am I to believe that the author is saying women who need to lose weight can't love, think or be successful as well as a size 2 woman can? Don't get me wrong here readers, Im not condoning obesity, I think people should exercise and live in moderation of the foods they are eating, I think we should be sizes that reflect health, and focus on strength and enjoying life without self induced heart disease but the message in this book that being thin is the only beauty in a woman was a huge turn off for me and just ignorant. The average size of the American woman is 12-14, not 2-4. Unless you're under 18, haven't had children or work out 24/7 the possibility of maintaining a size 2 or 4 is pretty unrealistic.My only conclusion after reading this novel is that the author truly detests or is extremely angry at fat people, she made things so personal in Gray's letters, that I felt as the reader it was coming from her and not the character. The letters (Gray's journal letter-entry's) explain that fat people are worthless, lazy, smelly, sweaty unlovable beasts who blame their genes and thyroid for all of their eating problems, even for fiction I was offended by such blatant stereotypes.I would highly suggest anyone who is dealing with weight issues or self-esteem problems to run far far away from this novel. Its mean.

  • Kasey
    2019-04-14 08:42

    This book was alright. All about fat camp which I always find entertaining and I thought it might be similar to one of my fav abc family shows Huge, which was devastatingly cancelled. However, it was not. Not a single character was likeable especially the main character. She was so annoying and most of the time I just wanted her to get over it. Her father died of a heartattack and she blames herself even though he was morbidly obese. Clearly she didn't kill her father even if he didn't approve of her boyfriend because he wasn't jewish. He died because he was obese and just ate two full steak dinners and a souflee. I also didn't like how she first makes you hate her boyfriend and then as the book went on you were like, oh wait she is the dick not her boyfriend, he actually really likes her. The one thing I liked about the book was the story with Lewis, the camp director because it reminded me of Heavyweights. All I could picture when they described this unqualified fat camp director was Ben Stiller running the kids around the woods and taking away their candy bars. Also, I liked that the chapters were short because otherwise I get bored. At the end I felt like Gray, the main character, got exactly what she deserved for being such a whiney pain in the ass the entire book and felt no remorse for how shitty her life seems to have turned out.

  • Beverly Diehl
    2019-04-08 03:42

    This book was picked by my Chick Lit Readers group. I'm not alone in saying I found it very disappointing. The cover and blurb made it sound very interesting, but in the end... The plot wasn't one, the main character was an unlikeable, self-absorbed bitch who really didn't seem to grow or learn anything throughout the course of the novel.Gray signs up to be a fat camp counselor because she wants to get close to a girl she thinks is her half-sister, then pretty much ignores this troubled teen so she can bang the camp phys ed instructor. Despite having a boyfriend at home.The closest thing to a likeable character is Bennett, the hot and studly phys ed instructor, but even as Gray is in his bed, he is reinforcing her eating disorders by complimenting her on her own weight loss, which she achieves basically by starving herself. Spechler does an excellent job of portraying the sensual feel of binging, and the high of starving oneself, but she doesn't model any good eating and exercise behaviors of anyone in this book. Most of the characters, from the sleazy, unqualified camp founder (really, would any parent drop $11k to send their kid to fat camp for 8 weeks where NOBODY was credentialed in any way?) to the kids themselves, were portrayed in an unflattering light. There's supposed to be a big mystery about the death of Gray's father, but in the end, the pay-off just felt... weak and rushed.I hate to bag on any author - writing a book is hard, hard work. This is not the worst book I have ever read. But, if you have issues centered around body-image, binging, anorexia, or other eating disorders, this book will neither help you learn new ways of dealing with life, nor help you feel better about yourself.

  • Christine Kuchinsky
    2019-03-28 11:24

    I'm not sure what to say about this. I did not find the main character, Gray, wholly likeable, which I suppose is not that important, as there have been plenty of anti-heroes in literature, but Gray, while confused and struggling, is also incredibly shallow and selfish. The story builds up the stories of various girls at a weight loss camp, but then never offers any real resolution - in fact, it really drops the story line like a hot potato when Gray moves elsewhere. The story starts by focusing on Gray's eating "issues", mostly her compulsive overeating after the death of her father, but then switches to restriction and fasting, and cycles back around, but the character never seems to address this as a problem. The plot meanders and has a rather jumpy plot, with Diane Spechler occasionally interjecting the theme of the Jewish faith here and there, mostly as an afterthought. Not really worth the time.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-15 03:37

