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Good Luck with That

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Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it's coming to terms with the survivor's guilt she's carried around since her twin sister's death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it's about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother's and brother's ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson's dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

480 pages, Paperback

First published August 7, 2018

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About the author

Kristan Higgins

58 books10.5k followers
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than twenty novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. If you want to receive a free short story and be notified when Kristan releases a new book, sign up at kristanhiggins.com.

Kristan enjoys gardening, mixology, the National Parks and complimenting strangers on their children. The mother of two entertaining and wonderful humans, and the grandmother of one perfect child, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, cuddly dog and indifferent cat.

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Profile Image for Deanna .
647 reviews12.4k followers
July 8, 2018
WOW!

In my opinion, this was an emotional but phenomenal read!!


Georgia, Marley, and Emerson met at Camp Copperbrook, a weight-loss camp when they were in their teens. Now they are almost 35 years old. Georgia and Marley have been contacted by Emerson who asks to see them. Emerson knows she’s dying and wants to see her best friends one last time.

When they see her they are both shocked at how ill she is and how heavy she has become. They feel guilty that they hadn’t kept in better contact. They wonder why she didn’t reach out for help from them but deep down they know why….it was because Emerson felt ashamed. And when they visit her for the last time she hands them an envelope “To be opened after my funeral”

After Emerson’s funeral, they open the envelope and are surprised that it’s just one page long. They recognize the paper though…it’s a list from their time at Camp. A list they made called “Things We’ll Do When We’re Skinny”. It says things like - eat dessert in public, hold hands with a cute guy, shop at a store for regular people, etc…. These were all things that felt out of reach for them when they were young and overweight. Things they felt only thin girls got to enjoy. Their conversations often had the words “When I’m skinny, I’m going to….”

Marley is now a personal chef who delivers home-cooked meals to a variety of different people. Her clients love her. Marley comes across as happy …all the time. But is she truly happy? Or is it just an act she puts on to hide her pain? “ The ache of feeling half of a pair instead of a whole person.”

Georgia left her job at a law firm four years before to become a nursery school teacher. Being overweight is unforgivable in Georgia’s family. Her brother and mother NEVER let her forget it. Georgia had been married but was unable to accept the love her husband offered.

Marley and Georgia decide they will try to complete the list Emerson left for them.

But will they realize what Emerson was really trying to tell them? What she wanted for her best friends more than anything else?

Interspersed throughout the novel are passages from Emerson’s diary. It includes things that happened when she was a child as well as the life she had been living over the last four years.

Honestly, parts of the book were painful to read, especially the first few chapters and Emerson’s diary. I felt for all of the characters. I could relate to a lot of what they were going through. I think a lot of people will. I have struggled with my weight but I don’t think you have to be overweight to understand.

I don't agree with how people have attacked the author (in most cases WITHOUT HAVING READ THE BOOK). You don’t have to like every book you read, we’re all different. You don't have to read the book. But attacking the author and telling others not to read it (especially if you haven’t read it) is a bit much in my opinion. Some reviewers felt that Kristan Higgins shouldn't write about an issue she knows nothing about. Number one: We don’t know what the author (or someone close to them) may have struggled with in life. Number two: Most authors who write about serial killers aren’t serial killers so does that mean they don’t have the right to write about one?

In my opinion, this book was AWESOME.

Yes, it’s a book about weight and body image. However, it’s also about love, the bonds of friendship, relationships, self-acceptance, and other important issues.

I love the way the author writes. The relationships between many of the characters felt genuine. It’s also obvious the author has done her research. Like I said, some of the book is painful…I cried. But there was a LOT of the book that had me laughing out loud (seriously there was some crossing and knocking on wood, a spa trip and a magic show that almost had me in stitches).

There are definitely some vile characters who say some horrible things (just like in real life). However, there are also many kind, thoughtful, fantastic characters…including some of the most adorable four-year-olds ever. Kristan Higgins strikes an excellent balance between seriousness and humor.

Good Luck With That ” was a fantastic read. A deeply moving and satisfying novel by an excellent author.

I'd like to thank Berkley Books and Kristan Higgins for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
August 20, 2018
Kristan Higgins continues to impress with a story that speaks true to life—one that begs the question, why are we as women so hard on ourselves?

With her three latest releases, Kristan Higgins has taken a few steps outside of her typical box and transitioned from what I would consider rom-com storylines to those with somewhat heavier subject matter. Ever-present is her humor and the excitement of a budding romance, just with an even deeper and resounding message. Good Luck with That continues the trend. In fact, I would say, she’s taken an even mightier step with this novel.

Wit and charming characters in tow, Kristan Higgins approaches self-acceptance and body image in a brutally honest way. Good Luck with That is by no means an easy read, so prepare for some self-reflection and hard truths. The thoughts, feelings and struggles these characters endure are ones that will resonate with women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, if they’re willing to give it a chance. Through Georgia and Marley’s eyes, unfolds the story of two women who learn to love and accept themselves just as they are.

Georgia, Marley and Emerson met in fat camp as teenagers and became fast friends. Going to colleges close to one another and eventually living in the same town, Georgia and Marley are naturally closer. With time and distance, it’s been a few years since they’ve laid eyes on Emerson, making it a complete shock when they find her now morbidly obese and waiting for death to come as her body shuts down. Her dying wish, for Georgia and Marley to take on the list of challenges they dreamed up at fat camp, things they would do once they got skinny. Albeit, the list is a little silly—they aren’t life-affirming experiences, but rather things like “get a piggyback ride from a guy”—it’s the ensuing journey that pushes the women outside of their comfort zones that really matters.

When I said this wasn’t an easy read, I meant it. It’s uncomfortable and emotional watching these two accomplished, kind and bright women berate themselves incessantly for not being the “perfect” size, and you know why? This felt deeply personal, like the author crawled inside my head and exposed my secret—that I too have fallen into some of these same thought patterns and imposed ridiculous expectations on myself. Marley and Georgia somehow made me feel less alone, while simultaneously forcing me to acknowledge that the “If only” game is a futile exercise. With age and wisdom, I've come to the realization that some of the best and most memorable moments in my life have come when I was completely uninhibited—less hyper-focused on my perceived flaws and more in-tune with my surroundings—which isn't always easy, but worth striving for. I think there is an incredibly important message here ladies: love starts with yourself.

There are also some exciting appearances within the pages, fellow Kristan Higgins fans. If, like me, you read and adored If You Only Knew, you’re gonna be happy. This story takes place in the same posh town, Cambry-on-Hudson, and not only are the ladies neighbors with Jenny and Leo (squee), but Marley is new friends with Rachel and her cutie pies.

Considering how important I think the message is here, I can’t end my review without mentioning the disheartening amount of criticism I’ve seen for this book. Believe me, I totally get that everyone reacts differently to storylines, characters and writing, but what I don’t understand is how can you have an opinion or legitimate gripe when you haven’t read the book. That’s right, a large number of the negative reviews that have been posted for Good Luck with That are from people that HAVE NOT read the book either in its entirety or at all. Some of these reviewers have even resorted to bashing the author for not understanding how it feels to be fat or labeled this as fat-shaming. As someone who has read every word, I can assure you, this is not fat-shaming. For anyone that is considering this read, I would say, set aside any preconceived notions you might have and give it a chance. For all the of naysayers, I urge you to read Kristan Higgins's candid (warning: tears are pretty much inevitable) account of her own struggle with self-acceptance, posted here.

***Thank you to Berkley for a providing me with a copy, in exchange for my honest review.***
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
771 reviews12.1k followers
June 12, 2018
4.5 stars

Good Luck with That takes a sensitive and compassionate approach to the very uncomfortable topics of body image and eating disorders. This emotional and compelling read focuses on friendship, family, and love. Most importantly, it’s about self-worth and self-acceptance.


Georgia, Emerson, and Marley met when they were teenagers at a weight loss camp. Years later they reunite, but it is not a happy reunion as Emerson is on her deathbed due to obesity-related issues. She urges Georgia and Marley to complete the “Things We’ll Do When We're Skinny” list that they made while at summer camp. In order to complete the list, Georgia and Marley must face their fears and let others see who they really are.

