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Nice Girls Endure

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Chelsea Duvay is so many things. She's an avid musical lover, she's a gifted singer, and she has the most perfect, beautiful feet. But no one ever notices that. All they notice is Chelsea's weight.

Daily, Chelsea endures endless comments about her appearance from well-meaning adults and cruel classmates. So she keeps to herself and just tries to make it through. Don't make waves. Don't draw attention. That's how life is for Chelsea until a special class project pushes the energetic and incessantly social Melody into Chelsea's world.

As their unlikely friendship grows, Chelsea emerges from her isolated existence, and she begins to find the confidence to enjoy life. But bullies are bullies, and they remain as vicious as ever. One terrible encounter threatens to destroy everything Chelsea has worked so hard to achieve. Readers will be captivated by Chelsea s journey as she discovers the courage to declare her own beauty and self-worth, no matter what others might think. A must-read for anyone who loves to explore the personal but powerful territory of everyday life.

285 pages, Hardcover

First published August 1, 2016

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About the author

Chris Struyk-Bonn

2 books21 followers
I live in Portland, Oregon, even though I am originally from Iowa. I've been in the Pacific Northwest for so long that I can hardly claim to be a midwesterner anymore.

My family keeps me pretty busy and on my toes! I have two boys who have decided that it is their goal and ambition in life to make my days as difficult as possible. We have soccer balls in every room, we have darts stuck to every window, and my cats are losing fur in clumps because of the teasing they must endure.

I love cats. I have three of them and one of them is about twenty pounds. I have been trying to figure out how to help him lose some weight, but he is just not interested, and the treadmill has not been working.

Reading and writing young adult literature is a favorite past time of mine. I try to keep up on trends in YA, and find myself astounded by some of the amazing novels that are available for teens. I am thrilled to see my own book in print and hope that you will let me know what you think of Whisper.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 86 reviews
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,205 followers
August 22, 2016
This is not a fat girl book, and those who are bothered by any discussion of body image, of weight, of raw numbers, will certainly be triggered by a girl who is bullied, harassed, and assaulted (!!!!) because she's obscenely fat at 5'6" and 175 pounds.

It is inauthentic, hurtful, and makes a bit of a mockery of humans who are fat. Like, actually fat. I am shocked this book got published and cannot believe that, in a space where there is so much conversation about this very topic and how terribly done it is in YA, we get another title to add to the "horrible books about fat girls" list.

Not to mention that the only seeing of bullying in the book -- rather than a dry telling-by-telling of incidences and a mother who is obnoxious -- is the assault that happens at about page 150. This is where I stopped reading; there was no discussion of her crippling anxiety, about how wrong and ill-sighted the advice given to her from her mother and doctor and "Calorie Counters" group is, and she herself is a boring character who isn't given anything more to her than being The Fat Girl. I guess she sings show tunes, too, and wants to open a shoe store as an adult which....yeah, I mean, fat girls in YA books get to sing (Empty) or be into fashion (Future Perfect), so that fits. Shove 'em both together.

Totally not worth reading. It's as bad as Empty and Future Perfect. Skip it. Read Dumplin' or My Big Fat Manifesto.
Profile Image for Sara (Freadom Library).
432 reviews242 followers
August 25, 2017
Actual rating 3.5 stars

This review was originally posted at https://freadomlibrary.wordpress.com/

I received an e-ARC of this book from Capstone and Switch Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This is a contemporary, coming of age story that follows a young teenage girl in her day to day life. I had a hard time getting into the story at first but once I was through the first quarter, I became invested in the main character and her life. This story is all about family, friendships, coping with and having anxiety, body acceptance, self-esteem and being honest with the world and with yourself. I think it can be a very powerful book for someone.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
The writing style turned me off at first. It’s simple and the sentences as well as the chapters are really short. I found it jarring sometimes but once I got used to the main character’s thought process it was easier to see the benefits of the writing style. While it reads very young and sometimes immature and childish, it’s also really easy to read. There are parts that are really endearing and as a whole has a very powerful message.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
There’s quite a few characters in this book but the main character Chelsea is definitely the focus of everything. I didn’t like her at first as was the case with most of the book. She was quiet, shy and anxious. Supposedly she was accepting of herself but not enough to stand up against the people who weren’t. However, as the story goes on, she grows and matures in different ways. She’s passionate about the things she loves and honest and open. While her journey was a little rough, I really like her character development and the culmination of her story. All the side characters are special in their own way, whether that’s in a good or bad way. But I felt that most of them were there to help Chelsea through her journey and their presence wasn’t as organic as I would’ve liked. However, they were likable and endearing and sometimes even funny and entertaining which I appreciated and made my enjoy the story a lot more than I probably would have otherwise.

Profile Image for Irene (thefictionthief).
363 reviews7 followers
May 26, 2016
*I received this ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars

Wow okay. Look. This was not a fun book to read. This book was awful and sad and made me angry. But it was important. It's a really important book. So here are my thoughts.

1. Finally, a fat protagonist. In an entire WORLD filled with skinny beautiful-but-somehow-doesn't-know-it female leads, we finally have a big girl heading her own story.

2. She doesn't completely hate herself. For once, this is not the tale of a fat character who hates herself so incredibly much that she loses all her weight and learns to love herself because she is thin and becomes popular because everyone could tell how beautiful she is now that the weight doesn't hide her personality or some shit like that. No. She knows she is beautiful. She doesn't want to lose weight. She's just tired of being bullied mercilessly by just about everyone she's ever met. And that's perfectly understandable. She loves herself, she just wishes society could too.

3. Honestly, my bone to pick- she is not THAT fat. Okay let me be straight with you. I am fat. In fact, the main character and I are around the same weight. And maybe things are different in America, I don't know. But I don't think I have ever really been bullied to my face about my weight or appearance. Sure, people have almost definitely said things behind my back. And I am a little paranoid, so a lot of the time I feel like people are making comments about me or judging me etc. But I have never experienced any of what happens to the main character in this book. Bot at the weight we both share. I also haven't been worried about not fitting into chairs or behind tables or any of those things. We are not excessively obese. We are not so huge that people should stare at us as we walk past or any of that sort of nonsense. So I'm disappointed that the author has decided to go down the path of assuming someone my size and weight (I'm an Australian size 16, I don't have to go to plus sized stores, I have cute clothes thanks) is somehow seen as unable to do the same things and go the same places that thinner people go to.