    Skinny is Diana Spechler’s second novel after Who by Fire, and let’s end the suspense: there is no sophomore slump here.Gray Lachmann feels responsible for her father’s sudden death and tries to eat away her pain and guilt. In the meantime, via her father’s will, Gray discovers she has an illegitimate half-sister, so she does what any reasonable 26-year-old, slightly overweight girl who recently lost her father would do: she tracks down her half-sister through her blog and finds out she’s going to fat camp — so she signs up as a counselor.Spechler tackles tough themes like body image, relationships with food and family, and various kinds of love from the perspective of someone who went to a weight loss camp to research the book. Yes, Spechler spent the summer of 2006 battling her own eating disorder while away at camp; Spechler further describes this experience at Freerange Nonfiction: Eating disorders are diseases of both mind and body. Anyone who has ever suffered from one knows how consuming it is, how much energy it takes to maintain it. When you’re preoccupied to that degree, you’re selfish. That’s not a judgment, just the truth as I see it. I wanted to portray Gray as accurately as possible, so she has her head up her ass sometimes. She’s self-absorbed because she’s dealing with a serious eating disorder. But yes, writing a self-absorbed character made me nervous. The whole book made me nervous. Dealing with such a hot-button issue made me very, very nervous.Spechler mentions Gray’s self-absorption, and indeed, this was a main character I just couldn’t really like. Just as with Who by Fire, in fact, I didn’t find any of the characters particularly likeable — yet I still couldn’t put this book down. This is a huge credit to Spechler’s prose and storytelling because ordinarily if I don’t like the characters, I tune out and give up fast.But Skinny had me looking forward to it every night, thus the five stars.I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with body issues, finds the subject interesting, or simply appreciates a nicely paced, engaging story.

  • Labrot
    2019-03-23 09:48

    This author takes the complexity of what it means to be skinny and fat and crafts a raw, very relatable story around it. She says the things we only think. We're taken on a journey of dark thoughts and true implications. There's nothing predictable about the story she tells. Anyone that's been there should read this because it won't make you feel bad, this isn't a self help book or a pity party. She starts off fat but when and how she drops weight, is very real. I lost weight reading this book only because it's so fulfilling to feel understood. This isn't for everyone. It's for those that "get it." The people that harshly reviewed this book really had no business picking up a book entitled, "skinny" in the first place.

  • Tamar
    2019-03-22 07:29

    Um I really had to watch myself reading this book. Not only did what the narrator have to say piss me off over and over, but parts of the food binging and gross self-evaluation resonated with me so much that I pissed myself off for seeing similarities!!! This is the most irritating narrator I've met in a long time. I'm not sure if it's valuable to be confronted with these things or if novels like this just reinforce cultural views and norms that are fucked up and help to form women like the narrator. I have no idea who I would recommend this book to. At all. But Spechler a good writer and I think she did a great job crafting a character that dared me to judge myself like I was judging her.

  • Dana E
    2019-04-09 06:32

    I absolutely loved this book! Diana Spechler is such a unique, witty, smart writer who has crafted a complex story that doesn't really let anyone off the hook. Though maybe I didn't always like Gray, the narrator, I realized that for me, what I didn't like about her were actually the moments when I totally related to her and realized she was boldly stating things that I connected to, but was ashamed to admit. This novel addresses some deep, thought-provoking issues about the ways women use food and sex to deal with bigger crises in their lives. Who can't relate to THAT???

  • Jamie
    2019-04-17 07:51

    Parts of this book felt very predictable, which doesn't necessarily mean bad. But the last few chapters picked up and it ended in a much different place than I expected. Overall, it was a good quick read and definitely worth the 99 cents that I paid for it!

  • Michelle
    2019-04-16 03:29

    This book was not what I was expecting. The characters were not overly likable. Half way through I was ready for it to be finished. I didn't really get caught up in any character or really care how it all turned out. At first I thought it was a true account of the authors life experience but it isn't; it's partly or mostly a work of fiction. The main character, Gray, definitely has some mental issues and eating disorders, but I had a hard time relating to a character that discussed their over-eating and binge eating in such great detail but than was disgusted or considered herself fat after gaining 15 pounds in 8 months. I understand the eating disorder has her seeing herself in an unrealistic way but I felt like shouting at the book a few times, "IT'S ONLY 15 POUNDS". Maybe my own personal experience with dieting and binge eating places a shadow on this book, but just wasn't for me.

