Teenage Waistland
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Teenage Waistland

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Told in the voices of patients Marcie Mandlebaum, Bobby Konopka, and Annie "East" Itou, Teenage Waistland is a story of betrayal, intervention, a life-altering operation, and how a long-buried truth can prove far more devastating than the layers of fat that protect it.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Ember (first published January 1st 2010)
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Stargazer5
I bought this book for my daughter, Jackie, and decided it would be a good idea to read it before giving it to her in order to make sure she wouldn't take the gesture as an affront or criticism. While reading it I soon became very certain that it wouldn't offend her, and in fact, would (and did) do just the opposite.

My daughter has been struggling with her weight for practically her whole life. Now that she's a teenager, it's harder than ever. I'm so glad my friend recommended this book, and I'...more
Kaethe
Sep 23, 2011 Kaethe marked it as stricken  ·  review of another edition
Despite what lazy novelists may believe, obesity is not rooted in emotional issues. It is rooted in genetics, where weight has exactly the same heritability as height.
Izzy
Teenage Waistland is a support group for obese teens undergoing the Lap Band weight loss surgery. Marcie struggles not just with a big body size, but a big mouth, ultra-thin remarried mother, and super-skinny stepsister. Bobbie wants to lose the weight, but it means he won't be able to play football anymore, which will disappoint his dad. And East has the toughest situation of all - dark and morbid herself, she lives by herself with her depressed mom who refuses to leave her bed. These three tee...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Eating for comfort is just the tip of the iceberg for this group of obese teens. They've each qualified for a weight loss trial surgery - the Land-Band procedure is currently available only for adults. With this trial, the teens are required to keep a journal, write down a truthful account of their food intake, and attend weekly group therapy sessions, as the surgery is only a tool and not a solution.

Told in alternative perspectives, Marcie, East,...more
Chelsea
Marcie Mandlebaum knows she is grossly overweight, and can't help feeling as though her mother would love her more if only she was thinner. Bobby is a mediocre football player with dreams of being a star, but he has his "moobies" and his father's expectations to hurdle first. Annie "East" Itou feels sad all the time since her brother moved away and her mother refuses to leave her bedroom. The only time she feels half normal is when she is pigging out with Char. Char is East's best friend who is...more
Rachel Robins
Lisa Pazer and Lyn Biederman exceeded my expectations in this fun, sassy, clever and Enormously revealing narrative about what can be lost and gained in the world of fat teenagers. I found myself laughing out loud to the defensive, self-deprecating humor and less than tame conversations among this group of overweight teens particiating in a trial lapband surgery program. Together, these characters are struggling to come to terms with the emotional weight padding their fears, traumas, and insecur...more
Julia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandy
*Very mature issues

Teenage Waistland centers on 4 morbidly obese teens that are in a clinical trial for Lap-Bands in teenagers.

Marcie - a girl who feels out-of-place with her new stepfamily and being taken away from her old home and father.
Char and East - a set of best friends that both have a horrifying event in their past that has left emotional scars
Bobby - a linebacker who is struggling with his dad's expectations for his future.

Throughout the trial, the teens are part of a support group t...more
Aaron
I met the two authors of this book last year at a RI Library Association conference. I thought their intent was strong: to write a book that a did a good job of presenting the stories of teenagers who really work struggling with their weight issues in a realistic manner. This novel does just that. Written from the perspective of three obese teenagers who have joined a study to explore the potential use of lap-band surgery, this novel looks at the fact that weight issues are usually tied to other...more
Alexei
Teenage Waistland is the story of 3 patients in a clinical trial for the Lap- Band program. Marcie is 16, 288 lbs, and stuck with her size zero mom. Bobby is a star football player with "moobies'' (Man-boobies) and still a virgin at 16. His mom and dad want him to lose weight, but his dad doesn't want him to get "girl surgery". Annie "East" is 278 lbs and living with her depressed mom who won't get out of bed. The book is about the journey each character takes in the program.

