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How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  490 ratings  ·  109 reviews
"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.

Emery is okay
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Running Press Kids
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Sixteen year old Emery is fine with who she is. Her family and the people around her are the ones who have a problem with her. Well not exactly's her weight. Emery is overweight.
That's right, kids. I'm officially the Big O. And I don't mean Oprah.

That might not be a problem but in this family it is. Her dad is a former basketball player turned fitness guru (or something like that-he was vague to me), mom is a botoxed former model and then sister Angel is sure to be the next big star.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it

Not to be sexist, but I cannot believe that this book was written by a man! I AM Emery. Reading this book, it is almost creepy in how spot on this writing captures the soul of a typical teenage girl. Are we really that predictable or is Ken Baker a telepath?

The voice of Emery is REAL, witty, humorous , strong and like many of us, sometimes bitchy and judgemental. It is also so refreshing to see a main character with so many "flaws" that is not a doormat. Yes she still has feelings, she still
Lauren Kathryn
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book. Wow. My original expectations were blown out of the water, as what I actually got was a very hard hitting, outstanding read.
You see, this book takes on today's epidemic of obesity, today's obsession with "reality" TV, today's issue of teenagers growing old before their years, today's issue of prejudice wherever you turn, and the age old problem of conditional and unconditional love. Sound intrigued? I was, and I wasn't let down.

The story centres around Emery, an overweight and
Kate  Maxwell
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemp, ya
Feel free to read the full review on Musings of a Book Lover.

Emery (named after the emery board one finds in a nail salon) has just been told that she is now considered obese by the family doctor. Sure, she’s tried diets, but the call of “Coronary Highway” is too strong. Who wouldn’t want to eat two double cheeseburgers, a large fry and a diet coke (It is, after all, the Standard American Diet)? Well, everyone in Emery’s dysfunctional family doesn’t eat that way.

Her botox-injecting mom wants to
I received a copy from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for a review.

First of all the good parts, well, that is easy. Everything up to almost the last page was fun, interesting and I really liked it.

Emery was likeable, though I wanted to shake her at times. She became fat because she likes eating junkfood, and not just junkfood, but mountains of it. I sometimes was disgusted by how she described all that food and how she all sneaked it in and ate it.
I loved how she gradually changed and
Kristine Hall
Feb 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
Ah, Emery, our heroine. SHE is a fabulous character, and a fabulous person, and completely respectable because she takes responsibility for the good, the bad, and the ugly. That is what I liked about this book, and that is what will resonate with readers.

What was unfortunate was that this book had several opportunities to expand and add some depth (namely in the relationship with her dad, her "secret," and the ending of the story), and it just didn't go there. Truly, the ending was a fail in my
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
I think Baker has almost got it here. He certainly has Southern CA down, the life of a reality star, and the paparazzi all to a tee- He is an E! News correspondent after all. However, he's not a teenaged girl, and while I don't generally have a problem with writers writing from a perspective that is not their own, you can tell that he doesn't quite get it. There is a little too much feminist preaching going on, the sassiness and sarcasm don't quite jibe, and there's no vulnerability. I do love ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This isn't your typical YA read, I think everyone should read this book, FANTASTIC!!
Apr 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I read it in the wrong mindset but it isn't the best book for something with any eating disorder issues. Also, the ending was very unsatisfying and left so many major plot points unanswered.
Stephanie Ward
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

'How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love' is a hilarious young adult contemporary novel that also deals with deep topics in a brutally honest way. The book speaks of obesity, our society, self image (especially among females), confidence, and being yourself - no matter what. The story revolves around Emery Jackson and her family as they embark on a reality TV show featuring Emery as she attempts to lose fifty pounds in fifty days. The cameras and crew are always on, regardless
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2014

Wavering between 3.5-3.75 stars. Irreverent, fun and a little over the top! This story looks at reality TV in another light, combining one girl's journey towards dealing with her feelings (and weight) with high drama in her life and relationships.


How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love (henceforth to be called How I Got Skinny…) sounds like the title of a celebrity memoir. It is, in fact, sort of such a thing as it recounts the story of one Emery Jackson, who winds
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
How I got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love is part social commentary, part coming of age, and completely hilarious. I loved all of the pop culture references and the main character, Emery is such a wise ass. I loved her. I lost count of how many times she made me laugh out loud. She does not hold back. At all. She is very self deprecating- it's her coping mechanism. How she deals with her family and the world. Her mom seemed nice enough, but it was easy to see that both of her parents ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
My copy was provided by Netgalley.

