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Life in the Fat Lane
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Life in the Fat Lane

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  1,630 ratings  ·  166 reviews
THERE'S A PERFECT GIRL at every school, yours included. You know her. Beautiful. Talented. Smart. Great parents. Cool boyfriend. You can’t even hate her, because, of course, she’s so nice.

At Forest Hills High, Lara Ardeche is that girl.

But things can change.

“Skillfully drawn, resulting in a compelling story. . . . An enjoyable and thought-provoking read.”—School
Library Jo
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1998)
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Okay, the only reason this book is getting two stars is because it kept me entertained enough to keep turning the pages, but having said that, I pretty much hated this book. I've read a lot of fat books in my day, and this is the first one where I was left completely uninspired. There was no humor, no irony, and really no message at all. I really don't like the idea of teenage girls reading this book, because either way I think this book could actually egg on the stereotype that girls are only v...more
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Thi sbook was just okay. I was looking for a good message for YA about weight but was disappointed. The main character starts out at 115 or something and gains 100 pounds. Now while that is a drastic weight gain in 1 year, I couldn't get past the fact that this 5'7" character topped out at 218 and yet was described as enduring torturous teasing and stares, couldn't fit into the movie theatre seat and was in essence some huge tub of lard. This is just so unrealistic. I am 5'5" 200 pounds and am n...more
Emily, a Book and a Cat
Concept/Ideas: 5/5
Characters: 3.5/5
Storyline/Plot: 5/5
Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Wow, this book was amazing. This book actually being a reprint of an older version published in 1998, Ive never heard of this book. I loved it from page one, to the very end. The plot was very original. Who would have ever thought someone would write a novel about a BEAUTY QUEEN ending up being the one to be the "fat girl" in high school. Exactly. Very original in my opinion.

The book was very well paced, and I read th...more
Madeline Haut
This book kept me reading until the very last page. I was interested in finding out the reason for the title and the reason did surprise me. I was expecting a girl who considered herself overweight and had an eating disorder but this book was the opposite which had me interested. At first though, I felt sorry for Lara because of this disease but as the book went on I did sadly loose sympathy for her because she became rude and degrading against other larger people. This novel made me really thin...more
Tabitha Olson
While this book brought up some very good issues about how terrible overweight people are treated, I found it preachy and many times got irritated with Lara's whining.

I can understand that she's feeling sorry for herself because she used to be a beauty queen and now she's one hundred pounds overweight. But I don't want to read that same thing a zillion times, right up to the end of the book. It made me lose sympathy for Lara, and by the end of the book I thought she was a stuck up brat. I also...more
I'm tempted to put this in the "read" section because I came quite close to finishing this, but when it started to get cringe-worthy (and when it was almost due to the library) I decided to put it away. Far away.

I guess I just don't quite get the point of this book. Our heroine is supposed to be this effervescent, extremely nice character, yet she comes off as incredibly shallow, irritating and ignorantly snarky.

For the first couple chapters, all we do is obsess whether Lara will win prom queen...more
I thought this book partially illustrates the society's obsession with appearances and how it's affecting women all around the world.
Life in the Fat Lane is about a teenage prom queen who seems to have it all. Suddenly, she rapidly gains weight and tips the scale to an unbearable number, motivating her to do whatever it takes to return to her original figure. It doesn't help that her mother, who is also thin-obsessed, pressures her daughter to lose weight and gives dieting method advice to her...more
Stephanie A.
Wow, lots of angry reviews. I reread it today just to make sure, but my original opinion stands. This book did a great job of showing how it feels to go from thin and gorgeous to hopelessly overweight (and from Molly on the side, you also get what it's like being the overweight friend of someone much slimmer). The idea of succumbing to a disease where you literally cannot stop gaining weight adds an extra layer of horror, while making you grateful that at least you don't have that problem.