If there's one thing...more
Ellen Keim
This book was unsparing in its look at the ways our society deals with childhood obesity. She covers just about every approach possible, from fat camps to parents' support groups, and ends up admitting that there is no one approach that is effective for all children and that fighting childhood obesity is a complicated, frustrating endeavor, especially for parents.

The author herself was never terribly overweight, but grew up obsessed about getting fat. This is actually a sub-theme of the book: th...more
Karen
I really enjoyed this book alot!! This book was different then I thought it was going to be about...

It follows about 5 overweight teenagers that go through (well, four really) lap-band surgery to help them with their weight loss. At first look I thought this book was strictly about their losing weight and what they go through pertaining to that, but I was wrong...

This does talk about their surgery and their weight loss progress, but there is more to this story then that. It talks about the under...more
Wendolyn
Mar 06, 2012 Wendolyn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Teens
Recommended to Wendolyn by: Abby
Shelves: young-adult
Pleasantly surprised.

Dates don't seem to match? Page 103 has 7/10/09 surgery day, and page 108 has 7/12/09 as birthday party.

I learned that "trouper" is the correct spelling when a person is loyal, dependable (page 160).

Good quotes:
"...if,..you can start focusing more on other people, even when you're in pain yourself, it will help you heal from this. I promise. And the next time someone you care about is in pain, you will be there for them." Page 246

"Okay - food is often used as an expression...more
Liz Cee
The biggest problem I found with this book is that each patient had a huge 'AHA' moment in their lives that led to weight gain. As each "uncovered" their moment, they were able to deal with their weight issues.

I do believe for some people that there is one moment, however for most of us there is not. Perhaps there is a genetic predisposition coupled with many little moments. The solution to maintaining a healthy weight is not that simple.

Anyway, I found that part of the book unrealistic. I was a...more
Rakisha
I tried to read this book as I'm wont to read all young adult titles that feature fat kids either overcoming their weight (by losing weight) or fat kids accepting themselves as is. There have a been a slew of these over the past few years, and I've been chomping through them all. Most of them, I can't stand. I understand that I'm not the target audience but I don't like the over use of snark, slang, brand names or text language in my books. It takes me completely out of the story. Also, unlikabl...more
Lori Cullen
I really liked this book. It was original in that it was about a subject that you can't find much background on. There is a lot of medical jargon on the internet but no real stories about lap band surgery and I am really interested to know more about it. The story is about four teenagers trying to get into the FDA trail and it really intrigued me to understand why they were so sure this would work for them.