4. The ending is so so important. You don't need to lose weight to be happy. Yes there are shit people, but there are also wonderful people out there. Trying to be more confident will make things better in the long run- fake it til you make it. If you think you are beautiful, allow yourself to feel that- others will notice too. High school is not something that matters in the long term honestly. Even if you are not okay now, that's alright. Everything you do is alright.
Profile Image for Cynthia (Bingeing On Books).
1,607 reviews119 followers
July 26, 2016
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

So for the first part of this book, I wasn't sure I liked it. I thought it was going to be a two or three star book. The plot started out as kind of blah and I didn't necessarily like Chelsea at first. For the first part of the book, Chelsea basically spent the entire time complaining about her weight. I don't know why this irritated me so much because I do the same thing. Maybe I just related to her too much. Her mom insists on putting her on diet after diet and everyone in her family and everyone at her school seems to love calling Chelsea names and telling her how fat she is. It's heartbreaking and kind of uncomfortable to read about. I also hated how Chelsea just smiled through all the bullying. I just wanted her to DO SOMETHING. But that's easier said than done because I was bullied in high school and said nothing. Apparently, I have higher expectations for fictional characters than myself. Take from that what you will. Now as much as I love fat representation in books and as important as I think it is, I wasn't really sure what the plot was and I guess I was anxious for something to happen. I was also afraid that this would be one of those books where the girl meets a guy and loves herself when a guy starts to or maybe she would only love herself once she started losing weight. I didn't want either of those things to happen.

But then something started happening about midway through the book and I slowly started to fall in love with Chelsea. I felt so bad for everything that she was going through and I hated that everyone in her life (except her wonderful father) was determined to make Chelsea feel bad for who she was. Chelsea always had perfect feet and she adored musicals and she was such a sweet girl. So why wasn't that enough for people? One thing that did help propel Chelsea's character development was the friendship of a wonderfully eclectic girl named Melody. Melody was hyper and intense and so wonderful to Chelsea. She really encouraged her to come out of her shell and develop some more confidence. And for the first time ever, there was someone who needed Chelsea as much as she needed them. I absolutely loved their friendship. There need to be more books with great friendships like that. Yeah, there was a guy that Chelsea was crushing on but he wasn't the one who inspired change and there wasn't a focus on romance at all. I loved that.

This is a very empowering story and is worth the read.
Profile Image for Megalion.
1,479 reviews46 followers
July 3, 2016
Starting out, this book really reminded me of Judy Blume's Blubber. About a grade school obese girl who is viciously bullied and ostracized for her weight.

Chelsea also is oversized. But at least she has beautiful feet. As most bullied students do, she keeps to herself and tries to fly under the radar and avoid the attention of the worst bullies.

She is blessed with very loving parents who clearly contribute to her ability to bear the cruelties outside the home.

To her dismay, a girl named Melody thrusts herself into Chelsea's world when their class is given an assignment to make a short film about themselves.

Melody... oh how can one describe Melody. Chelsea didn't want to associate with her because Melody does NOT believe in kow towing to the social rules. She wears costumes every day. One day she's a cow girl, another she sports the traditional elements of a court jester. To be with her, is to be in the spot light.

Melody latches on to Chelsea to work together on the project to help film each other.

And there the story goes. It's your traditional kind of "finding yourself and learning to love it". To learn that what the bullies say doesn't matter. To identify what is good and real and go with it.

It may be traditional, but it's no less valuable for that. I particularly love the denouement when the class watches their films. I love the minor character we mostly see in the cafeteria.

A good book all around.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for this honest review.
Profile Image for TJL.
569 reviews37 followers
April 21, 2017
I walked into this.

I did.

I looked at the title and said "INMH, don't do it. Don't do it. You know there's gonna be whining about women and weight in here. You know it. Don't go there."

But what can I say? I like reading stories about weight issues, and that means occasionally encountering stories that preach a load of crap.

Let's start off with the stereotyping. Of course- of COURSE- Chelsea's mom is a stereotypical weight-obsessed bitch who has control issues. Of course. Because if she wasn't, then Chelsea- and by extension, the reader- might have to wrap their minds around the reasonably simple fact that being thirty pounds overweight ("at least") is not good, and is an indicator that you might have a problem eating.

The doctor who suggests that Chelsea needs to lose some weight ("thirty pounds easily", which implies that Chelsea is significantly overweight) is portrayed as smug and condescending, just like the mother.

Meanwhile, her dad- who is portrayed as wonderful and loving and supportive- coddles her and doesn't take any of this seriously at all.

Gee, isn't that interesting: Everyone who suggests that Chelsea is endangering her health is portrayed as a superficial, condescending jerkass, and everyone who doesn't care is painted as the good guy.

Seriously, think about this: If your kid was thirty pounds underweight, would you even need to discuss altering their eating habits or finding them medical help? Chelsea falls under the category of people who think that people who are concerned about losing weight are just in it for the damn LOOKS and not for health. Because, again, being thirty pounds overweight at 16 is not a red flag AT ALL.

Then we have the specialized kvetching about how "overweight men are lauded, overweight women are demonized" when she talks about overweight men playing football, or being sumo wrestlers.

Honey. No.

Football players do tend to be heavy, yes. But a lot of that weight is MUSCLE. No, really- anyone watch Kingsman: The Secret Service movie? Taron Egerton, who played Eggsy? He weighed, like, 200+ pounds in that movie. But does he look like it? No, because he gained it in MUSCLE, not FAT. And Sumo wrestlers, as you may have noticed, are a primarily Japanese phenomena. You don't get to take something that's part of one culture and compare it to another very different one to cry oppression.

Because in reality, overweight men get all the same shit that overweight women do. They get called names, they get abuse, they get told they're just as undesirable as overweight women are. The only difference is that if they yelled "sexism!" when it happened, everyone would laugh.

And that. Fucking. Assembly.

Should I start with the fact that the freaking COPS would probably be attending that assembly too?? About how a high school girl's breasts showing up on social media would constitute child pornography, and so the cops WOULD probably be pretty interested in this?

Can we talk about how this got twisted into a victim-blaming issue when the school administration has ABSOLUTELY ZERO KNOWLEDGE THAT THE PHOTO WAS NON-CONSENSUAL?? How the hell are the school administrators supposed to know that the girl in the photo was non-consenting? Teenage girls take nudes all the goddamn time and post them on social media, apparently not grasping that they're responsible for distributing what more often than not constitutes child pornography. How the hell are they supposed to know that this was non-consensual when all they can see is the breasts in the picture??

tl;dr the school administration was painted as some nasty, victim-blaming people who cared more about women showing "self-respect" than protecting victims, and it was entirely unbelievable.