This book was an insanely fun book to read. Emery was a sarcastic, honest person who didn't have a filter. While at times that isn't a good thing, it taught Emery how to really live, how to achieve her own version of freedom. She ate mountains of junk food, getting fatter and sicker everyday. She looked in the mirror and felt disgusted by herself, but didn't change anything about that. But this explores not only the hardships of losing weight, but how you can
Jamie Fraser
Sep 07, 2015 rated it liked it
"How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love" is a truly spectacular read that captures so many aspects of what it's like to be a teen in this modern time. Those aspects include the struggle of being "perfect" when you just want to be you, our society's obsession with reality tv, and also what it's like to fall in and out of love with someone unexpected. After reading this book, I was a little surprised it was written by a man. Not to be sexist, but he did a really good job on writing from ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
You just never know when Young Adult books might work in the middle school. Only way is to read them, or find a good review from someone you trust. So, as much as these books intrigued me, they are not a good fit for my particular library. This was good, so take a look if you are looking for books for older readers.

What I Wanted: A book about weight issues, which are always popular with my students. I was also interested to see how a male writer would write about body image issues. Fairly
Received from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Emery's fat. She tells us that over and over and over again. Hey, Emery? Guess what? I'm fat too. As the title suggests, by the end of the book Emery is no longer fat. Yet she's still a mess. I had hope for her given that she had a strong personality, seemed to know what she wanted in life and started to show some insight into her reasons for turning to food as a coping mechanism. Instead, we are left with a twist ending that felt more like a cop
This is so bad because a lot of books on my currently reading shelf were ones I was reading when I got sick. This one I know I finished and I wish I could read it again and write a proper review. I have to say it was a very good book and I would definately recommend it. It was surprising. I think it is good for teenagers but I found it enjoyable as an adult. I have to find it and read it again but trust me, it is worth the read.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, amusing
While I wasn't a huge fan of the show, and have not a lot of an idea as to why it was so popular, this book was fab! The main character I loved so much, blunt and witty and funny... This book, I think, also put a good view on obesity. As in, sure it shouldn't be encouraged but even so be happy with how you look.... I guess? I make no sense. But still, ADORED IT.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contmp-chk-lit
This was a quick and fast paced read. I really have nothing negative to say about it. This is definitely a book for teens as the themes are of today's prevalent social problems of our young society; fat and slut shaming. The main character is very likable, relatable, funny and real. The story ends well and on a positive note.
Aaron Hartzler
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fiction
A sharp, funny book for anyone who has ever looked in the mirror and felt disappointed. With surgical precision, Ken Baker cuts to the heart of our love affair with external validation and reminds us to stop letting other people tell our story.
Mar 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
I liked this. 3.5. But the ending was just a WTF??? Feels like Baker gave up, like Emery.
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
E-galley received from Netgalley for review.

People read this, it's a Read Now title on Netgalley and it's awesome!

(although I feel slightly cheated by the title+ending combo.)
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Unsatisfying ending, but a pretty easy, entertaining read. Probably better suited for a teen audience. Good subject matter.
Edwin Lang
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker is, underneath the layer of fun and satire, a dark novel. I do not know if it was written for teens or young adults or for an adult audience but it reflects the age we live in, where our unwritten motto is: we do it because we can. In this case we are doing it to an obese 16-year old high school student.

It is nonetheless a fun story and highly readable. While I am normally completely comfortable pointing out another (grammatical)
Rachel Marie
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a hilarious yet touching story of not only just a "fat girl" trying to come to terms with herself and her body, but also a satire against "reality" TV. I think for the most part, we are all aware how staged reality TV actually is, but this gave us a closer, actual look at how things are behind the scenes.

Emery is 16-years-old, the black sheep of an otherwise "perfect" family. Her father is never home, her mother is obsessed with her looks and getting her husband to notice her (spoiler:
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this. Picked it up off the Clearance shelf at Half Priced Books and read it in a DAY. The exposition was rocky but intentional. I genuinely disliked all the characters by the time the plot was in full swing. Solid ending. Like I said, I enjoyed this.

This book has great body positive messages. Where were books like this when I was young?
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emery is a cool, very fat teen who decides to accept a challenge to change her life. Being fat enough to be termed obese is hard at any age but especially for a teen. Uplifting story that could have used a summing up and reveal chapter. Well written and entertaining despite that.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: summer-17
I didn't particulary like this book, I thought it was a pointless story filled with a lot of stereotypes.
Jess at Such a Novel Idea
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I haven’t laughed quite so hard in a long time, and it is all due to How I Got Skinny, Famous, & Fell Madly in Love. I took the kids swimming (it really is summer now!) and this was my first official pool-side read. While it isn’t all about summer, it is about California, so the sunshine definitely put me right there
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Ken Baker is an American journalist, author, former pro athlete and television news personality. Baker is the Senior Correspondent for E! News as well as the host of E! Online's daily web show Live From E!.

Source: Wikipedia.