  • Jennifer MacMullin
    2019-04-09 09:31

    I wanted to like this more, the blurb on the back of this book sounded promising and I don't like to rate books as under 3 stars if I can help it, but I hated the main character so much. I really didn't agree with some of the things that the author said about 'fat people' and I hated how hateful the 'dear fat people' letters were. The main character went from overeating to hating on 'fat people' and starving herself and cheating on her boyfriend and I just... no, not for me, thanks.

  • Danielle
    2019-03-22 11:45

    Twenty-six year old Gray is beautiful, intelligent and thin…at least to the outside world. For as long as she’s know she’s counted calories, cut meals in half, hardly ever ordered desert and has constantly been mindful of the things she puts in her mouth. After her father’s death and subsequent discovery of a half-sister, Eden, she never knew existed she’s thrown it all out the window gorging herself on whatever falls within her sites. To overcome her inner-demons and hopefully connect with a piece of herself she’s never known Gray signs on to be a camp counselor at the weight-loss camp her new half-sister is attending for the summer. What happens from that point on is a journey downhill and back up again as Gray attempts to correct a wrong she feels responsible for.Who among us hasn’t struggled with our weight at some point? Not just those who struggle to lose those last few pounds to get into the summer bikini, but I’m talking about losing pounds and possibly even gaining some. It’s a struggle that seems to touch all of us, female and male. It seeps it’s way into our veins through every form of media available and in other ways we never would have thought we’d worry about. Even my own father who grew up the son of a hard working farmer struggles with weight issues after years of being told to finish the food on his plate for fear of starving children in the world. We’re taught to use food as a suppressant for life’s woe’s and in reward for it’s victories. So, how do we fix it? Or even better, how do you learn to accept who you are no matter your size and instead learn to face your problems head on without coping mechanisms like food? This is what Skinny boils down to, a story of a girl, Gray, who’s looking for comfort and forgiveness but can only manage to fill it with piles upon piles of food.This was actually kind of a tough read for me. When I first heard about it I was dieing to read it, but after a few pages in and nodding at the text like a fool I couldn’t help but be introspective no matter how light much of it was. Spechler’s characters are real. I think some will be offended by many of Gray’s opinions of “fat” people, but in all reality she’s not much different than many people in the world. Gray was constantly on the outside looking in, never really considering herself “fat” and always looking to her own father to fill that roll. Now in a camp surrounded by teens with eating disorders she fills the pages with her inner monologue about who is and what makes a person really fat. It’s only with time, some serious reflection and traumatic events that she matures in her opinions. It actually took watching the book trailer again for me to come to terms with my feelings on the book, which for me is unusual because I’m not usually a huge fan of book trailers, but I’d encourage taking a look at this one on YouTube.There are definitely moments of fun, Chick Lit type buoyancy throughout Skinny, but at it’s heart it’s filled with characters who embody the problems we face as society on a whole. Diana Spechler’s most recent novel is one that will have you questioning your actions. Regardless of your size I believe most readers will enjoy not only Spechler’s writing style, but the issues she brings up. It’s almost as if to change the old saying, “You are what you eat” by adding to the end of it, “…then what are you shoving away that you don’t want seen?” We all struggle, some struggles are manifested by bingeing others by abstaining others don’t even bother with food at all and go straight to often more harmful ways to suppress those issues we want to disappear. Skinny is about learning to come to grips with those issues, face them head on and do our best to stay above water. A powerful and incredibly moving love story that I’ll be thinking about for some time to come.Originally reviewed and copyrighted at Chick Lit Reviews.