This may seem like a minor annoyance in comparison to all that, but that girl Brandy, one of the What's Your Problem people: What a freaking rude little brat. She's not bold, she's an attention-seeker. She deliberately gets up in people's faces to get their attention, including a girl who is clearly uncomfortable with the attention (Chelsea has a social anxiety problem, remember). But I guess that's okay, because she may not be the YA Designated Best Friend, but her purpose is more or less to give the main character a foot in the ass, which automatically means her behavior is justified.

And oh my God, the bit in the cafeteria where Trevor gets everybody to start snapping their fingers, like you do "at a poetry reading"- oh my GOD, that read like something out of a fake Tumblr story.

A̝̲͉̥̅ͤ̐ͬ͗ͬ̋ͣN̞̪͓̹̗ͤ̇͒ͫ̅͗̐ͧͤD͕̯̹̱̱͆̈́̎̾ ̖ͨ͊͌ͅT̰̹̹ͦ̽ͤͬ̄̔͋ͯH̗̠͍̳͖ͦͭͮ̊̽ͤ͛̈́Ḙ̣͚̲̙̃ͯN̜̻̤̰̟̱̿ͯ ̜̼͍̲̲̥̯͎̯̅̆ͦ̓ͬͬ̚Ț̩̪̫̜̹̔͛͛ͅH̙̦̗̼͎̣ͯ̋ͩ̒Ẹ̮͉̩ͪ̾͌̽̓ͪ͌̽ ͍̜̇̌̉ͬ̄W̙͉͓ͦ̎H̻̖̤̹̟͖̯̭̐͂ͣỌ̥͙͈̔ͬ͗ͥ͋ͮL̼̳̟̪̘̭͇̊̌̂̍̈́ͅȆ̯͓̝͔̬̥̻̟̊̒͆̾ͣ ͕͔͙̦̬͎̮̓̈́̈́B̘̫̼̣̝ͤ̅ͦ͒ͫ̊̽U̪͑ͦ̔̐̇̏̅ͅS̪͍͓̱̮̱̹̦͔̉̽̇̓ ͍̗̗̻̲͛͛C͇͋̎̄ͫ̄͛L͙̺̞͕̠͕̹͎͊͋A̹̤ͩ̈P̘͎̰̹̜̏͌ͨ͂͑ͩ͂̔P̹̼̰̘̞ͮE̟̜̻̤̗̊ͩͯͤ̎ͮ͂ͮ̓D̙͚̝͍̤͗̍̆̄

(EDIT: I was re-reading this and I realized I never gave context for why the snapping happened. It was because Brandy gave some Big Damn Speech about being overweight. Which the whole cafeteria "snapped" to. No, really, I am not kidding, pick up the book and see for yourself.)

But see, the crowning fucking thing of this story that pissed me off was Chelsea's little monologue after she recorded the stories at the Calorie Counters meeting.

She equated losing weight so that you don't get stuck in a turnstile, or a carnival ride, is "giving into the pressures of a half-anorexic world".

And I think that's the point where I really wanted to punch her.

She acts like it's totally unreasonable that the world is not built for overweight people. She acts as though a person being so overweight that they can't make it through a turnstile, something that MOST PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF AND DO EVERY SINGLE DAY- it's not that the person is responsible for that- oh, no no.

It's our half-anorexic world. Well, hell, they're all just shallow. Being so overweight that you can't sit in something that has been DELIBERATELY DESIGNED to fit the average person (and slightly above average size-wise) TOTALLY is not a red flag screaming "You need to seek medical attention, because something is wrong here!" It's everyone else's problem!

She equates that with anorexia. A disease that causes people to waste away because they refuse to allow themselves to eat. A mental illness that people have actually died from.

This is Tumblr-level bile right here. This is but a small step away from Tumblr Fat Activists claiming that thin people are all anorexic, are all mentally ill because OBVIOUSLY you have to starve yourself to be a semi-reasonable weight for your height. I even recall the "it's my genetics' fault" excuse being thrown in here, among other things that more or less implied that Chelsea had no control over her weight. I seriously felt like I was reading "Thisisthinprivilege" at some points (for those who don't know it's an extremely cringey blog on Tumblr that basically says... Well, everything this book says, but much more aggressively.)

Look man. I could care less if Chelsea or anyone else is overweight. I honestly have no fucks to give. Their body, their problem.

But I absolutely take issue with this idiotic message that it's 100% okay to be seriously overweight health-wise, and that really, all of this concern is motivated by looks and body-policing rather than ACTUAL PROVEN HEALTH CONCERNS. There's a difference between saying "overweight people are humans and should be treated as such" and "the world needs to accommodate us because being significantly overweight is EVERYONE ELSE'S PROBLEM, not OURS".

I would be less pissed-off by this book if it wasn't reinforcing that mentality. If it wasn't setting up a dozen different strawmen and knocking them all down with gusto, because that is considerably easier than actually, honestly addressing the issue, which is considerably more complicated than this book makes it out to be.

But that's exactly what it does, and I wish I'd listened to my gut and avoided this book when I had the chance.

EDIT: Something worth adding to clarify the last few paragraphs:

You may have noticed, over the course of the book, that Chelsea's dad references his concerns about not being able to sit in a theater seat. How he prefers to stay in the house (and it's implied it's because of his weight).

You may have noticed that there's so very little detail and weight (no pun intended) given to Bridgette or her reasons for losing weight.

You may have noticed that Chelsea doesn't give a whole lot of thought to the women at Calorie Counters and why they're choosing to lose weight, beyond pressure from a "half-anorexic world" (look guys I read Wintergirls right before this and let me tell you I've never been fond of people throwing the word "anorexic" around for shits and giggles).

You may have noticed that at literally ANY POINT IN THIS BOOK where Chelsea is confronted with the actual physical issues of being overweight- Bridgette's diabetes, her father's obvious issues with being able to leave the house, the other potential health complications that can arise, which Chelsea herself identified to Bridgette- they get completely glossed over.

Anytime we start to veer towards the actual physical dangers of being overweight, skreeee! The author grabs the wheel and swerves away from it.

I'm inclined to interpret this as the author deliberately refusing to address those issues. And I'm inclined to think that way because of how "being 30lbs overweight AT LEAST at 16 is not a good sign and being significantly overweight can seriously impact your health" might poke a hole in the whole "there's nothing wrong with being overweight" argument.

