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45 Pounds (More or Less)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,087 ratings  ·  881 reviews
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy An
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 11th 2013 by Viking Juvenile
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  5,087 ratings  ·  881 reviews

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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Empathy: Noun;
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

I'm not going to insult the main character of this book by saying, "I empathize with her." I cannot. I don't know what it's like to be fat. I don't know what it's like to experience snide comments about one's weight from a complete stranger. I don't know the mortification of trying on a dress a few sizes too small and then, horror of all horrors, becoming stuck in it. I don't know what it is like to have a perfectionist mo
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: publisher-sent
I unexpectedly received this book in the mail a few days ago from Penguin Teen and was curious about it, so immediately picked it up. This is my favorite kind of book-- I go in with no expectations, and come out, moved.

45 Pounds by K.A. Barson is about every girl Ann, who is overweight, wears a size 17, and is incredibly embarrassed about it. She has a stick thin perfect mother who has apparently never worried about weight her entire life, and has difficulty making new friends. She's struggled t
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Weight issues in YA are generally really poorly handled. In fact, I can only think of a couple of heroines who aren't very skinny. Considering what a big issue weight is in American society, it's rather startling how few books there are that take that perspective and deal with it in an open, feeling, non-shaming way, and the only book I can think of aside from 45 Pounds is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, which isn't remotely our society. Though I know there are some others I haven't r ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
45 Pounds (more or less) by K.A. Barson

Let me start out by saying that this book needs to be read by every woman in America (15-80). Ann Galardi is an overweight teen the blurb says she is 16 and a size 17. I can relate because I remember in my 4th grade God Bless America play we had to wear a red white or blue dress and my mother taking me shopping just to find that there were not any dresses in those colors that fit. I ended up getting a maternity navy and white striped shirt and wore it as a
Katrina Passick Lumsden
An OK look at eating disorders and body image mania, but I felt it was at times a bit heavy-handed. Subtlety can go a long way, and this book has all the subtlety of a group of nuns in a strip club. And to be totally honest, I got a little tired of Ann's whining, and found her healthy turnaround a bit abrupt considering she'd spent most of her life eating her feelings. She needs therapy, but that would be messy and, I suppose, not fit the storyline...? I have yet to figure out why authors don't ...more
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is definitely one of those books that I wished would have done better with the issues it faced. Ann is easy to relate too, having been a fat teen myself. But the resolution left much to be desired.

(view spoiler)
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
This book is a must read. Period. I loved everything about it! Everything.

Ann is hilarious. She is so real, it will be hard not to relate to her. The opening scene begins with her bathing suit shopping while her mom picks up a "motivational" teeny tiny bikini for Ann. This is not Ann's idea of motivation to lose weight. It's a nagging reminder of how far she is from being able to wear anything in that department store.

Who hasn't felt like that at some point, right?

45 Pounds starts off being a
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
I reallly hate to start rating books two-stars so early into my 2014 reading year (whoo, whoo!) but the more I think about this, the more it leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. The whole book--despite the quote on the cover that says it's funny--was anything but. I maybe laughed once. More than anything, the main character--Ann--was just pitiful. And her supporting cast? An even bigger group of pitiful, unlikable characters--aside from Raynee, who really was the best thing about this book. ...more
This book is just so good, so smart, well-written, honest, and real—I can’t understand why it didn’t make a bigger name for itself when it was first released. Though, of course, I honestly stayed away, thinking that this was going to be too focused on weight loss and body image to the point of being a “message” book (the way Fat Cat , admittedly an amazing book, did). But while 45 Pounds is certainly about Ann’s plan to lose weight for her aunt’s wedding, I never once felt like Barson was foc ...more
Susane Colasanti
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
With both humor and depth, the story of Ann's resilence, determination, and strength will inspire readers on their own journey toward a sparkly new life.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been overweight almost my entire life and I believe this book represents the daily struggles of girls like me and Ann quite well. I actually wish that at the age of 16 I had a more similar mindset to Ann's at the end of the book because I actually developed orthorexia and then BED at the same age. Coming in terms with my appearance and my body in general and balancing out my mental and physical health is something I still have to do almost every single day. But I hope more overweight girl ...more
I wanted to like this more than I did but Ann's spending habits were atrocious, and this is coming from a jobless teenage girl who is a little too fond of retail therapy for someone who looks like a monkey in a paper bag and also happens to be perpetually broke.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
i know this book is fiction but they made the main character ann everything we as women face everyday. there’s the insecurities, the troubles with gaining and losing weight, the everyday struggles of being judged or judging yourself before someone else can, being scared to speak up for yourself, lack of women empowerment, and so much more! i was angry for this character and angry at this character. it just shows what happens when we don’t put ourself first and we seek love and approval from othe ...more
Demitria Lunetta
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended for fans of: YA Contemporary

This book really hit home. It’s not just for teens that have struggled with their weight, but for anyone who has ever had a problem in life they felt they had no control over. Ann’s just happens to be her weight. She thinks that all of her troubles will be solved if she can just lose 45 pounds. Even with the low self esteem, she’s a very likeable MC, easy to relate to. She’s also a bit clueless. I love how Ann’s character develops throughout the book, as s
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book I devoured in a day. After reading so many paranormal teen books I thought it would be interesting to get out of that genre and read something different. I am very glad that I did. This book is so relatable its scary. Like many teenagers I struggled with my self esteem and always thought I needed to lose weight. Ann's personality pretty much mirrored my own and I have never had that occur to me in a book before. I give a two thumbs up for K.A Barson for nailing her first novel for that ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book.

