In the tumult of self-help and health guides, this book is at best a saviour, and at least a really good laugh. Self-appointed Skinny Bitch gurus, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, tell it like it is, littering their straightforward advice with profanities.
An obvious criticism of this book is their black-white-view that 'skinny' is the everywoman's dream, and anyone who is not skinny – or at least trying to be skinny – is "a moron." As such this book is not for the (literally) pear-shaped. That said, their advice seems sound; gems like "you cannot keep eating the same shit and expect to get skinny" may seem obvious, but in the face of Australia's burgeoning collective weight-gain, perhaps back to basics is the approach we all need to be taking. They also make the important distinction between 'skinny' and 'scrawny'; "you don't need to spend seven days a week at the gym. In fact, you shouldn't." Sound advice, without taking it too far.
The book is well-planned, with lists of recommended further reading, restaurant guides, and a glossary of terms. It's also got basic nutritional information covered, so as well as knowing what to keep out of your body you can learn more about the right stuff to put in. As well as diet, Freedman and Barnouin tackle lifestyle changes; "cigarettes are for losers...not only do they screw up your whole body chemistry, but they also kill your taste buds. It's no wonder you eat shit and garbage. Smoking's out. Give it up" and "you need to exercise, you lazy shit."
I enjoyed reading this book and found it vaguely informative. It's tough-love approach definitely got me off the couch and rethinking my kitchen, but I found the language relentless and its unabashed, somewhat misguided attempt at street cred slightly embarrassing. No one says 'totally uncool' any more. Three out of five stars, pick it up second-hand if you get the chance, and keep an eye out for the accompanying recipe book Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.