Again: Imagine if it were a girl who was 30 lbs underweight who was saying "there's nothing wrong with being underweight, you're all just body-shaming me". You'd probably look at her with your mouth hanging open and say "Honey, you are literally going to die if you keep losing weight".

That's why I can't buy this book and what it's preaching.

It's just insane.
Profile Image for Diana Prince.
746 reviews41 followers
June 27, 2017
Check out my FULL REVIEW here!

Thanks to NG for the early copy of this book; I'm only sorry I didn't read it sooner. I was honestly afraid to read this book when I first got wind of it. Most of the stories I’ve read with fat main characters have been single issue stories, and are typically doused in either wish fulfillment fantasies or horrible (and extremely triggering) descriptions of eating disorders and abuse. I understand that those are stories that need to be told, but seeing a positive representation of a fat protagonist shouldn’t be like looking for a diamond in the rough. I’m glad that this book exists at the very least to provide some kind of happy ending, albeit an open-ended one, and a narrative that is gentle and understanding as well as raw and truthful. Chelsea is a bright star of individuality that breathes music and soul into what could have easily been another shudder down my spine, and for that I am grateful. This may not be The Book to End All Fatphobia in YA Literature, but hey, it’s been a long time coming anyway.

With highlights like positive representation of a fat MC, a supporting female character with well-represented ADHD, and SO MANY MUSICALS, it's hard not to love this shining star of a sophomore novel. 4.5/5 overall - check it out at your local library or nearest bookstore today!
Profile Image for Anne.
4,351 reviews41 followers
June 27, 2017
Chelsea has perfect feet. And a beautiful singing voice. But that's not what other people notice about her. All they seem to notice is that she is fat. Things are starting to change for the better when she meets Melody who always dresses in the most amazing outfits and encourages Chelsea to join choir. However, all this is subverted by bully Nicholas Dunn and his nasty friends. Chelsea has always been told that she has to be nice - but she also realizes that at some point she needs to stand up for herself.

Due to some teen drinking and sex-related violence, this is better for high school or mature middle school. This is a book with a message and it doesn't try to hide that fact. Mostly the plot pulls the reader along so that the message is not shoved down the reader's throat, however.
Profile Image for Ola.
237 reviews26 followers
February 17, 2017
"My parents tell me all the time that I should enjoy my teenage years, that these should be the happiest, most carefree days of my life, that this is the time for me to become independent and figure out who I truly am. You know what I have to say to that? What a bunch of crap."

Easy to say that to your teenage daughter. But what it this girl is overweight? What is she has to struggle with being and overweight girl in our society everyday? What if she has to listen to kids at school calling her fat and bullying her, what if she has to listen to some perfect looking girls chanting songs that undermine her. What if her mother only sees the fat on her and wants her thinner no matter what? How that supposed to be the happiest, joyous and carefree days of her life?

Chelsea is a teenage girl who loves to sing, musicals and is tiny bit obsessed with her feet and shoes. She is also overweight which is the only thing people see about her and the only thing they base their whole judgment of her. She is trying to work in this world the best she can, she is trying to make her invisible, she is not making friends, she is not raising her hand in classes and she spends her times with her father watching musicals and singing. Special school project about filming your autobiography is a pivotal point of her teenage life. She makes a friend, a friend that sees her, not her weight.

This book sounds very inspirational - story about a fat, insecure girl who turns her world around. But the whole story felt like a description of a movie, a nice to watch, feel-good Hollywood movie. This felt nothing like a real world. I'm not saying that the idea that an overweight, insecure teen girl is changing her life is impossible and some kind of fantasy. It definitely can happen, and I know something about that. What feels like a fantasy is the way the whole story is flattened to a cliché and an easy scenario for a happy end. I felt that Chelsea's insecurities and problems were dismissed to quickly, as if we don't focus on them much we could erase them quicker. Chelsea's thoughts about how she might be perceived by others were bordering on a stereotypes and clichés. And what is even worse, they didn't seem to be true to the character, it didn't work for the character.

" 'You know, if the world around me wasn't fixated on weight, I wouldn't be either,' [...] 'The world around me needs to change, not me.'" 

The easy way to happy ending that really irritated me was part about medication that Chelsea got for her worsening anxiety after a horrific event on the school dance. She was given some magic yellow pill that cured her whole insecurities and bumped up her self-esteem in just an hour. I am not an expert on anti anxiety medications, but what I know is that they do not work like that. You have to wait for effects of the medications for weeks. They don't make you brave and confident in an hour...

I think the main reason I didn't enjoy the book is that I'm not in a target group of teenage girls - I'm older and I know more now than few years back. Probably back then, when I was this fat teen girl I would look at this book completely differently. Now I see too many easy ways into creating an inspirational book with a movie worth happy ending. But if you have no idea what overweight people have to deal with - this book might open your eyes on this issue a little bit. Or if you are a parent of an overweight teen - I think that Chelsea's feelings towards her parents and how they react to the 'fat issue' will be really helpful. For  sake of a mental well-being of your child - read this book.

OlaReadsBooks blog
Profile Image for Abby.
156 reviews42 followers
February 11, 2017
Chelsea Duvay is a high school student who prides herself on her perfectly manicured feet and musical repertoire, but is also quiet and isolated, opting to spend her free time watching musicals with her father. Not having friends isn't her choice-- it's just what happened because it seems that the only thing people notice about her is her weight. She is mercilessly taunted by her classmates and made to feel abnormal and shamed by her own mother. So she's learned to live with her head down, not speaking unless absolutely necessary, finding solace in loneliness. At the start of a new school year, Chelsea is forced to face herself and her lack of self confidence when a new friendship, new bullies, and new weight concerns enter into her life.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. My friend Sara recommended it to me, so I decided to give it a go. I ended up enjoying it for the most part-- there were some definite holes in the plot line and aspects that bothered me, but overall it was a quick, touching read that I finished in one sitting.

-The character development: The protagonist, Chelsea, is loveable and endearing and grows immensely throughout the course of the book. I felt my heart soar when she was happy and come to a halt when she was put in some awful situations. But she grew into a character that I know will stay with me for a long time. Not only did the protagonist find growth, but so did the other side characters-- for example, her mother and her new friend Melody both found profound growth within the novel.
-Touching on sensitive topics: Nice Girls Endure touched on some incredibly serious issues-- body image, bullying, and assault (more on the topic of assault in the Cons section). The writing didn't sugar-coat anything and put words to what so many teenagers (and hell, even adults) have to endure daily.
-Fast-paced, riveting writing: As I previously noted, I finished this book in one sitting, which is quite out of the normal for me. The writing engaged me in a way that made me feel as though I needed to find out what was going to happen!