  • Danielle
    2019-04-01 08:27

    Twenty-six year old Gray is beautiful, intelligent and thin…at least to the outside world. For as long as she’s know she’s counted calories, cut meals in half, hardly ever ordered desert and has constantly been mindful of the things she puts in her mouth. After her father’s death and subsequent discovery of a half-sister, Eden, she never knew existed she’s thrown it all out the window gorging herself on whatever falls within her sites. To overcome her inner-demons and hopefully connect with a piece of herself she’s never known Gray signs on to be a camp counselor at the weight-loss camp her new half-sister is attending for the summer. What happens from that point on is a journey downhill and back up again as Gray attempts to correct a wrong she feels responsible for.Who among us hasn’t struggled with our weight at some point? Not just those who struggle to lose those last few pounds to get into the summer bikini, but I’m talking about losing pounds and possibly even gaining some. It’s a struggle that seems to touch all of us, female and male. It seeps it’s way into our veins through every form of media available and in other ways we never would have thought we’d worry about. Even my own father who grew up the son of a hard working farmer struggles with weight issues after years of being told to finish the food on his plate for fear of starving children in the world. We’re taught to use food as a suppressant for life’s woe’s and in reward for it’s victories. So, how do we fix it? Or even better, how do you learn to accept who you are no matter your size and instead learn to face your problems head on without coping mechanisms like food? This is what Skinny boils down to, a story of a girl, Gray, who’s looking for comfort and forgiveness but can only manage to fill it with piles upon piles of food.This was actually kind of a tough read for me. When I first heard about it I was dieing to read it, but after a few pages in and nodding at the text like a fool I couldn’t help but be introspective no matter how light much of it was. Spechler’s characters are real. I think some will be offended by many of Gray’s opinions of “fat” people, but in all reality she’s not much different than many people in the world. Gray was constantly on the outside looking in, never really considering herself “fat” and always looking to her own father to fill that roll. Now in a camp surrounded by teens with eating disorders she fills the pages with her inner monologue about who is and what makes a person really fat. It’s only with time, some serious reflection and traumatic events that she matures in her opinions. It actually took watching the book trailer again for me to come to terms with my feelings on the book, which for me is unusual because I’m not usually a huge fan of book trailers, but I’d encourage taking a look at this one:(See author's site: http://www.goodreads.com/videos/list_...)There are definitely moments of fun, Chick Lit type buoyancy throughout Skinny, but at it’s heart it’s filled with characters who embody the problems we face as society on a whole. Diana Spechler’s most recent novel is one that will have you questioning your actions. Regardless of your size I believe most readers will enjoy not only Spechler’s writing style, but the issues she brings up. It’s almost as if to change the old saying, “You are what you eat” by adding to the end of it, “…then what are you shoving away that you don’t want seen?” We all struggle, some struggles are manifested by bingeing others by abstaining others don’t even bother with food at all and go straight to often more harmful ways to suppress those issues we want to disappear. Skinny is about learning to come to grips with those issues, face them head on and do our best to stay above water. A powerful and incredibly moving love story that I’ll be thinking about for some time to come.

  • H. Shar
    2019-04-08 05:53

    rating: 2 starsI kinda regret purchasing this book. I wish I could return it somehow, but oh well. The idea behind it was great. Exploring the connection between emotions and eating and how our body's impulses reflect our hidden thoughts and desires. I got into the book right away after I read the first few chapters and bought it. But then I got out of it quickly. The main character, Gray, alienated me with her thoughts and her actions. I couldn't sympathize with her. I couldn't connect with her, even though some of the phrases used in this book was poignantly written. She kept thinking that she killed her father and the guilt made her eat. I understand that. I understand the self-loathing that she describes after a binge. She went to fat camp, only because she wanted to meet her long-lost half sister (a by-product of an affair she thought her father had had). I understand that when she hooked up with Bennet (as unbelievable to me as that is), that it filled her up temporarily. But I found her too extreme. She either eats a RIDICULOUS amount or eats NOTHING at all, and just have SEX the whole day. And over-exercising. I also couldn't get over how badly she was treating her boyfriend Mikey whom she had left behind while she was at fat camp. I mean, yea, not like Mikey was the perfect boyfriend, but he was patient with her and loved her no matter how skinny or fat she was. Then she had to sleep with Bennet and started complaining about Mikey and how he was never right for her. Gosh, seriously, this Gray girl is one of the most self-absorbed people I have ever read about. She links everything to herself and she complains about everything in an emo kind of way. It was hard to get through the book and emerge at the end.Nothing much happened in between. The book skipped from past to present in a slightly confusing way but nothing too bad. It's just that it was REALLY slow and really, nothing happened. Nothing but life. The writing was good though. At some parts, there were sparkles as the words struck a cord in my heart. I felt some affinity in her struggle to stop eating and the idea of letting go. But it was like finding a few sparks of stardust in a massive blackhole. The ending was depressing. Although I felt some closure was made with her feather's death and Mikey leaving her (GOOD FOR HIM), she went back to they way she was before fat camp. It's like the battle never even happened. And that was SO discouraging. It's almost saying, "Why bother trying? It'll be wasted effort. You'll just end up back at square one."Overall, I found this book depressing. And discouraging. And I dun like ANY of the characters in this book. The only silver lining is the writing that at times, hit the nail on its head when it comes to life.

