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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
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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