-Lack of trigger warnings: A fairly graphic assault occurred within this book, but was not alluded to in the description of the book. When I got to this part, I was completely thrown off-guard and thrown into a bit of a PTSD episode from my own assault. Had I known that an assault of some sort would have occurred within the book, I would have been prepared and would not have had such a harmful reaction. I posted about this on Twitter and got a lot of great responses about how books should include trigger warnings. So, if you're planning on reading this book, know that it deals with assault and sexual violence.
-Psychiatric medication inaccurately used as a quick fix. Won't get into detail about this because of spoilers, but you'll understand when you get to that point in the book.
-Too fast to truly get to the core of the serious issues it touches on: While I listed touching on important issues and its quick nature as Pros in the previous section, both aspects together turned me off quite a bit from this book. Because it was so short, there seemed to be a rush towards the end to tie up the loose ends without actually giving the issues and plot the time they deserved.

Overall, a fast-paced, enjoyable read. That being said, the cons definitely affected my rating on this one. 3 stars.

Note: I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
3 reviews
October 22, 2019
Nice Girls Endure

By Chris Struyk-Bonn
The book Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Ben is a very powerful and engaging book. This book was about bullying and being confident with yourself and having respect for each other. It’s a story that a lot of people relate to and go through in the real world and half to face these challenges.

This book is about a girl named Chelsea Duvay a sixteen year old girl is a sophomore in high school. All her life Chelsea loved herself and was happy with herself and her perfect feet but people didn’t see that they only saw what they wanted to see and that was her weight all her life she has been bullied from elementary school to high school and even by her own mother. Being bullied really held Chelsea back from having friend’s keeping quit having anxiety and causes her to break out in a rash. Then one day she meets a girl named Melody at first she thought it was nothing and they would never talk or hang out again but they became really close to each other Melody helped Chelsea come out of her shell and getting Chelsea out of the house. Chelsea started to take medicine to help with her anxiety and it made her a whole different person she started to not care and not break out so bad and stand up for herself and have confidence.

I really liked this book because it had a strong message to it showed to not care what others think of you and the only thing that matters is what you think about yourself and that was Chelsea. She was very quiet and kept to herself she didn’t have any friends didn’t go out and have fun stayed home with her dad and watched movies then as the story went on Chelsea started having confidence and made a film about herself and her life and what she went through in her everyday life. I really recommend this book to kids who are going through the same things Chelsea had to go through it will show you to have confidence in yourself and to not care what others think about you, this is why I enjoyed this book so much.

Destiny Lilly
Profile Image for Pages For Thoughts.
367 reviews28 followers
September 27, 2018
This book is raw and powerful, exposing unfortunate truths about the world and how we view others. The tricky part for most is registering that what they say, do, and act hurt others, and accepting that they are wrong. Nice Girls Endure teaches about body image and themes of acceptance of loving who one is on the inside, not the lie on the outside. Chelsea shows a positive representation and makes readers feel hope. There is a recurring message of not enduring, and not to let them get away with hurting you. And I truly believe that this book could make a real difference in somebody's life. Read my full review at http://pagesforthoughts.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for zainab.
262 reviews145 followers
August 30, 2016
**Thanks to the Publisher for providing me the eARC of this book via NetGalley**

Chelsea is an overweight girl who is taunted all of the time by almost everyone because of her weight. Even her mother pushes her to lose weight without asking if Chelsea wants to or not. Everything she goes through is horrible and the fact that it is only because of her physical appearance is sick and terrible! The result is; she has developed social anxiety. She thinks that everyone will judge her and criticize her, and because of the fear of the negative judgments, she doesn't even try to make friends. Even her talents are overlooked because of her appearance. All she wants from everyone is to acknowledge the talents, the good parts of her despite her flaws. But, instead, she's humiliated, tortured and physically and verbally abused every single day.

This book is really honest. It gives you an insight on what's exactly going on in an overweight person's mind and how they are handling all the bullying and the impacts of the bullying and humiliation. I think that there should be more books like this one where you can read more about how a person with any disability - I'm not calling fat a disability - suffers every day.

The writing style is commendable. I admire the way the author has captured everything in a delicate way. If you want to know how is it like to be an overweight person, you should read this book because it states everything clearly.

I felt like crying while reading the book because of everything Chelsea was going through. It's horrible how much a person is taunted and teased by everyone because of their physical appearance. If I could, I would have eradicated bullying from the world. I don't how these assholes sleep at night knowing that a person went through so much because of them.
One of the reasons why I admire this book a lot is because I also went through the same phase. Alhamdullilah, I wasn't bullied a lot but I was teased a lot. I wasn't an extremely overweight person, but, I weighed more than my class fellows and even then, my weight was joked around a lot. Even my friends joked about it and they never thought about me being embarrassed or humiliated. I'm really a carefree and happy person now, Alhamdullilah but that doesn't mean that I don't remember all the insults and cruel judgments that were passed around.

People are cruel. They like to make fun of others just because it makes them feels superior but it's never right to hurt someone's feelings. It's never right to point out someone's physical flaws. You never how insecure they are and how much they already doubt themselves. Don't give them the reason to feel worse than they already do.

I love this book so much and I'd definitely recommend it to you because people should know how it feels to be an overweight and tolerate all the insults.
Profile Image for Lindsey Gilbert.
29 reviews
July 6, 2016
Nice Girls Endure focuses on Chelsea Duvay, an overweight high school girl who feels isolated by her weight and her social anxiety. The story chronicles her journey of self-acceptance, as she deals with violent ‘bullies’ and learns to build healthy friendships through a video autobiography assignment.

It is difficult to write a proper review for this book, because I wanted so much to like it....but was so disappointed. I was absolutely thrilled when I received my advance reading copy from Net Galley because here was a young adult novel that was going to give us an amazing, fat protagonist in Chelsea Duvay. Body positive teen lit? Yes!

Unfortunately, one of the problems with this book is that according to the facts given about her size, I really have to suspend my disbelief about the level of malicious bullying she receives about her weight. According to the book Chelsea is 5 foot 6 inches and 175 pounds. I understand that our society considers this "plus-sized" and her BMI would put her in the overweight category according to the CDC. I also understand that body shape and bone structure go a long way in determining how you look to the outside world. All those things considered, it’s difficult for me to believe that Chelsea is the kind of fat that everyone would attack the way they do in this book. I mean, I’m ten pounds heavier and three inches shorter and was never singled out so much for my weight in middle school, high school, or college.

