Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Weighty" Novel Entertaining, Relatable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Being a plus-sized teen is no fun.  No fun at all.  Just ask 16-year-old Ann Galardi.  Her weight makes it tough to fit into the cute fashions everyone else is wearing, let alone a swimsuit that doesn't make her look like a whale.  And forget about attracting a hot guy.  They don't even glance her way.  It doesn't help that Ann lives with her petite, perfectly-disciplined stepmother.  Nope, that just makes everything worse.   

When her favorite aunt asks Ann to be a bridesmaid at her upcoming wedding, Ann panics.  The thought of trying to squeeze her size 17 body into some hideous gown is enough to make her break out in hives.  There's only one solution:  get rid of the excess pounds.  Ann's only got 10 weeks to melt off 45 of them, so she needs a diet that's fast, easy and guaranteed to work.  When she sees an infomercial for a miracle weight loss plan, Ann's sold.  It's a spendy little diet, but she's committed.  Vowing to tell no one what she's doing, Ann starts the program.  As she struggles to stick with it, she makes some huge discoveries—not just about herself, but also about friendship, acceptance and her not-as-perfect-as-she-seems stepmom.  Armed with this new knowledge, can Ann reach her goal in time?  What if she can't do it?  What if she can?  

So, I've noticed a lot of "weighty" fiction on the market lately.  It's an interesting issue (genre?), one that's increasingly relevant, even in the teen world.  These books appeal to me, especially when they're all about learning to accept yourself no matter what size you are (which most of them are).  I have no problem empathizing with a heroine like Ann—anyone who's ever been swimsuit shopping or gotten stuck in a too-small garment in a too-public dressing room can feel her pain.  And yet, I felt like she didn't struggle quite enough to learn her lesson about self-acceptance.  Does that sound heartless?  Probably, but I felt like her attitude shifted too suddenly to feel realistic.  Other than that, I enjoyed 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson.  It's not going to make my favorites list, but the novel's entertaining, funny, relatable and sends an important message that women of all ages need to hear.    

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for language (no F-bomb), depictions of underage drinking/partying, and sexual innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

9 comments:

  1. Good to know...I've been interested in this book for awhile, being a weighty teenager/adult for awhile. And an interesting point about readalikes -- would have been nice to have a book like that back in the day when I was a teen.

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    1. I agree -- I think books like these help kids, especially, to be more empathetic toward those who struggle with weight or any other issue, for that matter.

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  2. I have this one on my Kindle but haven't read it yet. It sounds interesting enough. I'm glad you enjoyed it even if it was somewhat unrealistic.

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    1. I did enjoy it overall, but it was definitely a bit far-fetched. In more than one way.

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  3. Have you read SKINNY by Donna Cooner? It's about a teen who gets gastric-bypass surgery. I've heard terrific things about it, great reviews, etc.

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    1. I have a copy of SKINNY, just haven't read it yet. It does sound really good -- I'll have to get to it sooner rather than later.

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  4. I have read other books like this one based on how you are describing it; girl has X problem and suddenly one day embraces X and feels okay about herself. It is great that weight is being an issue of discussion, but it is a shame that it is not being done super well.

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    1. Most of these types of books have a similar message, which is great. I just wanted to see Ann go through a more realistic struggle before she had her epiphany.

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  5. I just finished (after reading you review). I enjoyed it. Thanks!

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