I had a whole review written, and fabulous Goodreads just deleted it.

Basically, this author gets that being fat is not as simple as a lack of self-control. I think this was a brilliant debut, and I'm so glad I got to read it. One of the best books I've read this year. I loved every single character.

Read it. You won't be disappointed.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
So refreshing to read a realistic book about weight struggles! This book was adorable. Loved it.
Gillian Berry
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Originally posted at Writer of Wrongs

Rating: Hilarious, heartfelt, and so emotionally true. Anybody who has ever felt self-conscious about the way he or she looks (so... everyone) will be able to relate.

The cover: It's cute! It didn't necessarily grab me, and it caused me to pass on requesting this on Netgalley (stupid, stupid, stupid!), but that's my own problem. I love the butter yellow and the two font titles, though I wish you could see more of Ann.

The story: I'm IN LOVE with this
Farah Jay
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you have been following our blog for a while, you would have remembered this book from our previous Waiting on Wednesday pick. All over the world, teens are having problems with weight. The media puts a lot of pressure on teens, and how the "perfect" image is to have the "perfect" body and the "perfect" face. That's where a lot of girls either starve themselves or go on extreme diets, but they never really think about their health. I come from an extremely healthy family, and reading books th ...more
Amanda R
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Hager
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine any female over the age of 13 not loving this book. I feel like we can all relate to body issues, especially those related to food. And I'm pretty sure we've all felt fat at some point (whether or not we actually are).

But Ann really is fat, and I can say that because we are about the same size and I am fat.

But that's not all there is to Ann. She's incredibly smart and funny and sweet and just a kickass person. Watching her grow as a person (while simultaneously shrinking as a p
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
45 Pounds (More or Less) is the funniest book I have ever read about an issue that American Teens are facing in this skinny minny world we live in. I have lived Ann's life. I was skinny all my life until I hit 18 years old and then I gained a little weight at college and then I gained weight when I had my children and it is a nightmare. Society sees fat as disgusting and not beautiful but beauty is skin deep because being skinny is not what it is cracked up to be.

Ann is trying so hard to lose we
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2010s, 2013
I'm not sure why I read this, since none of the genres or subgenres into which this book falls interest me, but I had a free evening and no desire to challenge myself intellectually, so I polished it off in an hour or so. I used to be a chubby, self-loathing teenager myself, so I felt some measure of sympathy with the protagonist, but after 200 pages of exploring the dull inner life of Ann, punctuated by intermittent oleaginous descriptions of the food she either can't or shouldn't be eating, I ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
A YA library sale find about a fat girl from a dysfunctional family who has some pretty screwed up ideas about herself, and at the same time, as someone who was once a fat teenager, was a pretty accurate representation of a lot of the nastier thoughts that can run through fat girls' heads. The story isn't anything special necessarily, and there's a lot of descriptions of disordered eating and thinking that I'm not entirely sure is a good thing to put into the hands of impressionable kids (I reme ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
After a while the book became super repetitive and while it sent a good message, it was hard to get through
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've always had issues with my weight, from the time I was in middle-school, all through my teen years, to even now. I was never one of the skinny girls who could just shop anywhere and find super cute when I read the blurb for K.A. Barson's 45 Pounds (More or Less) I just new it would be relatable, and relatable it was! This YA Contemp is not only wonderfully relatable, but also funny, thought-provoking, and unexpectedly touching.

Sixteen year old Ann is a size 17 and not comfortabl
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 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
Princess Bookie
My Thoughts: If you’ve struggled with weight or just don’t like the way you look, this is the book for you. I could totally relate! I’m not as skinny as I used to be.

We are introduced to Ann who is a teenager and she has struggled with her weight. She’s lost weight and gained it back. Nothing seems to last forever. She is sick of wishing she could wear a smaller size or look better so she goes on another diet. This diet costs a lot of money per month and Ann doesn’t have much. So, she gets a job
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who wants to read a coming-of-age book, but not so dark
Anne is a fat girl with ... a "missing" brother" and 2 dysfunctional families: her mom, her stepdad, and his two new twin siblings; and his dad, his stepmother, his stepsiblings, and his new brother. We may add a lesbian aunt and her partner, and a grandma, who's unique.

Anne spends her life "eating" feelings for all her relatives: an absent [and dickhead] father, an overachiever mom, a quite stepdad, a neurotic stepmom, and so on. She spends her days eating, and being quiet as a mouse, trying n
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K.A. Barson graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She and her husband live in Jackson, Michigan, surrounded by kids, grandkids, unruly dogs, and too many pairs of shoes.

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“I change the channel to another movie. An old one, but new to me. And, ironically, a thin, gorgeous blonde—Meg Ryan, maybe—rides her bike on a country road. She smiles like she has no cares in the world. Like no one ever judges her. Like her life is perfect. Wind through her hair and sunshine on her face. The only thing missing are the rainbows and butterflies and cartoon birds singing on her shoulder.

Maybe I should grab my bike and try to catch up with Mom, Mike, and the kids. They can't be going very fast. I would love to feel like that, even if it's just for a second—free and peaceful and normal.
Suddenly, there's a truck. It can't be headed toward Meg Ryan. Could it? Yes. Oh my God. No! Meg Ryan just got hit by that truck.

Figures. See what happens when you exercise?”
“I'm still not at my ideal weight. I didn't lose forty-five pounds before the wedding. Who knows if I ever will. I've lost twenty-seven and a half pounds, and that's better than nothing. Somehow, though, today I'm thinking more about what I've gained than what I've lost.” 9 likes
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