Georgia, Emerson, and Marley put on the appearance they are happy, but internally they are dealing with a constant struggle. We learn about what led Emerson to the point of no return through her diary. All three are dangerously obsessive about their weight, to the point it consumes them. It costs one character her marriage and another her life.

This is my first Kristan Higgins book and it will not be my last; her characterization was exceptional! I didn't want this book to end--I was obsessed with these character’s lives. This is a very sad and dark read, but there’s a lot of humor and sweetness woven in. I found myself laughing and crying pretty often. I appreciated how these characters didn’t miraculously shed the pounds and have their lives change for the better, which is something that I have seen happen in other novels.

I’m not going to lie-- there are several uncomfortable, hard to read moments. Perhaps in some ways, it is too real and hits too close to home. At times, generalizations are made about weight, and while this can be irksome this is a work of fiction and not a scholarly text. The wonderful thing about books is that readers can offer different perspectives and points of view. While some might glean one message, others might not; thus, what works for one reader might not work for another. In order to fully understand this book, one must read it in its entirety before making any judgments. This reader found Good Luck with That to be a moving and meaningful read!

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group for sending me an ARC of this book!
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
685 reviews4,625 followers
June 13, 2019
4.5 Stars for this sensitive, compassionate and emotional read on body image, eating disorders, self-worth and ultimately self-love and acceptance.

"Life was kind and full of chances. Sometimes we didn't take them. Sometimes we hid our truth and acted out of fear. Sometimes we turned away and closed the door."

For me, Kristan Higgin's Good Luck with That was an emotional read. Georgia, Marley & Emerson met at Camp Cooperbrook in their teens. This wasn't your typical summer camp - it was a weight loss camp. These three friends struggled with their weight throughout their lives and all the physical and emotional issues that go with that.

Higgins did not shy away from difficult topics here. She tackled body image, eating disorders, obesity and was honest and frank about the mental and physical health issues that play a role in them. Each of these women battled her own "demons" so to speak as they struggled with their weight. It was difficult not to identify with them in some way. I don't know anyone who hasn't looked in the mirror at some point and was plagued by insecurities, self-doubt and a litany of self-criticism.

The bulk of the book involves Marley and Georgia in the wake of Emerson's death due to obesity related health issues. Through Emerson's journal entries we get a peek at how she ended up morbidly obese and it was heart wrenching. It was too late for Emerson to make changes in her life, but she didn't want the same ending for her two best friends. So on her deathbed, Emerson gives Marley and Georgia a letter to be read after her funeral. Enclosed is a "Things We'll Do When We're Skinny" list they made during their final summer at Camp Cooperbrook. Emerson's dying wish is that her friends promise to complete this list. Why? They didn't see the point but because they had made a promise, they agree to try to see it through.

The list ends up being a life changing experience for Marley and Georgia. As they cross off items, they face fears, make peace with their pasts, learn to trust and love themselves and ultimately find that ever elusive feeling of self-acceptance.

"Good luck, I imagined the universe saying kindly, infusing the phrase with gentleness and faith. Good luck with everything."

For a book that was definitely emotionally heavy in what it covered, it left me feeling both positive and hopeful. Thank you Kristin Higgins for writing and sharing this compelling and emotional read.

A special thanks to Kristin Higgins, Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for sending me an advance copy for my honest review.
Profile Image for Ana Mardoll.
Author 7 books387 followers
January 17, 2018
Good Luck With That / B077CNXY2B

[Trigger Warning: Fat Hatred, Eating Disorders]

I want to say upfront I did not finish (DNF) this book. There are 39 chapters and a prologue, so 40 chapters total. I read the first 7 chapters, 2 chapters in the middle, and the last 4 chapters--13 chapters total I read, or almost a third of the book. I also heavily skimmed the parts I didn't read. I was looking, as close as I could, for something that would make this book stop being hurtful. In the beginning, in the middle, and in the ending, I only found more hurt.

This book is being advertised as "body positive" and it maybe is... for a certain type of body. This book makes the case that the line of what is a socially unacceptable weight should be moved upwards a bit; that girls who shop at plus size clothing stores can still be pretty and sexy. But there's a hard line in place between what is acceptable "normal-fat" (a term the protagonists Georgia and Marley use to distinguish themselves from from their dead friend Emerson) and what is "too far gone" fat. Fatness at higher numbers is stigmatized heavily, and called "grotesque" in text.

I want to make a point about numbers here: the book is very careful never to give weights for Georgia and Marley, though we can guess at their sizes based on the clothing shops they visit and how they describe their bodies. Emerson, the dead friend and cautionary tale, is not provided that courtesy; we learn actual numbers for her weight at the start of her diary and then later near the end. The narrative very clearly considers these numbers too much, too big, too unhealthy, and pushes the idea that such numbers will lead to loneliness and death. This is NOT a novel which is accepting to fat people in the higher ranges, and I found that very hurtful as a fat person myself.

Some trigger warnings need to apply to this book. Weight is given for Emerson, along with her blood pressure and various other vitals. Calorie counts for food are given in multiple places. There are careless, casual, and almost callous mentions of eating disorders; characters will drop anorexia ("Every fat girl starves herself at one point or another. ") or bulimia ("Once upon a time, I hadn't been above sticking my finger down my throat.") into the text without warning. I am a surviving bulimic, and that quote occurs in chapter 5, which drove some of my choice to DNF. One of the middle chapters I read was a very disturbing and (in my mind) entirely unnecessary scene of Emerson binge-eating pizza while crying. This is not plot relevant (Emerson is, at this point, long dead), except to show how Emerson became fat--which is only "plot" if you think fatness needs a driving reason behind it.

The plot: Emerson dies and asks her two childhood friends to fulfill a "When We're Skinny" bucket list they once put together in fat camp (which is portrayed as a lovely, idealized summer camp where fat girls go to make friends). Much of the bucket list no longer applies (for example, Georgia was married to a hot guy so she's nailed the "Hold hands with a cute guy in public" entry), but Georgia and Marley realize they're unhappy and haven't been living their best lives because they're so obsessed with losing weight. They decide to stop being unhappy and eventually do so--though we are reassured at points that they're still exercising. Marley runs, kickboxes, and does Zumba and yoga. She's also curvy and has proportional breasts, so we can be assured she's a Good Fatty and not a Bad Fatty. Georgia is not actually fat, as best I can tell and to her own admission in points of the narrative; she used to be fat and believes that past has indelibly marked her ("Once a fat girl, always a fat girl."). This means that the fattest girl in the book (Emerson) dies as an impetus for her two thinner friends to live their best, most joyful lives.

Spoilers: Marley marries a guy who is one of her clients (she's a personal chef) whose declaration of love reveals he abused his position as a client to gratify his desire to see her (he would deliberately take a long time writing her check and fuss over checking each meal, so she would stay in his house longer with him); he asks Marley during an episode of TLC's stigmatizing "My 600-Pound Life" television show (which is mentioned at least 3 times in text and all the characters seem to watch) whether *she* will ever weigh 600 pounds. I think we're supposed to like him in spite of all this; I do not. Georgia's love interest is her ex-husband, to whom she confesses that she broke their marriage with her eating disorders and weight obsession, but she's decided to not do that anymore. If she receives any counseling for the serious illness that disordered eating is, I could not find any mention of it. Emerson is a (Dead) Bad Fatty, so her love interest is a "Feeder": a man who fetishizes fat people and gets off on watching us eat.

A word about Emerson: she dies in Chapter 2 to kick off the plot. What we see of her throughout the book are in diary entries she wrote in the four years prior to her death. These are lavish scenes of the hatred she experiences as a fat person, but these scenes also attempt to show her spiraling into deeper, badder weight. These diary entries feel like cautionary tales--"don't do this or bad things will happen!"--and were deeply triggering for me as a fat person. I do think the author feels compassion that Emerson is treated badly by society, but any compassion here sits alongside a very strong insistence that fatness is a choice she is making, and that her choices are bad. Emerson obsesses in her diary entries over a thin version of herself, an "Other Emerson", and how much better her thin life would be than her fat life. Her last entry before dying is a love letter to "Other Emerson", apologizing that Emerson couldn't be her. This was profoundly disturbing to me as a fat reader, and a big reason why I had to stop.