I don't like this book. I just don't like it! When I first picked this book up I thought it was about a girl who's been fat her entire life and decided to do something about it. But it was about this perfect girl, popular, beauty queen. She's nice to people and all that, although she doesn't say it I felt like she thought she was better looking than the rest or even better in general. Now, not everything is negative about her. I like her confidence. But I feel like I wasted my time, because I us...more
A perfect example of how someone’s life can get turned upside down in a matter of days. Beautifully written in a way that is relatable to all teenagers and young adults, Life in the Fat Lane displays how a girl presumed to have a perfect life, a perfect boyfriend, a perfect family, popularity equivalent to Britney Spears, and winning homecoming queen can be taken away with the blink of an eye. The author, Cherie Bennett, tackles a huge contentious issue that many individuals have suffered and co...more
Hylary Locsin
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

Junior in high school, Lara Ardeche, has the perfect life. Beautiful, popular and thin, Lara has spent her life competing in and winning beauty pageants. Her beautiful, thin mother and handsome father adore her, as does her cool boyfriend Jett and her best friend, Molly. Lara's life becomes even better when she is elected homecoming queen, despite the fact that she's just a junior. In the months f...more
Reading the book "Life in the Fat Lane" by Cherie Bennett I learned it is a book that can connect to a girl's everyday life. Lara Ardeche is your ordinary girl,just like us she goes through stress to become her perfect self.Many girls in America currently face the pressures to be as thin as possible. By dieting,exercising and possibly obtaining a disease,everyday women try to overcome their idea of being fat or overweight. In this book, Lara is your perfect beauty pageant teenager until her lif...more
I read this book because I saw it in Mrs. Lapacka's library last year, and I gave it another chance over the summer. This book is about a girl named Lara Ardeche, who lived a glamorous life. Her life was perfect, until she was diagnosed with Axell-Crowne disease that made her gain weight, and everything started to fall apart. My favorite quote in the story was, "I wasn't perfect. But I was okay." I found this quote really inspirational, because even though Lara lost almost everything, she accept...more
This book was so amazing i literally could not put it down!! I think that Lara taught me a very valuable lesson through her long journey, that is still not yet over. This lesson was, no one is ever perfect, and sometimes being happy is much better than being skinny. Popular girls may think of themselves as perfect, but that's either because they have amazing hair or amazing bodies. NO BODY IS EVER PERFECT!
I felt horrible for Lara throughout his whole book, and i just wanted to know if her diseas...more
Melissa He
I liked this book a lot. It was really sad how the main character went from a beauty pageant queen, to an overweight teenage outcast. It wasn't really fair for her because her obesity was caused by a mysterious condition. To me, I could really connect with her when she transferred to a new school, and everyone there made fun of her for the way she looked. Even her family wanted to hide her from the public, and she felt so upset that she kept taking laxatives and suffered every night, with tears...more
If you're thin and you read this, I'm not sure if this will be comic relief or what... But if you're fat and you read this it will be painful. Very painful. Would you rather be stupid or fat? Stupid, yell the children! Would you rather be ugly or fat? Ugly, yell the children.

Lara is the perfect girl who suddenly starts gaining weight for apparently no reason at all. She discovers that it could be because of an incurable disease but her family and social life begin to unravel as she gets fatter a...more
Sarah Tilatitsky
It's really four and a half stars, really. This book talks about bullying and fattness, which isn't really that great, but it's no joke. It is now one of my favorite books, because I have a few pounds on me, and, well, with my face, my chubbiness, shortness and a high-pitched voice that no one seems to hear, it HURTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look, I'm glad that she lost her weight, but I'm glad that she finally knew what it is like...more
Laura (Boundless Bindings)
This was one of my favorite novels when I was in high school. Lara was beautiful and the queen of the school and a seemingly perfect family. When she starts to get heavy, she starts to realize that everything she ever thought she knew was a lie or based on her appearance. It was comforting to know that if you have true friends, they won't matter what you do or look like.

The ending was a little bittersweet for me, because Lara's life came together a little too cleanly, but I still enjoyed the wri...more
When I read this book, I was 13 and in a bad yo-yoing phase to the extent of going from 130 to 200 lbs in less than 6 months.

