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Teenage Waistland

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
“You all believe that losing one-hundred-plus pounds will solve everything, but it won’t. Something far heavier is weighing on you, and until you deal with that, nothing in your lives will be right.”
 –Betsy Glass, PhD, at first weekly group counseling session for ten severely obese teens admitted into exclusive weight-loss surgery trial
Patient #1: Female, age 16, 5'4", 28
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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Sep 23, 2011 Kaethe marked it as stricken
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.
Jan 04, 2011 Stargazer5 rated it it was amazing
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'
Jul 18, 2010 Izzy rated it really liked it
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
Oct 28, 2010 Chelsea rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

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,
Jay G
May 25, 2016 Jay G rated it it was ok
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2.5 Stars

This book follows a group of teenagers who undergo a weight loss surgery called LapBand. After their surgery, they attend a support group they call Teenage Waistland. The book is told from three perspectives: Bobby, East and Marcie. Through another girl in the support group, Char East's very bubbly best friend, they become friends. Only Char is hiding a secret that may change e
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 28, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
This was an everything novel. Yes, the main focus is on four teens who have lap-band surgery in order to lose weight, but within the lives of those four teens, just about everything happens. There's sibling rivalry, a parent living vicariously through his child, the big game, familial distance, and a terrible secret. Describing it in a list like that makes it seem like it's the description for the next episode of some popular soap opera. The good news is that all of these issues fit the characte ...more
Feb 19, 2012 Aaron rated it liked it
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
Jul 26, 2011 Alexei rated it did not like it
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
Rachel Robins
Feb 02, 2011 Rachel Robins rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2011 Brandy rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
*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
Mar 23, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Loveliest Evaris
Mixed feelings from this book.

At the very beginning it was somewhat compelling, but I got confused because I didn't notice the narrator shift between chapters. Once I cleared that up I was invested into the characters almost right away, with the exception of Bobby whom I really didn't care that much for. He just wasn't as compelling as the girls. Up until the middle mark I was having a good time reading it, and then when the "secret" came out I was floored by how out of left field it was. Then e
Ellen Keim
Jul 25, 2011 Ellen Keim rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
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
Mar 01, 2012 Wendolyn rated it liked it
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, 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
Wasn't bad, wasn't great either.

I think my main problem with this book was that Marcie and East were both really naturally-written, organic narrators whose narrative just flowed really easily...

...And then we have Bobby.

My God, Bobby was two-dimensional. I physically cringed reading his narration. It was so unbelievably just... Not good. Poorly written. It's like the author sat down, decided to write from a male perspective, and said "Crap, how do you write a convincing jock?" and then had his s
Jul 27, 2014 Taylor rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-2014, cheesy, 2014
I found this book to very knowledgeable about lapband surgery the the psychological stresses surrounding weight. It was a delightful read! However it was very cheesy towards the end and the ending seemed rushed and a bit ridiculous? Also I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the middle part of the lapband process. My sister went through the procedure when she was 18 and she is now 22 with over 100 lbs lost and the process was not all sunshine and daisies as the ending makes it seem.

Liz Cee
Jan 31, 2013 Liz Cee rated it liked it
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
Chelsi P
Oct 17, 2014 Chelsi P rated it it was ok
Teenage Waistland written by Lynn Biederman is a very bad book and I would not reccomend. It is very boring and gives many pointless information. By the look of this cover, one would think that it is about is not. This book pertains to obesity and how teens feel about their weight. It is a fiction, however it is written as a non-fiction novel. Many high school students do not enjoy non-fiction which is why I would not reccomend. Teenage Waistland was very hard to keep up with and re ...more
Lori Cullen
Dec 14, 2010 Lori Cullen rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 07, 2011 Rakisha rated it it was ok
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
Jun 21, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
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
Aug 29, 2011 Mandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
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
Xiu Ling
Mar 01, 2012 Xiu Ling rated it really liked it
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
Jan 11, 2011 Kimmy Oh rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 07, 2010 Lora rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
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
Jan 14, 2011 Terri rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 06, 2011 Coffeeaddict rated it it was amazing
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
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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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