Synopses & Reviews
andlt;bandgt;I'M TELLING YOU THIS BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T ASK. I'VE GOT IT ALL HERE, GROWING LIKE A TUMOR IN MY THROAT. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; I'm telling you because if I don't, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn't count because when he asked, he didn't even listen to me answer because he was listening to my sister's heart not beat with his stethoscope. I want to tell. It's mine to tell. Even if you didn't ask, you have to hear it.andlt;/bandgt; andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt; Fourteen-year-old Donnie's older sister, Karen, has always been the one person in his life on whom he could totally depend. But as Karen slowly slips away in the grip of an eating disorder, Donnie finds himself alone in facing the trauma of his parents' faltering marriage and his new life as an outcast at school. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Donnie makes it his responsibility to cure his sister's illness and fix his parents' issues, letting every part of himself disappear in the process. It is more important -- and somehow easier -- to figure out if today is a day when Karen is eating, or to know if Dad and Mom are sleeping in the same bedroom, than to deal with his own problems. In the end, though, Donnie must decide whether to float through life unnoticed, or to claim his rightful place as a member of his family and of the world. This powerful story from a brilliant new talent introduces a memorable boy in Donnie, who, from his funny and painfully honest point of view, describes a harrowing year that leaves both him and his family forever changed.
"In the riveting opening scene of Vrettos's first novel, narrator Donnie comes home to discover that his 16-year-old sister has 'starved herself to death.' He then retraces the events that have led up to this point, including his parents' rocky marriage and his own part in driving a wedge between his sister, Karen, and her new friend, Amanda. Trying to get back with what his sister calls his 'loser friends,' Donnie lets them think that something happened between himself and Amanda while they all spent a vacation in a cabin by the lake. But Karen's self-destructive behavior begins when the gym teacher calls her 'curvy,' which Karen interprets as 'fat.' The characterizations are at times uneven. Readers never find out, for instance, why Amanda ultimately forgives Donnie, though his so-called 'friends' who quickly tire of the Donnie-Amanda connection comes across as entirely credible. And the author implies the importance of other supporting characters, such as Donnie's Aunt Janice and cousin Bobby, and two twin classmates new to town, without fully developing the relationships between them and the main characters. But Karen's struggle with her disease, and Donnie's own feeling of invisibility come across as piercingly authentic. His vain attempts to secretly put protein powder in Karen's food and water, and to reach out to others are among the book's most powerful scenes. Vrettos is a writer to watch. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Told from teenage Donnies point of view, this brilliant debut novel shows how everything changes when Donnies less-than-perfect family realizes that his sister Karen has an eating disorder. McElderry Books.
About the Author
andlt;Bandgt;Adrienne Maria Vrettosandlt;/Bandgt; grew up on a mountain in southern California, where she rode dirt bikes and made a mean double-mud pie. Her first novel, andlt;iandgt;Skinandlt;/iandgt;, was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and a New York Public Library Top 100 Books for Reading and Sharing selection. Her second novel, andlt;iandgt;Sightandlt;/iandgt;, was an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. She is also the author of andlt;iandgt;The Exile of Gigi Laneandlt;/iandgt; and andlt;iandgt;Burnoutandlt;/iandgt;. Adrienne lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York, and you can visit her online at AdrienneMariaVrettos.com.