I have to preface this by saying this book is not for the faint of heart or people who are easily triggered by mental health issues or sexual misconduct. I will also say that if you enjoyed the movie, you’ll like the book even more.
This book is told through letters written by Charlie, our main man in the novel. It’s set during his freshman year of high school, soon after his best friend commited suicide. The entirety of the novel basically centers around his life, and his struggles, told in a very simplistic yet jarring way. It revolves around making friendships, identity, and even learning to cope with trauma.
A key thing I wanted to highlight is basically the writing style, since it’s partly experimental considering the letter formatting, the inclusion of parts instead of chapters, and the anonymity of the characters to the receiver (trust me it all gets explained in the first letter if you’re confused) .
Besides the style, there is also how strange and transcendiary it became for me when it hit how Charlie was relatable to so many people, including me. It dramatizes the naivety of teenagers that “adults” stereotypically associated with the demographic. What I love is how the book decided to show instead the maturity and capability of teenagers to handle difficult subject matters. All due to the awareness of the stereotype, and believing that adults won’t be able to help/understand situations.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who’s curious about it.
This book was one that was actually recommended to me by a close cousin who was reading it for her high school. The interesting part is that instead of the typical sad and depressed girl it’s a boy who is also feeling these things, and experiencing something that can negatively affect him.
I think ages 14-18 should read this book because it does deal with some serious eating disorders and may trigger emotion, but it’s good to be aware.
The text and physical format of Skin and Bones is easy to read. It’s definitely middle school/ high school reading level, and contains lovable characters. Shahan writes about dealing with anorexia while still growing up and experiencing typical teenage things. It’s one of those books, where after reading you realize that everyone should get the help they need. Teenagers with anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder are still normal kids who have crushes and want to be the best version of themselves.
While the book is good, it was slow to read, and that may have been a personal thing; however, if you are curious I encourage you to go for it. Do as the spirit moves you.
Until next time, K