The real problem with this book is the treatment of Chelsea’s sexual assault . I add the emphasis because the actions that are described very vividly in this book are assault, not bullying. Reading that chapter was jarring. It was raw and emotional and painful. And I assumed it would change the tone of the book so far. However, I was wrong. The author treats this as if it’s bullying and fat-shaming, just like the little girls singing “fatty, fatty, two by four…” or suggesting she needs a special reinforced bike. But it’s not. It’s not the same at all. She never tells her family. Her mother and father think she was raped and yet as the story progresses they seem to forget all about it. And in the end she ‘stands up to her bully’ by letting him harass her on camera. Reporting is difficult. But if this is a story of a young woman gaining courage and learning to stand up for herself then really have her do it. Let Chelsea be a what she had the potential to be, a character that can help teens gain the same kind of self-confidence and courage that it takes to deal with these issues.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,013 reviews117 followers
October 12, 2016
"I was able to step outside and past my deficiencies and show the world my true self. This is me. All of me. And that may involve being overweight, but I'm more than a number on a scale. I'm more than a sum of my parts.....And that's what truly matters."

Received an arc from Capstone at BEA Chicago 2016!!!

Heartbreakingly beautiful. My heart aches in my chest for Chelsea. Bullying is a powerful disaster that needs to be stopped and this book will lead that in the right direction.
Chelsea is large and in charge. She is kind of short and has a few love handles to spare. The kids in school definitely let her know that too. This sets her anxiety into high gear, along with the rash that follows.
With the cruel torment of her fellow evil classmates, she feels that she will never belong. Until Melody sweeps her up in her arms and gives her courage.
They start with doing a school project together to hanging out almost every day and being the wind beneath their wings for each other.
Raising money for a new camera for film class, she decides to help with the annual school dance. And the unthinkable happens that sends her into a tailspin. That devastatingly destroys her.
What she focuses on is her amazing beautiful toes and her love of the musicals, but is that enough to satisfy Chelsea in her life as an overweight beauty with an even bigger voice?
This book was tremendously overwhelming. With the bullying and what those boys did to Chelsea just breaks your heart.
Growing up, I was a bigger girl and no one seemed to bug me about it. Well, that could be because people were afraid of my friends and I. The kids these days are ruthless and have no morals when it comes to bullying.
I think all bullies and people affected by bullies need to pick this up. This will open your eyes on how people are really treated.
Before you open your mouth, maybe you need to ask questions and get to know that person. and most of the time people belittle others just to make their lives feel better. when you're down, you bring everyone else down with you and that needs to stop.
Before you bully anyone, just imagine someone saying these awful things to someone you love. It doesn't feel great now, does it?
Profile Image for Kristi.
140 reviews21 followers
December 30, 2016
I deal with pretty severe anxiety and have bounced back and forth between being overweight and not for most of my adulthood, so I was eager to read this one. I can't say I absolutely hated this book - Chelsea was an endearing character and I liked her new friend Melody who deals with ADHD - but it has a lot of problems as well. Some of Chelsea's inner judgments of other students, while probably realistic to what a bullied teen would think, are unfair, and they go mostly unquestioned in the text. Characters outside of Chelsea and a couple of others are broad stereotypes of "typical" high school types, and some of the school scenes just don't read very realistically to me.

Also, as someone who's dealt with anxiety and depression and is on medication for both, I was really bothered with the way the "fix" to Chelsea's social anxiety is portrayed. Her doctor prescribes her a pill which magically starts working the first day she takes it, and she suddenly has the courage to speak up in class and confront some of her bullies. Let's get this straight: medication for mental illnesses DOES NOT work that way. I am grateful every day for the medication that allows me to live my life, but it isn't a cure-all, and it sure as shit didn't work perfectly the very first day I took it, with no side effects. It's irresponsible to portray it in this way.

But my biggest problem with this book comes early on, when it's mentioned that Chelsea is about 5'6" and weighs around 170 pounds...uh, that isn't fat. Not even close! (I'm 5'3" and at my heaviest I weighed more than that, and if anybody even noticed my extra weight they would have thought I was slightly chubby, not the whale Chelsea keeps getting compared to) Yet the book has her constantly getting stuck in chairs and other people noticing and commenting on her weight. There's a need for overweight and yes, FAT characters to be shown in a positive light in YA, but claiming that someone like Chelsea is huge isn't going to make anyone larger than her feel good about themselves.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,815 reviews494 followers
June 24, 2016
"Nice Girls Endure" probably should come with a warning label. Warning:This will cause you to flashback to your bullied past. As a person who had very low self confidence regarding my size in high school. I really could relate to Chelsea and the feelings of inadequacy that she struggles with. However ,even I did not suffer quite the cruelty that she endures during the course of this story.

Because of her experiences, some readers may find it hard to feel empathy for Chelsea. She's conscious of her weight and that it causes a particular perception about herself, but she doesn't want to do anything about it. As well, she's built up a wall of distrust regarding the other students(and adults) in her school. In response to this, Chelsea has the tendency to paint everyone with the same brush. Let me be brutally honest. That's exactly how it feels. And it doesn't matter what others could say. Obviously,the author gets that. It's just Chelsea's thinking.

What is wonderful is that Chelsea does meet a few people that do make her see the world and herself in a different light.I appreciated those moments of lightheadedness that we are given.

But I do feel the story does tend to fall short in some spots. Chelsea 's relationship with her parents and their own personal way of handling their daughter's heartache was a little wanting in resolution. Also,there's plenty of adults and students who act as bystanders and they sort of chirp merrily away at the end of the story and face zero ramifications for the roles they did play in the story. I know that's often the realistic way in which it plays out, but I was hoping the author would tackle it.

Overall, I may have some niggling issues with the story, but I believe that the author "did get it right" in illustrating the pain that students like Chelsea deal with every single day.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced e-book galley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for CeeMarie.
322 reviews12 followers
July 27, 2016
Okay, I think the writer has a wonderful way with words and story. This was a powerful story. It deals with teenage insecurities and being overweight. It deals seriously with bullying and harassment. I feel this can be compared in some ways to another YA book that deals with an overweight main character, Dumplin. I think this is better done by far.