  • Jlaurenmc
    2019-03-27 08:23

    Gray Lachmann is a fabulously flawed main character whose story jumps off the page in Diana Spechler's new novel Skinny. Although some have billed it as a young adult novel, Gray herself is 27 years old. After her father dies, she spirals off the deep end, giving up everything important in her life in a quest to squelch her guilt. Because, of course, she claims to have killed him.Gray has a successful business booking and selling tickets at comedy clubs, a career she embarked upon after meeting her long-term comedian boyfriend. She is good as what she does, and she looks every inch of successful -- thin, well-dressed. She gets her obsession with being fit and eating healthily from her mother, a woman who she claims can "eat a block of unseasoned tofu" for dinner.These two are in direct opposition with the other member of their family -- Gray's father, who is hundreds of pounds overweight. Gray calls him a "active obese," however, as a man who still cannonballs into the swimming pool and jokes with friends at backyard barbecues. But his eating habits affect Gray and her mother in an extreme manner.After his death, Gray goes over the deep end, eating everything in sight and gaining weight over the course of a few months. She withdraws from her boyfriend, looks into her father's private affairs, and embarks on a "fat camp" adventure as a camp counselor with an ulterior motive. Most of the story takes place at the camp, which Spechler peoples with bizarre characters who all seek some sort of miracle cure for their weight loss issues.Things quickly seem a little off at the camp, but the entire tale spirals downward in unison with Gray's own dive into self-injurious behavior. Spechler makes important statements about grief, emotional eating, and self-esteem in Skinny. While Gray's actions seem over-the-top in some ways, I feel that Spechler successfully captured the emotional roller coaster that occurs with the loss of a parent. She also addresses eating topics from both sides -- overeating and eating disorders like bulimia.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-24 11:50

    I received a digital copy for review from NetGalley. I really, really wanted to like this book, but was unable to find anything about the book that I liked personally which was very disappointing. The premise sounded both interesting and witty and it was a topic that I have never really read about before. From the moment we are introduced to the main character, she lacks any kind of personality and comes across as unbelievably whiny and self-absorbed.It’s not very often that after I have read a book that I find myself still asking what the point of the entire thing was. Gray finds herself at as a counsellor at a Fat Camp for kids, ironically run by some fat people themselves. From the descriptions Gray, she is about 15-20 pounds over weight and not really fat herself. I will not spoil one of the other reasons about why she is at the camp. but needless to say, it is not an environment that she needs to be in. She rather bizarrely blames herself for her father’s death from a massive heart attack, even though he was morbidly obese by all descriptions. Rather than deal with her grief, she begins binge eating and as such puts on those dreaded 15 pounds.Rather than get professional help to get to the underlying reasons for her binge eating, she takes herself and her unhealthy mindset to the fat camp where she is supposed to be helping kids. Then comes the casual sex, and cheating on the boyfriend who genuinely cares for her and is waiting for her at home. I’m not really down with this skinny. shallow and unstable girl being put in a position of authority over children who need genuine help to make healthy changes to their lifestyle. Gray would have been better off on a psychiatrist’s couch getting much-needed help for inability to cope in a productive fashion when life doesn’t go her way.

  • Emily
    2019-03-28 11:34

    I thought this might be a story about women, weight, and self-esteem, but instead it seems to be about grief, loss, and control. Throughout the story, I could see what would not happen, but couldn't predict what would. In the end, it felt as though very little was resolved, although Gray seemed ready to go on to the next section of her life. Each character had his or her own story line, and was discarded at the end of it. I felt like I didn't really understand the book, but perhaps that is the disconnected nature of grief.As Gray struggles to deal with her father's death, her eating disorders, her broken relationship with her boyfriend, and the cast of characters at the fat camp where she works, she loses control. Every action becomes an extreme - eating or not eating, sex, obsession with Eden (spoiler alert - nice twist about Eden's history!), fueds with Lewis and Sheena. I didn't find it a particularly enjoyable read, but I continued on because I was drawn in by the author's language. She describes every aspect of fat camp with grossly poetic prose, so gruesome that I couldn't look away. I could picture the sweat on Gray's forehead as she ate herself sick at the Chinese buffet, or the jiggle and rolls of her campers at the outset of summer. I never really came to care about Gray or see the world from her perspective. Because of this, I didn't really come out of the novel with any conclusions, about weight, grief, life, or anything else. However, it might be a cathartic read for someone dealing with loss or eating disorders...or it might just push that reader over the edge into his or her own abyss.