I performed a live-read of this book on twitter, and you can find them under the hashtag "ANAGLWT", or you can read them on my blog under the tag "deconstruction (glwt)". Another reason why I stopped reading was because I was not the only one triggered; dozens of followers wrote me asking that I stop because they were deeply upset by the book quotes I was posting. I do not think this book would be safe for *anyone* who identifies with Emerson or is in one of the higher fat ranges, and I would urge anyone of ANY size who has eating disorders to not read this.

NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book.

~ Ana Mardoll
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,561 reviews5,820 followers
July 7, 2018
First of all. I saw the controversary surrounding this book and that's like a siren call for me.



See I'm a bit a chunky girl and I saw all the outrage about fat shaming..etc. So I thought what the heck. I am gonna read it.

Oh and before we start. I review like I speak and not everyone is gonna like that so if I veer out of whatever is politically correct at this moment..sorry...not.

The book is about three women who meet as teenagers at a fancy fat camp. They all become friends and promise to stay in touch forevers. Because BFF's and all that.
Emerson doesn't live as close as the other two Georgia and Marley, so she doesn't stay as much in contact. Plus, she wants to lose more weight before she sees them again.

The horribly sad thing is...(not a spoiler-this happens early in the book) she ends up dying. She leaves a list that the three of them made back at camp about the 'bucket list' that they would all do when they were no longer fat. She wants the other two to complete the list.

Georgia is a former lawyer turned pre-school teacher. She grew up with a skinny WASPy mom and a ASSHOLE of a brother. She was constantly put down because of her weight and even feels like her father didn't fight for custody because of her weight. She ends up divorcing her husband because of her weight issues.

Marley is a personal chef with a big wonderful Italian family. She puts on that happy face at all times even when she hurts. She carries the guilt of her twin dying at a young age on her shoulders without even realizing it.

The book follows these two women through out their deciding on doing the list. At first I did think it was sorta fat shamey. Then I took a few minutes and realized that "You know what? This shit happens." I've fat shamed other overweight people. I can admit that. I'm fat and I've fat shamed my damn self...just like these women do in this book. Is that right? No BUT IT FRIGGING HAPPENS.

There are so many instances that I COULD relate too in these characters story that somewhere in the middle I felt like I knew both of them. I LOVED them both and sometimes I wanted to smack the snot out of them.
There are some instances where you cheer for them when they stand up for themselves and then my eyes had a piece of dirt in them at some parts of the story. The thing is I TOTALLY related to them.

Fat shame or cry outrage all you want. It HAPPENS. Now I'm old and could give two shits about what someone else thinks about my rolls now but as a younger woman I went through losing a ton of weight and still being that fat girl in my head.

Now for why I didn't five star this sucker. The whole love interest stuff. The hell no. The men in this book were supposed to be all wonderful and all that but I think they both probably needed throat punched a few times.

This is a total read it if you want book. If you don't want to then don't. It's a frigging book. I liked the heck out of it..and I'm a bitch.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review
Profile Image for JanB .
1,114 reviews2,181 followers
September 23, 2018
First of all, I want to thank all the reviewers who left nasty tweets and one star reviews of this book on Goodreads before it was published and before the ARC was available. The controversy you stirred up played a factor in me responding with an enthusiastic yes when I was contacted by the publisher to ask if I wanted a copy. I’m so glad I did! I truly hope the author sells tons of copies as a result.

It was much ado about nothing in my opinion. I respect differences of opinions but to leave a one star review while admitting you haven’t read the book or even held it in your hands should not be allowed on Goodreads and the "reviews" should be removed.

But onto the book….

Body image, weight, self-confidence, eating disorders…is there a woman alive who hasn’t dealt with these issues on some level? If not with herself, then with a family member or friend?

In this story, three teens, Emerson, Marley, and Georgia, meet at “fat camp” and remain lifelong friends. The following is not a spoiler as it happens in the first pages: Now in their 30s, Emerson tragically dies from the effects of morbid obesity and asks her two friends to fulfill the bucket list they wrote as teens of things to do when they are “skinny”.

As I read, I was invested in the lives of these women: their struggles, their emotions, and their growth. The fat- shaming, the discrimination, and the lack of self-confidence was heartbreaking and difficult to read. It was hard to read the thoughts of women who have a negative self-talk tape running constantly in their minds, but it made me empathize and understand how painful it is to live this way every single day of your life.

The friendship between the women was heartwarming and the message of self-love and self-acceptance is one women of any weight can identify with.

What didn’t I like?

1. Why is the mother of anyone with an eating disorder, whether it’s anorexia, bulimia or binge eating, often portrayed as controlling, demanding, and critical? Guess what? Some girls have loving, close relationships with their mothers yet still have body dysmorphia and issues surrounding food. Can we please ditch the old-school thinking that is a damaging, hurtful stereotype?

2. At 480 pages the book was simply too long and some of the side stories didn’t appeal to me

But I liked the overall message. This is a sensitive examination of women, weight, body image, and self-acceptance that I think any woman can identify with on some level.

Are the criticisms of the book from those who stirred up the controversy valid? I suggest you grab a copy, read it, and decide for yourself.

• Recommended for fans of chick-lit that deals with heavy subjects

• I received a physical ARC of this book from Berkely publishing as well as an electronic copy from Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,155 reviews36.3k followers
July 21, 2020
5 Tear-jerking Stars**

Updated 7/21/20* A buddy read with Kaceey that brought me to tears. I loved sharing one of my favorite books with you Kaceey and hope you enjoyed it. This book speaks to me in more ways than one. This was the second time I read it and yes, I cried again.. and again. I love these characters to pieces..
What I said in the end of this review still holds true today. We all experience things in life that make us feel embarrassed or unhappy with ourselves and our body image. This book showcases exactly that. I am still impacted by the same issue I was a few years ago, it has gotten worse.. the difference is that I have accepted it and that has made all the difference. For those of you who are struggling with something, you are not alone. In the words of Fredrik Backman (from Us Against You).. (sorry KH): "Those are my Brothers and Sisters. They Stand Tall if I Stand Tall."

Now, on to my original review.

**

Kristan Higgins, you wrecked me. I admit that I didn’t think it could happen, but with “Good Luck With That” - you accomplished exactly that, and you outdid yourself too!

This novel centers around three characters, Emerson, Marley and Georgia, all of whom bared their souls and left me absolutely bereft. “Good Luck With That” deals with sensitive topics including body image, self-acceptance and self-esteem. It is something every woman has dealt with one way or another. At times this book is both so desperate and yet so brave.. it pulls your heart right out of your chest and leaves it gaping.


Emerson, Marley and Georgia met at camp as teenagers. Not just at any camp, but at fat camp. There, they formed an unbreakable bond. Through the years, they’ve kept in touch, all still struggling with the same issues. Marley and Georgia now live in the same town, in Cambry-on-Hudson, New York, with Emerson living a bit farther away. Little do Marley and Georgia know, Emerson has had an even harder time with her weight than they have. Unfortunately, they find out when it’s too late, when they get a call from the hospital Emerson has been admitted too, when she has moments left to live. Right before she passes, she hands Marley and Georgia the list. The list they made in camp: “Things to Do When Your Skinny” - along with a directive - to live life and to be happy. The list includes things like: eat dessert in public, have a guy buy you a drink, get a piggyback ride from a hottie and tuck your shirt in, to name a few. Marley and Georgia are terrified. Grab life by the horns? Be happy?! And yet, it was Emerson’s dying wish, and so they embark on quite the little experiment.

Marley is a very successful chef who has a meal delivery service and her clients love her. Though she has always been overweight, Marley is comfortable in her own skin and she always has been. Marley is fun, vivacious and voluptuous and yet, Camden, a firefighter, and a friend of her brother, Dante’s, the one man she wants to date, doesn’t quite see her that way. With the list in hand however, Marley becomes bolder and is convinced that she can make Camden want her just as much as she wants him.

Georgia, on the other hand has never felt like she measured up. Even though she is at her skinniest, Georgia will always see herself as the fat girl. She has never felt good enough for her mother, or anyone else, not even Rafe, her ex-husband whom she loved with all of her heart. A former lawyer, Georgia is now a nursery school teacher who loves her job, she sees the list as a way to conquer her fears and find her sense of self.