I would have given this 4 stars except for two things. I did not like how Chelsea deals with the serious incident in the book and think there should have been bigger repercussions for the guy.

And mainly-she is portrayed as severely overweight. The story and the bullying and abuse make it seem she would be obese, but when she goes to the Dr we learn she is 5'6" and 170 lbs. Well, I get she is only 16 but this is not obese. Or severely overweight. This is overweight, true, but this does not seem to correspond with the amount of trouble and what everyone thinks and says about her weight. Her weight is the factor that effects everything in her life and her story and this seemed off to me. I had a hard time believing that everyone she was around would treat her that way based on that weight. I had a hard time believing all of these people would be so out loud cruel to anyone like in this book.

This is a good story over all and it makes you think, and it feels more realistic in parts than other stories that deal with these issues. But it does border on unrealistic too. I'm conflicted on it and probably other thinking it. It was a good read and I do really like how she grew over the book and the ending was sweet.

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jenefer R.
268 reviews47 followers
July 6, 2016
Title: Nice Girls Endure
Author: Chris Struyk-Bonn
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
Format: E-ARC
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I received an e-ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

I requested this book entirely on the aesthetic of the cover. Sometime it happens, we've all been there I'm sure...right? The colorful flower and the title intrigued me. I dove in head first with no idea what I was reading.

Chelsea Duvay is a girl who just wants to enjoy the things she loves and survive the crazy trip we call high school. Chelsea is also a big girl. As someone who has been overweight her entire life, reading a story with a protagonist I can relate to on that level allows me to see how far young adult literature has come since I was a teenager. I am so glad books like this exist now because I can share the with my students. Chelsea is a real person. She loves musicals and show tunes, she can sing, she thinks her feet are the nicest part of her body, she has a flawed family (don't we all?), and she's a bit of an introvert.

This is a coming of age story that deals with bullying, anxiety, and the pressures that surround being a teenager. Struyk-Bonn's writing was engaging, emotional, and readable. I felt for Chelsea, in part because I knew what she was dealing with. Being a teenager is tough, but being a teenager who doesn't fit the mold is even harder. If you have ever faced bullying or felt like you just didn't fit in to the preconceived notions our society levies towards teens then maybe this is a book you should pick up.
Profile Image for Julie (Bookish.Intoxication).
762 reviews32 followers
March 27, 2016
I received this novel from NetGalley.

This novel was something completely unexpected, but wow was it amazing. I love the plot, the characters, the writing style and the issues this novel faces head on.

The relationships 'Chelsea' has with her family, and friends, mainly 'Melody' and her dad, are amazing, they feel real. Those connections are what makes this novel what it is. The relationship with her mum is completely original too, not forced, an honest representation of a relationship that is strained due to other people expectations. Amazingly created.

The writing style of this novel is incredible, it pulls you in from the first page. I think because it reads as a diary, helps to get into the story, to immerse yourself in 'Chelsea's' world.

This novel tackles so many issues and problems teen girls face at school and deals with them all in the perfect way. Showing readers that not everyone can ignore it, that reacting is okay, that showing you aren't okay, is in fact okay. I love that this novel is humanising social disorders and making them normal.

This book was an amazing read, I definitely will be buying myself a copy when it is released! A great read!
Profile Image for Melinda Howard.
408 reviews59 followers
July 15, 2016
*This book was received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

This was a great book that had a realistic and honest main character. It was quite powerful and moving as it detailed the struggles of many overweight people in a society that only values those people who are skinny through the eyes of a sixteen year old girl struggling with her own weight. I think that although Chelsea didn't report Nick for what he did, and this will probably earn the book some negative reviews as no one should have to endure abuse, this is still an inspiring book as Chelsea finally comes to accept herself for who she is and love herself. I agree wholeheartedly with Chelsea's assertion that people shouldn't have to change to fit in with their world; the world should change. Although there is a lot more tolerance for diversity in today's society, more work needs to be done so everyone feels comfortable in their own skin; there should be more people like Melody and Trevor in the world. Overall, this was a really great book with a great message for young adults.
Profile Image for Aliyah Grace.
319 reviews76 followers
July 29, 2016
This book was pretty good. If you have issues with body image you might even find this triggering. The bullying throughout this made me REALLY uncomfortable and the way Chelsea's mom treated her was extremely relatable on a personal level. I liked the way Chelsea dealt with her anxiety and body image.

Things I didn't like:

I have to say that the whole thing with Chelsea having nice feet was super weird. So. Weird. And it was mentioned way too often. People generally hate feet. I don't get why the author didn't just make her have really nice hands instead. Maybe the author has a foot fetish? But that's none of my business. Also, the author had the perfect opportunity to have Chelsea and Melody date. For a minute I really thought it was going to happen. They would've been perfect. Sigh…I need more lgbt representation.
Profile Image for Forever Young Adult.
2,928 reviews423 followers
August 3, 2016
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: Sketchy
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 2
Talky Talk: Missing the Point
Trigger Warning: Near-Sexual Abuse
Bonus Factors: Keith Mars Award for Awesome Dadhood, Musical Love
Factor: Foot Fetish
Anti-Bonus Factor: Fat Shaming
Relationship Status: Here For You, But ...

Read the full book report here.
1 review1 follower
November 8, 2018
The book Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn is a very engaging and intelligible story. It displays a sense of acceptance in who one is on the inside, rather than what lies on the outside. It’s a story that a lot of people can relate to when dealing with lack of self love, and really gets people motivated to do great things.
This book is about Chelsea Duvay, a sixteen year old girl in her junior year of high school. Chelsea has many wonderful qualities that make her special, from her love for musicals and singing to her beautiful, perfect feet. However, despite all these traits, people only notice one thing about her. They only notice her weight. Throughout her entire life she had to endure comments from bullies, taunts from the neighborhood girls, and even judgement of her own mother. As a result, she tells herself to keep smiling, be quite, and don’t draw attention. Then one day a class project pushes a friend into her life, the energetic Melody. Although their friendship might seem unlikely, they end up fitting together like yin and yang. This newfound friendship helped Chelsea start enjoying her life. Yet even with this new friendship, the bullying and judgement didn’t stop. As people try to ruin everything she worked hard for, Chelsea must find a way to show the world that she can overcome the obstacles in her journey.
I really like this book because the message of the story is insightful and intuitive and it is shown through the strong character development of Chelsea Duvay. In the beginning of the book Chelsea stayed low and didn’t want anyone to notice her, but as the story progressed Chelsea gained confidence and even made a film revolving around all the hardships she had to endure in her everyday life. Chelsea showed people that loving yourself is important and everyone should understand that as well. In the book Chelsea went to a calorie counters meeting to help her diet and lose weight, but after awhile she realized that she didn’t hate that she was overweight. In fact she loved who she was, it was just everyone around her who couldn’t accept that. As she understood more about how she felt she came out of her shell and became an advocate for overweight people. The film she made to portray the difficulties of her life helped people understand that loving yourself can be hard when others constantly put you down. Chelsea really took a big step in life and changed the world, just a little bit, and I think the message Chelsea displays throughout this book is something to really admire.
3 reviews1 follower
April 1, 2019
The book Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn is about a sixteen year old girl named Chelsea Duvay who is a great singer and has perfect feet but most people at her school only notice the extra weight she has on her body and nothing else. They don't see the personality, the fun and the love she has but instead bullies bully her for what she looks like on the outside. Her mom wants her to lose the weight but her dad just wants her to just live her life. I enjoyed this book because it was very powerful, it showed the struggles of what people go through. Throughout the story the audience learns to love yourself no matter what, to love you for you.