Even though I am not sure if I will get the surgery, this book gave me food for thought. E...more
Kristina Jo
As someone who has struggled with their weight, I really appreciated the it-isn't-that-easy perspective. I remember one book I read in junior high where the MC was a little chubby and didn't want to be, so she joined Weight Watchers and then everything was perfect. I also appreciated how this book got me thinking about my own eating habits and analyzing the possibility of an emotional factor to my snackitude. (Conclusion: If my hands aren't doing something, I eat.) I'm always appreciative of boo...more
Xiu Ling
Most people think that obese people are depressed. That is why they eat and eat until their weight puts their lives in danger. That is proven to be wrong in Teenage Waistland. Obese people have real feelings. They experience love, friendship, hate, betrayal, insecurities just like normal people. Fat people's lives are not necessarily depressed. Their happiness are there until they decide to lose weight. The process of losing weight pays a price. The obese characters have to go through emotional...more
Kimmy Oh
The best part of this book is the character East. And I say this because I am so much like her it's scary. I don't know if that's a good thing, but I was amazed at the way she was portrayed and how true to life a girl like her is. Her dark, shy, painful way of experiencing the world in contrast to her best friend Char who is bubbly and full of life reminds me of me and my best friend in high school. Although I have never struggles with being overweight, I do know what it feels like to have a con...more
Lora
This was a good read, but nothing completely outstanding about it. I liked how it was told in multiple voices and really got into why each of the characters gained the weight in the first place and how they dealt with it. It read a little bit like a giant group therapy session, but a lot of the book actually takes place in a group therapy. It was nice seeing typical teenage issues (body issues, crushes, expectations, dealing with school, college) all handled here while staying true to the plot o...more
Mandy
I thought this was a well done book for a high school audience. Teenage obeesity is a reality, and the reasons for it--such as tragic life events, family environment, and social isolation-- are all explored through these characters. The story follows a group of obese teens in a clinical trial of lap-band weight loss surgery (which I didn't know too much about, having only heard about the gastric bypass surgery) and their counseling sessions both before and after the surgery. It's a serious topic...more
Caitlin Trepp
Not without merit; some of the backgrounds (of the characters) are more complex than they (at first) appear, and the way the book switches from POV to POV helps to make them appear pretty "straightforward". There is significant character growth, and an interesting way that the characters end up interacting. Teenage Waistland is not a perfect book, and is a bit of a slow start due to how privileged most of the characters are. I got something out of it though, and there were definitely parts that...more
Coffeeaddict
I'm getting lapband surgery in a couple of months and finding this book was fated. I had so much fun reading it and it brought to life the experience of the lapband process that was swimming around as a personal dialogue in my head. Reading Teenage Waistland enhanced my journey toward getting skinny. I felt like I was sharing in this journey with the characters. I don't have enough drama in my life anymore (things are pretty predictable), so I relished in the drama between the characters in this...more
Terri
This book is great! I have to commend Lisa Pazer and Lynn Beiderman on their quick, witty, fresh prose style. Well-crafted, dynamic, relevant. Being an eighth-grade English teacher and a parent of a 12 and 16 year-old, I've read many YA lit pieces. I think this one fits into the must-read for 2011 category due to its "chic" and dare I say risky subject matter. Pazer and Beiderman took the battle of the bulge to the limits with this one, while steering clear of any type of prescriptive or "preach...more
Connie
If you are considering reading this book, you can skip it. The writing is totally off (something just doesn't feel right) and the dialog completely inauthentic. I'm actually surprised I finished it, but since I did I guess there was something to the plot that kept me going.

The teens of Teenage Waistland are all part of a support group for lap band surgery patients; the actual procedure and the why-you-eat support group parts were interesting. So I guess there's that.
Jenie
Solid look at teen obesity and the emotional causes of overeating. I think it oversimplifies a bit and did not fully realistically handle a few things, or I would give it 4 stars. Still, I think it's well-written and deals responsibly with all its subject matter. I would recommend this book for any teen or young adult struggling with weight, eating disorders or emotionally-motivated issues or addictions.
Claire
Amid lots of drama told in rotating first person by the characters we go through a year of losing lots of weight. It seems absolutely obvious that each of us has a huge motivating drama driving our self destructive/addictive behavior, this book drives that home. If even one reader comes away more empathetic, bravo. To get through this book though, one must have a tolerance for teen drama.
Amy!
Jul 31, 2013 Amy! rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy! by: 224
The story got a little sappy/touchy feely, especially towards the end with everyone crying all the time, but it also sucked me in right from the start. My husband had to literally pry it from my fingers so I'd go do some homework. My full review here
Cecelia
Ok well i just want to say that when i first started this book i thought that it was going to be funny and non-serious (and some parts were...and a little bit innapropriate). But as it went on, i found myself being sucked into the characters journeys. There were parts that made me cry and others that had me cracking up. I definitely think this was a good read.
Zelda Aquarius
Couldn't put it down. My daughter brought it home from her school's book fair. I snuck it away from her to read it because I was enticed by the topic. I've never seen a book about lapband surgery...especially YA literature. I'm glad I picked it up. My daughter's reading it now. Haha... I got to it first!
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I’ve worked as a waitress (best job ever), an insurance broker (worst), a Macy’s department manager (the discounts!), a child abuse litigator (heartbreaking), an adoption lawyer (most rewarding), a journalist for a nationally syndicated sounds-of-nature radio show (very cool), and an elementary and high school librarian (biggest inspiration for writing). The opening line of my co-authored Young Ad...more
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