Ann's parents have started two separate families, neither of which she feels truly a party of. Her older brother has gone away to college and seeminglAnn's parents have started two separate families, neither of which she feels truly a party of. Her older brother has gone away to college and seemingly disowned them all. Her best friend Cassie has found new best friends while Ann wasn't watching. But food hasn't moved an inch. Or rather it has, but those inches have been on her waistline.
Food is a welcome friend. It's something she can control, and something soothing. Something that makes the pain go away.
That is, until she's shopping with her super-skinny mom and nothing fits. She's resolved to just give up, and continue to swallow her sorrow (pun intended), until her Aunt Jackie announces that she and her partner Chris are getting married. Worse yet, she wants Ann to participate in a choreographed dance with the family during the reception AND she wants her oldest niece to stand up for her as a bridesmaid. Even worse still, they're getting married in two months.
As happy as Ann is for her aunts wedding, she can't help but to focus on the huge elephant in the room. Herself. She immediately decides that she needs to lose about 45 pounds, for her to feel and look her best at the wedding. No matter what.
Step one: Order the S2S Weight Loss System Step two: Get a job to pay for the S2S Weight Loss System Step three: Tell no one, let no one see you cry, and find out the name of the cute boy who keeps appearing.
As a plus-sized girl myself, I was really in tune with a lot of Ann's feelings in this funny, quick read. Her descriptions of self-consciousness and nerves were almost painful to read they were so very familiar; from fear of saying the wrong thing during a phone call, to dancing in public, Ann was a relate-able and real character. I was also impressed with the author's ability to amplify the very real every-day weight remarks that many of us wade through without realizing.
Ann's tepid family life was beautifully dysfunctional and not in so much of a predictable way that it got boring. There were also some pretty cool nods to stores like Torrid(SnapZ in the book), where the clothes function on a sliding size scale, and programs like Nutri-System(S2S) and Weight Watchers.
The very real issue of stress eating was captured realistically and weight esteem issues in general were seen from a lot of different angles. I also really liked the love story that emerged pretty sweetly and that it showed just how much when someone really likes you, they don't care about the extra things YOU may be obsessing about for yourself.
I enjoyed this book a lot. Even more so because it gently conveyed that while the weight struggle is real, the self-love struggle is even more vital. ...more
Read this book in two hours! It was THAT good. So many times I found myself literally laughing out loud. Ms. Beck is either a plus-sized fabulous divaRead this book in two hours! It was THAT good. So many times I found myself literally laughing out loud. Ms. Beck is either a plus-sized fabulous diva herself, or she surely knows how to get into our heads because Miss Riley Swain was awesome-sauce.
A classic tale of misdirected young love, slipped effortlessly into the frenemy drama we've all grown accustomed to. What I loved about the sub-plot of this book, was that Riley was content and happy with her body. Even while being at "fat camp", she never once let on that she hated her body, and actually spoke more of being quite aware of her shape and size. Her being aware never came off as being ashamed, just aware.
There were some deliciously vile portions where the girls were positively vicious to one-another, but the author found a way to tie up all these ends in a style that wasn't forced or phony. Each person in this fairly quick novel had some variance of personality and depth, and some hidden redeeming quality. While the male characters were few, and somewhat clueless, they were also generally likeable. If there was one thing that I did NOT like, it was the ease with which the author allowed Riley to become "okay" with the idea of mile Myspace and Internet stalking. Not sure that's the right message for girls in this intended age audience.
Other than that, this book was hilarious and sweet, in that "You're my best frenemy and I want your boyfriend", kind of way. ;)
I'm also PSYCHED to see that there is a spin-off featuring the characters in this book with a focus on one of Riley's friends, Samantha. Can't wait....more