Told from the perspectives of Emerson in the past, and Marley and Georgia in the present, “Good Luck With That” is a heartbreaking portrayal of what it is like to be in a place where you are unhappy with yourself and your life, and where, you are desperately yearning for something better. Kristan Higgins’ you brought tears to my eyes more than once and yes, they did indeed runneth over. Emerson, Georgia and Marley’s struggles were so very real, I felt as if I knew each of them, as if I were having dinner with them, chatting, laughing and crying over life’s trials and tribulations and spilt milk. This is now the third novel I have read by Ms. Higgins and this has far surpassed anything she has written before.

I think most, if not all women have experienced times in life where they were unhappy with themselves or where, there was something about their physical appearance that they were ashamed or embarrassed of. I can attest to that. For me, I am going through something now: something where, there are times that I look in the mirror and cry, though it is not here or there. What I have learned is to be thankful. Thankful for what I have, right here and right now.

A huge thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Kristan Higgins for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on Edelweiss, Goodreads and Twitter on 9.2.18.
Profile Image for Kendall.
626 reviews623 followers
August 7, 2018
Another happy pub day for this amazing book! Kristan Higgins you're amazing! <3.

This book could not have come at a better time in my life!

I knew the moment I read the dedication for this book that this was going to be one of my stellar reads "This one is for all of us who've cried when looking in the mirror. Here's to never doing that again."

I think most women can relate to feeling insecure with their body image at one point or another... and sadly on a daily basis some women feel this every day.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. Kristan Higgins continues to impress the hell out of me with her talent. This is such a beautifully written novel about love, friendship, strength, self-worth, and self acceptance. Wow... I was absolutely in awe with this book and am sad that it had to end.

I was so invested in the lives of Marley, Georgia, and Emerson. Higgins ever so beautifully intertwines some deep rooted issues of body image within these three characters but in the end what I loved the most was the strength and self worth/acceptance we see in the women.

I definitely can see how this will be a controversial book and some may not do well with this book. But, the message behind this one was so beautiful and truly left an impact on my heart. This message hit home to me right at the perfect time. I needed this!!

5 stellar stars!!!!

Thank you so much to Elisha and Berkley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Publication date: 8/7/18
Published to GR: 6/25/18
Profile Image for Simone.
57 reviews
January 19, 2018
There's been a lot of discussion about this book online, so I moved the ARC to the top of my pile to read it -- largely because I'm a bigger woman, and I wanted to have a say about a book so clearly relevant to my life. I've seen the twitter threads about the book being fat-shaming and fat-phobic, and I'll be honest, I was prepared to hate it. I didn't.

Important to note: Yes. The inciting incident for the whole story is the death of a fat woman. Yes, she's very fat. Yes, she has any number of health issues and eventually dies from them. Yes, her doctors and the two protagonists of the book blame her weight for those health issues. None of this was a problem for me, but of course, YMMV.

Yes, after she dies, the two remaining characters (both of whom struggle with their own weight, and are large enough to consider themselves fat), agree to complete a list of items the trio made when they were children at fat camp -- "Things to do when we're skinny." No, none of these things are that outrageous. They're things like "hold hands with a guy in public," and "run wearing tight pants and a sports bra," and "shop at a store for normal people." A bunch of people are angry about this list, its language, the fact that it's ordinary stuff that fat women are able to do, or the idea that fat women are normal and that item is therefore offensive...

But here's the thing. This list worked for me. It worked for me because I've MADE this list. I made it when I was a teenager, and I've made it again and again as an adult. And I am really very proud of the women online who are up in arms about this list because they have no trouble getting a guy, or wearing what they want, or thinking of themselves as beautiful or normal. I'm really very happy for them. I wish I felt that way, too, but I don't. I feel like there are normal women, and then there are women like me, who can't even dream of shopping at Banana Republic. I feel like there are normal women, and then there are people like me who would never imagine going to the gym in a sports bra without a shirt over it. I feel like there are normal women who attract men instantly, and then there are girls like me, who attract men with our big personalities, rather than our big bodies. But in the dead of night, I still don't think I'm sexy. I still don't believe my partner likes my body. And I have definitely ruined more than one relationship with my obsession with my own weight (which is the arc of one of the protagonists in this book).

Is all this right? Of course not. It's terrible, and the product of about 30,000 terrible social realities. It's the result of years of being told that there's something wrong with me because I've literally always been overweight. Since birth. It's the result of thirty-something years of dieting, desperate to lose dress sizes so I could fit into clothes bought at Banana Republic, like that tucked-in white button down & cigarette pants would make me more sophisticated, smarter, wittier, more talented. I understand a lot of readers will find this silly and juvenile, but for me...it rang incredibly true.

FWIW - I often see mediocre reviews on romances about plus-sized women when the arc of the story is about her own insecurities. "Why is she so insecure?" they ask. "Why doesn't she love herself more?" "Why can't she see she's beautiful?" Ugh. Because that's part of being a fat lady for many of us. That's the whole ballgame for many of us. We don't look like models and we can't shop at Banana Republic and we feel bad about ourselves every day because of it. And we want the other life badly. We want to be Other Us. Just like Emerson (the character who dies) wanted to be.

Kristan Higgins has harnessed all this frustration and fear and desire and put it all in this book. And it was incredibly REAL to me. Incredibly honest. Right down to the terrible secrets -- the ones where I judge myself against other women, smaller and bigger than me. I saw myself on page after page of this book. And there were moments when I really hated seeing myself. And moments when I really enjoyed it.

I think Higgins is very funny, and I have loved a lot of her books -- this one is no different. It just felt more important to me in a way, because I could deeply relate to the characters. I don't really love women's fiction as a rule...romance is more my thing, and I'm taking a star off because I really wish there were more romance in this one. Even though the little romances in here are very well-written (because Higgins, of course), they could have been bigger and more emotionally fulfilling -- one has a significantly more fully fleshed out hero than the other. But the book isn't really about the romances.

Anyway -- I probably wouldn't have reviewed this book at all if not for all the outrage on Twitter about it -- but I wanted to because there aren't that many books about plus-sized women out there, and we're not a single bloc, so the success of this book for one fat lady is not a predictor of it for others. I wish there were more books for us, showing a myriad of experiences, but there aren't -- I hope this one will inspire others to write more.
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books980 followers
August 21, 2018
This is a many-tissues, cry-all-my-eye-makeup-off novel.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met at a weight-loss camp when they were 18-years-old. When Emerson dies years later, she leaves a letter for her two best friends to live the lives they aspired to back when they were 18.

With many misses but a few hits, Georgia and Marley do their best to cross off the items on the list they made when they were teenagers.

Slowly, the reasons for the three friends’ unhealthy relationship with food is revealed. (We hear from Emerson through her diaries).

I’ll admit there were a few moments where I thought, where is this going? How can people think about their weight THIS much? It does get a bit tedious to be in these characters’ heads that think endlessly about being fat. However, keep going. I promise, it’s worth it.

One thing I never thought about is how dismissive doctors can be toward overweight people, attributing any pain to their heaviness or their weight loss.

Kristan Higgins is an amazing writer. Highly recommend.

For more reviews, please visit: http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
790 reviews1,747 followers
July 10, 2018
A highly sensitive theme dealing with weight issues and struggles.
 

An emotional journey of three friends ( Emerson, Georgia, and Marley) who have struggled with their weight and how it has affected their self-esteem. The friends have had to deal with many detestable attitudes about how society views people who are over weight. It truly made me sad to read about the hostility that some people directed towards the women merely because of their size. I was invested in their story from the first chapters.

The girls met as teenagers at a weight loss camp and continued their close bond into adulthood. Emerson tragically dies from complications due to her weight and the other two friends are left feeling devastated (this was heart-breaking to read about).  They agree to re-evaluate some goals in their lives and begin a journey of making some changes. We learn more about Emerson through her diaries after her death and really get a peek at the years before her death. She describes in a letter how she wants her two friends to be happy and healthy in life. 

I do understand this is a difficult subject, but I liked the friendship/bond that the three woman shared and the moments of tenderness and humor that the author included. There are many people who struggle with self-acceptance and it can be a huge road block to happiness. In the end, it is a story of love, self-acceptance, friendship and a reminder to treat others with respect.