This book is about an overweight sixteen year old high school girl who has a big passion for singing and is in love with her perfect feet. With her mom worrying about her daughter getting bullied for her weight at school she takes her to something called Calorie Counters. Chelsea is fine with the way she is but her mom urges her to go and participate, she has no will and no determination to lose the weight so she ends up just quitting. At school a boy named Nicholas Dunn likes to tease her about her weight calling her Chubby Chelsea. Her one and only genuine friend that she met in class Melody, encouraged her to go to their all school dance where she then saw Nicholas. Nicholas and his little group of friends corner Chelsea and forces her to take off her shirt to take pictures of her and expose her. Chelsea doesn't budge and tries to fight their power but in the end they won and took all pictures of her body. In the end she learns she needs to stand up for herself, find the self confidence and loves her for her.

One thing I didn't like about this book was how her family specifically her mom and her grandpa just shames her for her weight instead of giving her love and supporting her, but I felt this on a totally relatable level. I enjoyed that the book telling us that we don't have to change but the society, the world around us does and that no one should get treated like Chelsea did. Another reason why I really liked this book because I feel like those who have gotten bullied or fat shamed can maybe read this book and gain more confidence in themselves, see that they are worthy. Lastly I enjoyed how the author didn't sugar coat the topics the book mentioned, letting the readers know what people, mostly teens go through making people aware.
3,795 reviews106 followers
January 8, 2017
Switch Press and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Nice Girls Endure. This is my honest opinion of the book.

Being an overweight teenager can make high school mostly unbearable. When Chelsea Duvay meets Melody Smiles, however, her life starts to change in both positive and negative ways. Having been the one to stick mostly to the shadows, Chelsea ends up getting some unwanted attention. Being bullied almost daily is one thing, but the event that occurs after the school dance is more than Chelsea can bear.

People come in all shapes, all sizes, all personalities, and all temperaments. Chelsea is a teenager who just wants to live her own life and not be bothered, ridiculed, or bullied. My favorite character in the book is Melody, as she not only provides the support that Chelsea needs, but also makes her realize that the sentiment goes both ways. Nice Girls Endure raises important social issues such as bullying, sexual assault, and self esteem issues due to social anxiety. The author did a great job of characterization and created an impactful story for Chelsea. I highly recommend Nice Girls Endure to teen readers who have either suffered in silence or have bullied someone for being different. This book provides a great vehicle for parents to open a dialogue with their teens.
Profile Image for Lisa Bentley.
1,336 reviews16 followers
September 30, 2018
Oh, what a truly lovely, but awful, but brilliant, but heartbreaking book.

Nice Girls Endure by Chris Stryuk-Bonn is the story of Chelsea, a young girl who is overweight. That isn’t all she is but it is the first thing that people see and the last thing that they seem to remember about her. They don’t know that she loves musicals, shoes, painting her toenails and spending time with her dad. Most people can’t (or won’t) look past her exterior.

When things start to change for Chelsea she learns that sometimes the good comes with some bad – now she has to learn that she doesn’t deserve (or need to accept) the bad.

I was genuinely taken aback by this young adult novel. At times, I felt broken by the cruelty that Chelsea faced. At times I had to put the book down because it was too much to take. I am so glad that I have read it and that I get to encourage others to read it to because in the age of Instagram and body shaming we need to start loving ourselves more and more importantly we need to start being kind to each other.

Nice Girls Endure is a truly spectacular piece of writing.

Nice Girls Endure by Chris Struyk-Bonn is available now.

For more information regarding Chris Struyk-Bonn (@ChrisStruykBonn) please visit her Twitter page.
Profile Image for Becky.
97 reviews5 followers
May 26, 2017
I'm so torn with this one! I really wanted to like this book because it tackles body image, anxiety, bullying, and the struggle of not feeling like you matter. These are all things that would have strongly appealed to me as a teen.

BUT this book has two major problems. The first being that our main character is sexually assaulted, and absolutely nothing is done about it. Chelsea never gets the confidence to report what was done to her, but she obtains the confidence to join the school choir. Chelsea never stands up to the boys who treated her horribly, but she puts together a 4 minute video with some clips of her being bullied by various people for a class project. I was expecting a stronger resolution and never got it.

The second problem I have is when Chelsea begins using anxiety medication to deal with her anxiety. She describes herself when taking the medicine as fuzzy and out of it, and this magically makes her confident enough to start participating in class discussions, film people bullying her, and try out for the school choir. I'm pretty sure that's not how it works but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Profile Image for Alexandria.
1 review
December 31, 2018
I really enjoyed this book.

I found that Chelseas character was easy to empathize with and I like how I was able to get to know who she was and what she was about almost immediately. Her feelings are made very clear throughout the book which I really enjoyed. Chelseas experience echo those of many her age and weight in the world and I think that this would be a great book for any young adult in high school to read.
I loved the quick pace of the writing, the short chapters and the progress made in uncovering the plot of the book. At time reading this novel I forgot everything else around me and really felt like I was there experiencing what was going on with Chelsea and melody as well.
The character of Melody is someone that I think everyone would want as a friend and it brought a smile to my face to read their interactions.
I found it refreshing that she didn't want to change and she was comfortable with herself, I only wish she had some more justice for the way she was treated.
I loved this book about would recommend many young adults to give it a read.
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