Gabby's Reviews > Big Girl Small

Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

liked it

I'm not sure what possessed me to read this book last summer, as I am 22 years old and far past the time for YA novels, but I can only conclude that it was a combination of boredom, working at a library, wanting to turn my brain off and nostalgia for all of the Sarah Dessen novels I read in middle school. So when I saw that my university's library was adding this to its collection my interest was piqued.

I urge everyone to take this review with a large grain of salt: if I was 13 again I would probably give this novel 4 or 5 stars, which would be perfectly deserved coming from someone that age. As someone who is a bit older and much better read than I was at 13, I doesn't feel fair to give this 5 stars when it is being compared to works of "serious fiction". However, when stacked against other YA novels I have read, this book is a standout and I would definitely recommend it to young people.

The story and its tragic heroine inhabit a world that is thoroughly modern in its concerns: teenage sex, rape and the abusive potential of the internet and technology. Yet at its heart the problems are classic: teenage self loathing and alienation, gossip, humiliation, high school friends, controlling parents, the need to assert independence and learning who you can trust.

Judy is a little person (dwarf if you aren't familiar with the more modern term), who is trying to navigate the world of high school and love. Although her body marks her a different to those around her, I liked that the novel doesn't make her dwarfism the focus of her problems, as it is something she is mostly comfortable with. It only becomes an issue when others, teenagers in particular, are unable to look past it and see her for the person that she is. The climax of the novel is a despicable betrayal by someone Judy thinks she can trust and in light of the incident she tries to understand whether it was motivated by someone trying to exploit her difference or whether it was merely incidental.

Overall I found the book to be a fast paced, well written, and intriguing read that I would recommend for those interested in YA fiction.
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