Thanks to the publisher for providing my Arc.  
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,166 reviews885 followers
August 21, 2018
This is the story of three friends: Emerson Duval, Georgia Sloane and Marley DeFelice. They met at a weight loss camp when they were 17-years old and forged a bond that continued into adulthood. Each woman deals with their body in different ways, all seemingly tied to issues stemming from some form of childhood trauma or body shaming by those who should have loved and nurtured them.

The stories were fascinating as each of the women presented separate insights into the issues surrounding being overweight. We begin with Emerson whose morbid obesity becomes her downfall and we get her story through her journal entries. Despite her own obsession with her weight, we get to know her ideals, hopes and dreams through those entries. She challenges Marley and Georgia to now do those things on the list they created at the camp that outlines all the things they would do when they became “skinny.”

As Marley and Georgia take on the list, they’re forced to confront issues holding them back and keeping them from being their authentic selves. Sometimes the situations were heartbreaking but what resounds so loudly and clearly are the essences of these women. The author gets it right in each circumstance as I’ve either lived some part of their history or lived with someone who grappled with weight.

I found the story brilliant and brave as the author speaks from her own personal experience. You have to read the entire story (some of the critics have cherry picked passages and made assumptions) to truly get the power and triumph of these women. I didn’t grow up with weight issues, but grappled with them as an adult because of the body shaming I experienced in my youth. The negative dialogue in your own head can be even more destructive than others, which only compounds the problem.

This is an important and time relevant story. I’m glad Higgins chose to write it.

(FYI, this story is loosely connected to If You Only Knew & On Second Thought as they are set in Cambry-on-Hudson, New York.)

I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,396 reviews7,277 followers
September 12, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“We live in a skinny world.”

“Really? Because I live in America, and we are NOT a skinny nation, hon.”


I know this was an ARC and I’m not supposed to quote it, but put two tears in a bucket and motherfuckit because that up there is G.O.L.D.

I have to admit that the ONLY reason I wanted to read this was due to the controversy. Please note I didn’t bother looking at the actual “oh this is so offensive and fat shamey” rant until AFTER I finished reading.

Now that I’m done what do I have to stay about the book? Well, let’s address the good and then we’ll get to the notsogood:

First, perfect title is perfect because whether it’s actually said out loud or simply thought in a “shaming” thought bubble – “Good Luck With That” is often the reaction people who continually say they’re going to change something about themselves – but never end up actually being able to (or being happy about) – receive. Be it losing 100 pounds or quitting smoking or chopping their long hair into a pixie cut because “it’ll be super cute now that it’s a different color” (<<<< can you figure out which one is me????) Anyway, right or wrong it sometimes happens.

Second, these friendships. We’re talking #lifegoals here people. These women were UNCONDITIONALLY supportive of each other. There was no “Oh Lord girl, you are TOO FAT now and don’t tell me it’s not because you eat two large pizzas every night” or “you’re going to get a divorce? You KNOW no one else is going to love your fucked up self” or “Really? A chef? You seriously think people are going to want to get a ‘healthy’ dinner delivered from a fat girl?” THAT is shaming and there was none of it.

Third, the list . . . .



(Please note this list is something that was written by a child, but seriously I never realized how monumental tucking in a fucking shirt could be until I got fat.)

Fourth, Kristan Higgins pretty much just GETS. IT. I’m not going to get banned from freebies forever by posting highlighted segments, but she gets it.

Okay, so what didn’t I like?

Well to begin with: If you’re not a fan of Chick Lit stay far farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr away because this thing is so chicky it might as well have come with a free lifetime supply of tampons.

It also felt like it was about 47,000 pages long. It could definitely stand to take a turn on the chopping block.

Next, all three of these women needed massive amounts of therapy stat. The one who dies (not a spoiler, the whole story only happens because she dies like instantly) is the only one who actually acknowledged not only her unhealthy relationship with food but the reason behind it. The two survivors? Both had mommy/daddy/sibling issues and needed professional help since they were mid-30s and still crippled emotionally by their families.

Which leads to the WHY??????? If anyone wants to clutch their pearls and get offended, THIS is what should offend them. Why couldn’t at least one of them JUST. BE. FAT. Again, Emerson (the one who dies) eventually tells her reason and it’s one that makes sense. But seriously I’m like 99.99999% sure Marley would have never been “skinny” due to genetics because she was presented as someone who worked out and ate healthy and etc., etc., etc. so WHY ADD ON THAT TWIN BULLSHIT?!?!?!?! And if I really want to go ahead and re-write this author’s (perfectly fine) story for her, I kinda wish Georgia would have been presented as someone who was always not truly “fat” (more like a “plus size” 12-14 because her mom actually WAS a fat-shaming asshole) who ended up with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder because of it. However, that’s not how it was and they were all fucked up due to their families and apparently fat people can’t just be fat without superbadawfuls so like I said get pissed if you want because that was sort of grating.

Then, every single man in the thing was either an uggo (excluding potentially the brother’s husband, but he wasn’t in it enough for me to confirm that thought) or so jacked up that THEY needed therapy too.

Finally, wanting to change other people. Broken people SHOULD NOT be throwing stones from inside their glass houses FFS. Georgia with the nephew and Marley with Will. Annoying and unfortunately the moment never came when either woman was told to STFU and fix herself first before trying to fix someone else.

And again, super chick litty. But the message wasn’t meant to be a negative one so here’s to never being disappointed with what you see in the mirror : )

Now to address what started this whole mess . . . . .



Sit the fuck down. To other readers: PLEEEEEEAAAAAAASE be careful what bandwagon you jump on. People who get offended by something THEY HAVEN’T EVEN READ (and no, reading/skimming 1/3 of a book is NOT reading the book) are probably not well-informed when it comes to what was supposedly so offensive. And like 99.99999% of the time someone is “triggered” by some bullshit I instantly channel my inner Inigo Montoya because they keep using words that don’t mean what they think they do. Also, authors who get ranty about other authors aren’t necessarily looking out for anything but their own best interest. Half the time (and that’s being kind) they could give a shit about feminism or fat people or spreading some good word about love and light. Instead they bash a book only to follow said bashing in short order with an announcement that THEY have written something about the same topic and EVERYONE (*cough their mom, grandma and aunts cough*) says it’s sure to be a hit. The majority of the rest of the time THEY ARE STILL SIMPLY CAUSING AN UPROAR IN AN ATTEMPT TO GARNER ATTENTION FOR THEMSELVES/SELL THEIR OWN (*cough probably self-pubbed cough*) BOOKS. Bottom line, be leery of the person crying BBA if there’s a chance that THEY may actually be one.

EDIT TO ADD: I just scrolled through the top reviews and I'm happy to see people who actually HAVE read it are starting to counteract those uninformed 1 Star ratings. I don't give a crap if someone doesn't want to read this or ends up thinking it was garbage, but I'm more than a little tired of authors being told what stories they aren't allowed to write. And also thank you Goodreads for putting that block button right up at the top so I have easier access to it : )

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Marialyce (absltmom, yaya).
1,912 reviews727 followers
September 5, 2018
5 serious yet loving stars

I have so much book love for this story. There are some books that strike just the right chord, have that fling with your emotions, let's you see a world that you never imagined, that just can't be put down, because they are that good and Good Luck with That was one of those books for me.

Connections that one makes in life are so important. The way we look at ourselves, our self love and acceptance can flow from family, friends, acquaintances, but mainly it needs to flow from ourselves. Meet Georgia, Marley, and Emerson, three young girls who meet at a camp for overweight people. They are linked together by more then their weight, for they are friends, there for one another, battling the way in which society sees overweight people, trying to find their way in a world that makes them invisible. The girls, grown to womanhood, have experienced a ton of emotions that set them and us on an emotional roller coaster ride. One minute we are laughing, loving the characters and the secondary characters, (well maybe two of them not so much) and the next we are crying along with them as they struggle with the mirror, with the perceptions of others, with the embarrassment of being overweight. Their body is their enemy and society too, is their attacker. They try to lose the weight and yet as one of them succumbs to her idea that this is just what she deserves, the other two battle and struggle to accept what they are, where their life is going, and a society that sees them as gross. They diet, they purge, they exercise, and yet the demons still chase them and seem to ruin any success they have in love relationships. To never have been kissed, to be ignored, to never date in a world where they are hit in the face with an ideal they can never achieve is both sorrowful and bitter.