This book was bought for comfort and hopes of it being relatable.

I think I would've been better off without it at the time. The main character, Lara is popular, pretty and very confident. She starts gaining weight, and BOOOOM! Most of her friends stop talking to her, guys who used to flirt with her laugh at her, and even her seemingly nice boyfriend is not all he looked t...more
Christine Grant
I have read this book and listened to the audio a few times. The book follows a teenage girl who goes from being beautiful and skinny to overweight through no fault of her own. This is another story about beauty being more than skin deep and society's reaction to women and their weight.
Nov 13, 2007 Lesley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 7th grade and up
Shelves: body-image, problem
I've booktalked it and would put it on booklists dealing with body image. There's a mild sexual scene, but I still booktalked it to 6th graders and didn't get any complaints. It might feel a little dated to Gossip Girl readers, but there's not too many pop culture references.
Andreia Tavares-Semedo
This book was... okay. It wasn't the worst but not the best by any means. I found the main character Lara very whiny and self absorbed and I felt I couldn't connect well with her character at all. Instead of feeling pity for Lara or understanding her troubles, all I felt was annoyance. Lara was extremely irritating.
The book itself was entertaining and written fairly well (with an imaginative plot line - kinda)but I felt the characters and character development was lacking. A small (perhaps insig...more
Jan 12, 2008 Cecilia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone.
Recommended to Cecilia by: no one.
This was sort of sad, but very realistic. Many girls are like the characters in this book, and I enjoy reading books that have characters that are like people in the real world. So yes, good book.
A few years ago when I was sixteen or seventeen, I used to skip school occasionally and head to this glorious two storey book store in the city that I used to spend all day in just reading.

There was a coffee shop on the first floor of it and each time I'd go in, I'd always get a large iced chocolate with whipped cream on top, then I'd make my way downstairs to the YA section and choose a book I'd read that day and settle in one of the large, comfy leather armchairs placed around the area.

I remem...more
This book was AMAZING. I've never really had Interest in reading but after this book I know I'm going to read more often! This book was impressively written. It had an interesting topic and I could not put the book down! The author had me hooked on to this book like it was a bestfriend, I felt every emotion that the main character Laura had felt, as if I was with her through every step of the way! This book is great for teenage girls or young adults, it can really teach them that anything can ha...more
Imagine being a beauty pageant winner, homing queen, and one of my most popular girls in highschool…having it all…then waking up one morning to discover that you lost everything. Lara did have it all, until she gets fat. That is when her world crashes. Diagnosed with a unknown metabolic disorder leaves Lara gaining weight, even when she isn’t eatting. The strict diets and workouts don’t help at all. Soon Lara finds herself as a 200 pound plus teenager…just another fat, unattractive girl in the c...more
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The protagonist, Lara Ardeche, is the prototypical popular girl at school - utterly vapid, self-absorbed, and with an ego the size of the Colorado Rockies. To boot, she is a Southern pageant queen. She feels herself to be superior to others, even while preaching - both to herself and to others - that pageant queens should always be soft-spoken, open-minded, and nice, even to their "lessers." We, the readers, are supposed to believe that this idiotic piece of hypocrisy is deeply artistic and play...more
I read this book about 8 years ago. It's a young adult book and I would not recommend it to male readers. It's a simple read. Life in the Fat Lane is about that perfect girl who is beautiful and slim. She has everything going for her including being one of the most popular girls at school. She isn't snobby or conceited, but you have that sense that she knows she is a little better than other girls. Then all of a sudden she starts gaining weight for no reason at all. Some sort of weight gaining i...more
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A popular novelist, playwright, and newspaper columnist, Cherie moves effortlessly from genre to genre, writing powerful and entertaining work, whether in literary hardcover teen fiction, mass market paperback fiction, for the stage, film and television, and for her nationally-syndicated teen advice column.
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