  • Riona
    2019-03-26 09:37

    Picked up this novel looking for a good work of fiction concerning eating disorders. Unfortunately, this was not exactly what I had hoped for, though I wouldn't deem it a failure as a novel.Spechler's writing is clever and mildly entertaining at the best of times but somewhat catty and juvenile in a very unfortunate way. Too many jokes were made at the expense of fat people, and that is saying a lot. However I was pleased and satisfied with the *twist* ending. It was well written and tied everything together, making sense of the general clusterfuck that made up the dysfunctional plot. The overall theme of the novel was pleasant and uplifting, and the revelation that Gray had at the close of the novel gave it a warm "feel good" vibe. However, I found myself struggling to feel sympathy for any of the main or secondary characters. They were all so odd (and for seemingly no reason) that I found it a challenge to picture them and take them seriously, instead imagining garish cartoon-like characters throughout the novel. I didn't particularly like Gray but whether this be because of her poor life choices or lack of character development, I do not know. The cattiness really became evident due to some weak and borderline tasteless fat people jokes throughout that painted the obese children at the camp as preposterous simpletons instead of overweight sixteen year olds. This lent un unfortunate cheap tone to the entire novel that I just couldn't shake.

  • Katie D
    2019-04-17 06:45

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Perhaps it's more relevant to me than it is to some who read it, but this is just that TYPE of book: a book that seems to only appeal to readers in which the content is currently relevant to them. SPOILER ALERT: yes, the book seems to have "fat-bashing". Those who are overly-sensitive to words will be hurt immediately. But you really have to step out of yourself when you read this book and try and grasp the real issues: that we all have deep seeded issues. I loved the characters, loved the setting, loved the writing style. I finished this book in two days. Highly recommended!!!!

  • Karen
    2019-04-05 05:24

    After becoming a binge eater after the sudden death of her father, Gray impulsively decides to go work at a fat camp after learning her father had a secret. Spechler has a wonderful way with words - she's so descriptive, putting the reader right there in the story. Unfortunately, I didn't want to have anything to do with this story. There was not one character in the whole book with any redeeming qualities whatsoever, especially Gray. Spechler's turn of a phrase is the only thing that kept me in this one. I finished it only because I felt I needed to review it - normally I would have allowed myself to quit half-way through for better things.

  • Morninglight Mama
    2019-04-18 03:43

    I identified with much too much of this novel, and I was amazed at how deftly and accurately the author depicted the inner thoughts of a character who used binge eating to deal with stress. Like Spechler's first novel, there's a darkness that hangs over the whole novel, and it's not all tidily pulled together in the end, which I happen to like since it's much more realistic than the alternative. Her characters are again complex- conflicted, flawed, but honest (at least in narrative form, if not always to each other). Her writing is tight- she doesn't waste time with unnecessary fluff, just compact storytelling that kept me engaged and not ready to put the book down anytime soon.

  • Taylor Burns
    2019-03-23 05:43

    This almost could have been good. Take out everything about the fat shaming, the fake fat camp, the eating disorders, and the adultery.Leave those things in and this book was just... Not good. I didn't love Gray or Bennet. I did love Gray's mother though. She was the tiny little redeeming factor. At the end of the book.Don't think I can pick up another book by Ms. Spechler again in my life.

  • Jen Twedt
    2019-04-19 07:25

    I debated between a one star and a three star rating. One star for the unbelievable nature of the highly expensive yet unprofessional camp and for a general lack of displaying any good eating habits. Three stars for the insightful crazy head trip women can have over their weight and appearance. This is a very fast read; not the worst I've read but certainly not the best.

  • Julia Wehr
    2019-04-04 08:41

    I'm a sucker for body issue books but this just became torturous. I don't even know what to say. The characters, while some were developed-ish, were just unlikable and bordering on disgusting. Maybe I'll just stick to non-fiction for awhile...

  • Trisha
    2019-04-06 09:37

    An ok novel, nothing exciting, a little melodramatic and unrealistic at times, the main character seemed to have the maturity level of the teenage girls that she was fake counseling. Overall, an easily forgettable novel.

  • Janis Nielsen
    2019-04-18 11:30

    Depressing, and is all about the affair the woman has with the camp counselor.

  • Barbara
    2019-04-10 05:47

    Intensely disliked the main character. Wasn't too fond of the others either. Made it hard to like the book.

  • Tiffany Maines
    2019-03-23 03:53

    Somehow managed to make a summer romance starring a binge eater into a boring agonizing melodrama. I'm all for cheesy chick books... But I couldn't even make myself finish reading it.

  • Keri
    2019-03-21 09:37

    I read this book because it was discussed in an essay in Roxanne Gay's book Bad Feminist. I'm glad I read it, but I had many of the same issues with it that she did.

  • Marcy
    2019-03-30 11:48

    This book was awful.... Enough said