From the very first page, this book entraps you in their world. It makes you see hear and feel what it is like being overweight in a society that values the stick thin, not caring at all about how others who are not thin feel when they are made fun of, not included, and ever so ashamed. Kristin Higgins hit the reader with hard facts and feelings. She climbs inside along with you to feel, to see, to be an overweight person. She makes her characters real, her characters funny, her characters sad, and as we walk through their lives we stand beside them with our feelings so very close to the surface.

So, I encourage all of you to read this book. It will make you never look at an overweight person in the same way. It will allow you to feel their pain, to understand their emotions, to know that within each person there is such goodness waiting to come out if only one can break through the barriers of stereotyping and being fed an image generated upon a society dedicated to being thin. Well done Ms Higgins, very well done.....

Thanks once again to my local library for having this most poignant book available for this reader.
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
Profile Image for Cheri.
1,688 reviews2,241 followers
August 7, 2018
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!
As this story begins, these three girls, Marley, Georgia and Emerson, whose friendship was formed at Camp Copperbrook – a camp where girls from the ages of eleven to eighteen went for weight loss – are about to “age out” of this camp. This is their last day at camp, but not the last of their friendship.

”That’s the problem with perfect moments. They end.
Though no one would say it, all three girls knew things would never be quite the same again.”


Soon they will be busy with their own lives. College, jobs, life. Marley and Georgia end up sharing a place to live in Cambry-on-Hudson, a short ride from Manhattan that oozes charm. Emerson, on the other hand, lives in Delaware, and doesn’t like to travel, so they haven’t spent as much time with all of them together.

And then Marley and Georgia are standing next to Emerson, and she’s lying in a hospital bed, making them promise they will do … something, and they agree, even though they aren’t sure what they are agreeing to do. They are handed an envelope, which is to be opened after her funeral. A list they made that last day at camp, “Things We’ll Do When We’re Skinny.”

Georgia, a former lawyer who is now a preschool teacher, is the daughter of a woman who is always cruelly critical of her weight, her clothing, in essence – her. Her brother is just as bad, but she puts up with him because she loves his son. Marley, who runs her own catering business, is a chef, creating delicious and nutritious meals, which are delivered to the homes of her customers. Marley still suffers from the loss of her twin sister, who died when she was four. They each have their own issues, still, with their weight, and with how others treat them because of their weight. The judgment, the looks, the comments.

Through Emerson’s diary, Emerson tells her story, as well, and we learn about the last years of her life leading up to her death.

Everyone has their own issues, their own internal dialogue about what they hate or fear, what they wish they looked like – or what they think they look like, a quick judgment on someone just walking by, even. An obsession over size or shape or anything that began as a way of being motivating can become damaging. And not everyone has the same ideas about an ideal “shape,” which change as often as fashion.

Higgins’ story, to me, is another story that exemplifies the trend of “Up Lit” with its ultimate message being one of empathy rather than denigration, a promotion of understanding rather than shaming, a message of kindness, on our connection as human beings rather than how we appear to others. A sensitive topic handled with gentle humour, love and charm.

Friendship. Love. Family. Relationships. Forgiveness. Life.



Pub Date: 07 AUG 2018

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Penguin Random House
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,721 reviews6,664 followers
Read
October 2, 2018
As both a behavioral/mental health clinician and a woman who has struggled with her body image, I see this book from two points of view. As a clinician, I do believe there are significant triggers that may be difficult for some readers. This is common with sensitive subjects. Just like with suggested trigger warnings for topics of sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc., themes related to disordered eating and destructive body image issues warrant them as well. But as a woman who has personally struggled with shame and a distorted body image, I viewed the overall story as both validating and empowering. I loved the message that you can't wait until XYZ happens to start living your life with intention. Start now. Don't let another second pass! I also firmly believe in the moral that you can't give or receive love in a healthy way until you love yourself first. These are quality life lessons, people!

Overall, there are many powerful and worthwhile elements to take away from this reading experience. I do fear that some of the readers who need these messages the most may be the ones who will have difficulty getting through some of the triggering vocabulary and the characters' dysfunctional perspectives/self-talk. In Kristan Higgins's defense, I don't know a way around this. She obviously didn't either but she took a risk and shared it with the world anyway because she knew someone needed it. Read it or don't, but I can tell you with certainty that Kristan Higgins would not use her hard-earned platform for harm. If you decide that it may be best to pass on this particular title, then please consider choosing one of her many others and familiarize yourself with one of the most heartfelt storytellers you will ever read. I promise it'll be a beautiful experience. ��
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,232 reviews2,933 followers
July 9, 2018
Within the first 20 pages I knew I was already emotionally invested in the story. Georgia, Emerson, and Marley met at a weight loss camp as teenagers and sixteen years later Emerson has passed away but left the women with a final request. She wanted them to complete the tasks they had written on their list of fears from the summer they spent at camp. This is a story of learning to accept and love yourself.

While the premise of a dying friend asking their loved ones to go out and live their lives to the fullest isn't exactly a new idea, I do like how it was done in this book. While most of the story was focused on Georgia and Marley, I thought some of the most touching and heartbreaking moments of the book were the diary entries of Emerson which gave you a sense of everything that led to her death. I also really enjoyed how Georgia's teenage nephew felt like the fourth member of the group as he dealt with feelings of not belonging.

A minor criticism I have is I just wish the author wouldn't have played it so safe. Towards the end I thought she was setting it up so not everything was wrapped up so neatly which in my opinion would have given it a more realistic feel. This is totally a minority opinion though as most people will have no problem with how everything ended.

Overall, a wonderful read and the type of book you can't wait to share with a friend. Have the tissues ready because there are quite a few emotional moments.

I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Heather.
370 reviews16.7k followers
September 4, 2018
It does talk about some deep issues such as weight, emotionally abuse and more but I thought Kristina Higgins handled them well.
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Now as an overweight woman myself this is a very conservational and sensitive topic. I love who I am and my personality but I don’t love my body. In fact, I hate it..so to read about women who went to fat camp and also struggle with their bodies was tough.
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Throughout reading this book I had a lot of the same thoughts these women have and I did enjoy their journey.
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So this book deals with tough things and body image but I liked the journey it took and at the end these women were happy with who they are on the inside and the outside. .
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75
Huge thanks to @berkleypub for sending me a copy!
Profile Image for Kristy.
990 reviews140 followers
September 5, 2018
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends since they were teens. They met at Camp Copperbrook, a weight-loss camp. They've stayed close ever since, so when Emerson passes away, Georgia and Marley are distraught. Emerson asks her friends to complete a list they made at camp, forcing both Georgia and Marley to confront some long-held fears. Marley still feels guilty since her twin sister, Frankie, died when they were four. And Georgia, has been scarred by the exacting conditions--especially about weight--passed on by her mother and brother. And she's hurt after the ending of her marriage. But Georgia and Marley are determined to complete the items on the list, for Emerson, even if it means getting past their comfort zone and learning to love themselves just as they are.

I'll be honest. I wasn't sure I'd like this one in the beginning. The tell-it-like-it-is weight talk is jarring at first, so are Marley's many, many references to her dead twin. I was confused about who was talking, eventually having to make myself a little cheat sheet to keep Georgia and Marley and their various family members/histories straight. But, pretty quickly, this book grew on me, and became a very powerful, very heartbreaking, very realistic, and very lovely read.

This isn't an easy-to-read book. It's starkly realistic and tells it like it is. Weight, life, reality, friendship, parenting, and more. It's tough to read and touches on the insecurities we all have deep inside ourselves, plus how cruel the world can be to those it deems "different." It made me very sad at times.

Luckily, the novel is also infused with Higgins' trademark humor. The woman can write a darn funny scene and even with the serious topics she covers here, there are plenty of funny times and warmth throughout this novel. She can make piggyback rides humorous. And running! Marley and Georgia become real people throughout the course of this novel, and so much of their friendship is witty and hilarious. I really grew to love them.

The book is also powerful in so many ways. Yes, it can be powerfully sad and heartbreaking at times, but it's also just powerfully well-done. I really think this is a book everyone should read, especially parents or anyone who spends time around teens. Georgia's teenage nephew, Mason, quickly became one of my favorite characters. His storyline has nothing to do with weight, but everything to do with self-acceptance, and I totally adored him.

