Lucy's Reviews > Massive

Massive by Julia Bell
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's review
Oct 23, 10

bookshelves: body-image, young-adult
Read in May, 2010

Some books are so good, they make you angry. Massive, by Julia Bell, is one of those books.

Set in England, Massive is the story of a teenager girl, Carmen, whose mother suffers from an eating disorder–one that she is slowly forcing upon her daughter. She’s moody, paranoid, and slowly unraveling at the seams. Honestly, sometimes you really want to punch this woman for what she’s doing to her daughter. And that’s part of the power of the book: hating Carmen’s mother while at the same time feeling a great sense of sadness for her.

Although it’s written in first person, you never get very far inside Carmen’s head. You see things through her eyes only, but in a very flat, almost unemotional way. This is one of the strengths of the book. Even Carmen isn’t sure of what she’s feeling, so you have to read between the lines. There’s a lot going on under the surface is Massive.

It’s a very powerful story, but the writing could have been stronger. I personally would have edited down the first half of the book, since it takes awhile to really get going. However, once it gets rolling, its does great things. I was also personally annoyed that they edited out all the British spellings. I know that’s common practice, but with a book like this, set in Britain, I found it jarring.
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