Mirkat's Reviews > Huge

Huge by Sasha Paley
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Oct 15, 2011

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Read from October 14 to 15, 2011

I came upon this book in sort of a backward way. First, I found the DVD set of the short-lived (one season) TV series based on the book. I'd never heard of the series OR the book, but I enjoyed the show and became curious about the book, which is listed in the credits.

Unlike the series, the book presents its story through the point of view of two characters: Wilhemina "Wil" Hopkins and April Adams, who are roommates at Wellness Canyon, an expensive, spa-like fat camp. Although Willamena Rader (played by Nikki Blonsky) is very similar to Wil Hopkins in the book, Amber (Hayley Hasselhoff) seems more loosely based on April. This was jarring at first, especially since Amber is a blue-eyed blonde, while April has red hair and freckles. Wil H. is physically similar to Wil R., but I had to keep putting blue contact lenses on Nikki Blonsky when I pictured the Wil of the book. Another significant difference is that Amber is instantly popular and sought after, while April struggles to get noticed by the "A" crowd.

Because the TV series was able to spread its focus over an ensemble cast, there was more of an opportunity for character development. In the book, the reader only really gets to know Wil and April. However, through these narrative points of view, the author weaves a compelling "odd couple" tale. Wil is only there because her wealthy parents, who own a popular chain of fitness clubs, consider their overweight daughter an embarrassment. April, whose overweight, disabled mother struggles to make ends meet, pays her own way with money she has saved up. Wil comes to camp determined to be the one and only camper who actually GAINS weight during her stay, while April is determined to take full advantage of every opportunity the camp offers her to transform herself.

While the plot unfolds in a way that is not entirely unpredictable, it's a fun read and I'd recommend it to someone who'd enjoy a light "YA" read.
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