There's so much going on in this book. The power of friendship. Struggling with weight and loving yourself. And the idea of, What happens when we get everything we want and we still aren't happy? So much resonated with me. The book will make you laugh. It will make you cry. Parts of it are predictable, but in the total Higgins fashion of exactly the way you want them to be.

Overall, this book was nothing like what I expected, but that's totally OK. It's really a powerful, tough, emotional read, but completely worth it. By the end, I was completely immersed in the characters' lives and the story. I found it to be heartbreaking and beautiful, and I certainly recommend it. 4 stars.

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Profile Image for Karen.
794 reviews1,002 followers
March 6, 2019
**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley**



Well, I don’t even know how to review this one. I will say that it was a very sad and painful book to read. The story follows the lives of three girls that met at summer camp as teens, where they developed a life-long friendship that would prove to follow them for the rest of their lives. They shared a kinship of circumstance that bound them together without judgement. Kindred spirits facing their fears together. Up to a point. Then they grew up, and the plight of one would change the lives of the other two.



The story brings some very controversial but very real issues to the forefront; things that are very difficult to hear for some and almost impossible to imagine for others. But these are real issues. Things that should be discussed, because they affect all of us. Body image has such a huge impact on self esteem, and while society continues to idealize physical perfection, the reality is that obesity affects about 35% of the population in America alone. The effect that this has on the human psyche is often overlooked or just ignored because no one wants to talk about it. But I can tell you it is devastating to the self esteem of all of those involved.



I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I can say that I have worried about my weight since I hit puberty, and I can most definitely relate to the struggle these characters faced. Not to quite the extreme, but still. I have heard that many people are upset by the book, and are refusing to read it. And that’s fine. It is by no means easy to read. Some parts, I will admit, I didn’t enjoy reading at all. I was tempted to skim right over them. Sorry, Emerson, you know what I'm talking about. But I didn’t. And in the end I’m happy to have powered through.

Food, my eternal foe and best friend, had come back to ruin me.




Being loved, feeling safe. . . being first in someone's eyes was not something I understood.


The book is very well written. But I am left wondering where the author got her information. Was it research of real life individuals or conjecture? Because at times I found the descriptions very crude, and at times, offensive. And then again, sometimes real life is just that, crude and offensive… in fact probably much worse. It took a lot of guts to write this book, and I applaud the author. I think she did a phenomenal job of taking a painful and quite honestly, a taboo subject matter, and turning it into a heartwarming story of inspiration and self-actualization.



I loved the characters. All of them. Ok, except for maybe Hunter, and "Big Kitty," and maybe a few others. I also loved the ending, although it was hard earned. The romance in it more focused on learning to love oneself. And let me tell you it was not soon in coming. But just as the saying goes, when you love yourself, you are easier to be loved by others. Happy tears at the end. As expected.

Life was kind and full of chances. Sometimes we didn't take them. Sometimes we hid our truth and acted out of fear. But sometimes, there were moments like this...


I was describing the story to my husband and my 23 year-old son at dinner tonight, and they were both practically in tears. I kid you not. In the middle of the book, I have to admit that I was depressed as hell reading it. And I wondered why I was torturing myself. But I am so glad I stuck it out. I have only high praise to offer here. Kristan Higgins never fails to touch my heart with her books, and this one is no exception.

Profile Image for *TUDOR^QUEEN* .
408 reviews429 followers
August 8, 2018
Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

People who have struggled with weight will surely connect with this story. Three teenage girls befriend each other at a summer camp for overweight kids. Together, they create a bucket list of things they hope to one day achieve. The items on this list were things that only thin girls could comfortably accomplish, such as getting a piggy back ride from a cute guy, eating dessert in public, and tucking in your shirt. Emerson, Marley and Georgia maintained their friendship throughout the years, although Emerson lived much farther away and couldn't be physically close. That's why Marley and Georgia were utterly devastated when they got the call that Emerson was on her deathbed. How they wished they had known just how morbidly obese Emerson had become, which ultimately led to her death. It was too late to offer any help to their beloved friend, who used her last bit of strength to direct them to an envelope at her side in the hospital bed. "Promise you'll do it," Emerson whispered. Georgia took the envelope from Emerson's grip which had "To be opened after my funeral" written across the front. Its contents were the bucket list the three girls composed so many years ago.

The book alternates between the lives of Georgia and Marley, who now share a town house with apartments on separate floors. Marley is a chef who has her own business preparing meals and delivering them to clients. Her twin sister Frankie died at the age of four, failing to thrive while Marley bloomed. Marley carries the burden of guilt that she survived...with extra weight and strength...while her sister withered away. Even so, Marley remains outwardly bubbly, fun and optimistic, mostly at peace with her current weight. She loves food, but has learned to make healthy meals, which Georgia has also benefited from. If only firefighter Camden would treat her as a steady girlfriend he could be proud of, instead of infrequent hookups...usually after too much drinking. Was Camden too embarrassed that Marley was slightly overweight to present her as his actual girlfriend?

Georgia managed to have gotten the thinnest of the three friends, but still lacks confidence. This inability to love herself ate away at her marriage to Rafe, the love of her life. Being constantly body shamed by her rail-thin and plastic surgery obsessed mother "Big Kitty" hadn't helped any. Georgia left her career as a Yale educated lawyer four years ago to become a nursery school teacher at an elite school. Will Georgia ever find that nirvana zone with her weight, and will she ever find her way back to Rafe?

People who have weight issues will find themselves in this book; the harsh judgements, disregard, the self-inflicted pain caused by food addiction. I've never read a fictional book on this important topic, and it was handled with both poignancy and humor in this well-written offering.
Profile Image for Gail Chianese.
Author 20 books185 followers
December 27, 2017
As someone who has battled their weight for as long as they can remember, this book hit very close to home. I think I experienced every emotion possible while reading it. I laughed; it’s Kristan Higgins, after all. I cried – happy and sad tears, and then happy again. But it was more than just an “enjoyable read”. At times it was uncomfortable because it was truthful.

Have I ever hated the way I look? Everyday. Have I ever hated myself for not being strong enough? Too many times. Have I been the recipient of nasty comments about my weight? Yes, and I can remember dreaming of the day when I’d have lost the extra weight and be able to do the things my “skinny” friends could do, just like Georgia, Marley, and Emerson.

I loved this book not just because it was well written, and funny at times, but also because I could relate to these women and their hopes and dreams and fears and struggles. I cried reading Emerson’s passages, especially knowing she died because of complications from her weight. And yes, that also scared me…but in a good way. There’s still time for me. Still hope.

This book is so much more than just the back cover copy. It’s a book about family, friendship, and discovering your true worth. It’s about standing up for yourself, accepting your flaws (and no, I’m not talking about the weight issue…more about the lack of self-confidence) and loving yourself for who you are or who someone else is, it’s about seeing past the exterior and to the good stuff underneath…the heart and soul. It’s also about letting the past go and embracing the future.

It’s a story that will stay in my heart, and will remind me that I am more than what I see in the mirror, that I am smart, caring, funny (at times), intelligent and worth it.

Thank you to Berkeley for the advanced copy.
September 22, 2018
Three girls, Emerson, Georgia, and Marley, meet and develop a lifelong friendship while attending a weight loss camp in their teens. Now in their thirties, Emerson passes away due to complications from obesity and leaves behind a “to do” list for her friends. Many ideas for the list were created years ago at camp and they contain inspirational goals to accomplish after they become skinny.

Neither Georgia or Marley have ever been thin but they want to honor their friend’s memory. Georgia lives with regret over her behavior during a failed marriage. She has always lived with the notion that her size is something that makes her unlovable. Marley had a twin sister who passed away when she was four years old. She carries the burden of guilt over her sister who was the weaker, frailer twin. As both work through the list, they end up addressing their past and the type of relationships that they will accept in the future.

“Good Luck With That” is a glimpse into how body image can play a role in one’s outlook. It can weaken confidence and handicap relationships if friends and family can't provide support. This story was a unique way of addressing a common issue for women.
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,371 reviews649 followers
Shelved as 'not-gonna-happen-because-reasons'
June 8, 2022

HELL NO.

Updated 8/8/18: Here's another excellent review showing why this book is a flaming pile of garbage:

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/re...

Good Luck with That is fatphobic as all hell. Just wow.

See below for excerpt from reviewer who did a live tweet while reading an arc. I followed along during the reading (it was posted under the hashtag #ANAGLWT). I made it about half way through the thread before I had to stop because I was completely sick to my stomach.

https://twitter.com/AnaMardoll/status...

I downloaded the sample just to read the text myself, and a few chapters in and I was disgusted with the author, the publisher, and basically anyone associated with saying this book needs to be out in the world.

If I ever had any intention of reading this author, this book certainly erased that. I will never touch a Kristan Higgins book.
Profile Image for Terrie's Just Another Book B*tch.
160 reviews140 followers
July 29, 2018
Just Another Book Bitch's ALWAYS SPOILER FREE REVIEW

In an effort to keep this spoiler free I'll keep this short (ish) forgive my lack of quotes I had so many saved and accidentally deleted them from my phone *CRIES ALL THE TEARS* and we're talking tattoo-worthy, life-changing quotes and they're ALL gone😭! But the good part is, that I know this book will speak to you, 'Good Luck With That' has definitely made my #RequiredReading list. I was swept up in an emotional landslide, freeing a new piece of myself page by page. The author's captivating story of friendship and the villains they face was heartbreaking and inspiring. I found the characters to be a living breathing bible of emotional truths.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met for a brief moment in time but built a bond that linked them forever. The struggles and loss they endure brought me to tears. This is my first time reading this author (I know, I know, you can shame me later...) and I am blown away by the depth of her characters and the raw emotion she was able to instill. So much so that I'm scared to read anything else. This book is so brilliantly written that I can't imagine her ever living up to the bar with which I have elevated her to...

What author Kristan Higgins did in the novel 'Good Luck with That', was show us the open, gaping, festering wound inside many of us and (in this readers opinion) showed us a way to help those wounds heal... I may go so far as to say 'Good Luck with That' could be your spiritual awakening if you'll let it be. A time to say I lived through this and I for one am a stronger person for it. The journey and hardships documented in this fictional tale could be that of you, your neighbor or your best friend. This story and the topic it faces is usually hidden behind closed doors. Yes, we see the random empowering woman video or campaign here and there and then it's on the back burner until the next time we feel like jumping on the social media bandwagon of injustice. This book covers epic truths about addiction, love, and body shaming. About how the world outside and the monsters within shape how we see ourselves and others while instilling the hope and courage to conquer those demons. This is an emotional and difficult read, to say the least. You will find yourself in this book. Maybe even multiple times. The spirit of these girls and those they come in contact with live inside us. Some may be hard to face (honestly, MANY will be hard to face) but face them we should.

Side note...If you've read her before y'all need to educate me... is Higgins always this amazing?! Will she rip my heart out again and again?? What do I read next? Is she a cat or dog person???? A GIRL NEEDS TO KNOW THESE THINGS!!

Thanks to Berkley Romance for a paperback ARC and Kristan Higgins for the opportunity to review.


PURCHASE LINKS
Good Luck With That goes live August 7, 2018

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA
Profile Image for Amy.
1,799 reviews1,854 followers
August 7, 2018
I swear every woman on the planet should read this book you guys. I don’t know of a single woman who hasn’t struggled with her weight or dealt with body image issues or struggled with low self esteem. Higgins captures all of the feelings and emotions that coexist alongside these complicated feelings women have about themselves perfectly and she does it with humor and grace as well.

This is told from all three friends perspectives, Marley and Georgia in present day and then Emerson in a series of heartbreaking journal entries that truly brought me to tears. These women are like so many others, their weight is always at the forefront of their thoughts and it has an effect on every single aspect of their lives, they were painfully relatable on so many levels that I wouldn’t hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend this one to any woman I know personally.

While this was a very emotional read it was also funny and poignant and unabashedly honest in the way women perceive themselves and other woman. While we can be our own harshest critics we can also be super quick to judge other women even as we struggle with our own body image issues which is so profoundly sad but also the God’s honest truth.

Marley and Georgia stole my heart completely and totally and made me yearn for friends just like the two of them. Their friendship was beautiful and inspiring and also raw and vulnerable, they’ve been friends through the bad and the good and know they each have a safe place to land in the others arms. While many of the issues covered here are heavy and sometimes dark this was a truly uplifting and hopeful read that will make you feel less alone in your insecurities and doubtful moments. Highly recommended read from one of my all time favorite authors, Higgins hit it out of the park with this one!

(Quick P. S. I’ve seen this book getting slammed for fat shaming and I just want to say that it doesn’t at all, I found it to be the opposite so if you’re hesitant because if that it’s not even true.)

Good Luck With That in three words: Vulnerable, Emotional and Relevant.

Profile Image for Jamie Beck.
Author 24 books2,468 followers
March 18, 2018
I got so invested in Marley’s and Georgia’s lives (and Emerson’s history) that I finished this book in two days despite being on a business trip. Although these characters all struggled with self-esteem issues related to being overweight, the message of the story translates to any kind of confidence problem that stems from personal appearance (like, for example, my hereditary hair loss).

What’s the message? Happiness in life comes through self-acceptance and courage (to be honest and open and loving). No weight loss, nose job, or hair transplant will magically give you a better life, so don’t put off living your life until that “someday” comes along.

There were also so many other themes that hit home, too. It makes you take a hard look at how we all can often judge a book by its cover, or fail to realize that everyone around us—even those who appear to have the perfect life—is struggling with some problem (maybe the same problem, or maybe something different). The story also touches on what makes a family—is it blood, or love, or some combination of the two?

I cringed when I saw some of my own demons reflected in the characters’ poor choices, got teary a few times, and laughed out loud at others. Kristan always infuses her work with such fantastic, sharp humor, you can’t help but smile even when the subject matter is tough.

The important point about this book is that it made me really stop and think about how I want to live the next decade of my life. Do I want to bemoan my hair loss and obsess about how gravity has changed my 50+-year-old body, or do I want to invest my time and energy in the people and passions of my life? Well, I think the answer is clear, which is why I wanted to give the finger to the Spanx store I passed in the Atlanta airport yesterday. Not just a rack of garments, mind you. An entire store—bright red, lest you miss seeing it—dedicated to making women feel that they don’t look good if there is a lump or bump anywhere on their bodies.

There are so many messages out there to make women feel insecure, it’s really time we all take it easy on ourselves and each other. I think that’s what Kristan wanted this book to say, and I hear that call.

P.S. Dibs on Rafael as my new book boyfriend.
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews985 followers
September 3, 2018
This is a sweet, funny, thoughtful, and emotional book. It deals with a very sensitive topic for a lot of people: our weight. There's no doubt in my mind that some people will think this book isn't sensitive enough, and may not find it a pleasant read. Having never personally struggled with trying to lose weight, it gave me some new perspectives. I know that some people won't find this book accurate for their personal story, but I appreciated looking at things from a different perspective and thought it gave me a better understanding of what many women deal with.

This book is the story of three good friends: Emerson, Georgia, and Marley. They're very different people, but they have two things in common. They have each struggled with their weight, and they love each other. They met as teenagers, and while they haven't always been able to spend significant amount of time together since, they have kept their connection to each other. They're now in their mid-thirties, and Emerson has come to the end of her life. Her struggles with her weight escalated over the years, and eventually led to health complications that will kill her. Georgia and Marley hadn't seen their old friend in some time, but they rush to her side when she calls them.

Emerson leaves them something behind... a list they made as teenagers, "Things to Do When We're Skinny". As silly as it may seem to them now, especially at first, the list is made up of things they desperately wanted to experience as teenagers. Emerson wants them to complete it. For the rest of the story, we follow Georgia and Marley as they grant their friend's last wish and deal with their own issues and heartaches. We also get to know Emerson better through journal entries, which are especially poignant and heartbreaking because we know how it ends for her.

By the end, I had fallen in love with each character for different reasons. I'm not ashamed to say this book made me cry several times, it's an incredibly emotional read! I would say it's absolutely worth a look and I really appreciated it. 4.5 stars from me.

Elisha from Berkley Publishing kindly sent me an ARC of this book to read and review. This in no way affects my opinion.
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