Alyssa's Reviews > All of Me

All of Me by Chris Baron
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did not like it
bookshelves: rimsba-2021, middle-grade

I really wanted to like this book. I went in hoping to find some quality fat representation, Jewish representation, and a great upper MG/bridge to YA book. And I understand why a lot of people have had a positive reaction to an emotional story about a fat 7th grader coming into his own and finding some sort of self-love. But I didn't get that from this book.

What I read was a story about a boy who is told he is fat by everyone around him and that being fat is bad. However he seems like a fairly active 7th grader; he rides his bike, he walks places, at one point he is "running around" with his friends (but then later is upset he doesn't move as quickly as the other kids in his class...?). His eating habits show a pattern of self-soothing through food because he is struggling with his parents fighting and also being mercilessly bullied in school. At this point I could have gotten on board with a story that depicts binge-eating disorder and how he finds self acceptance through intuitive eating and therapy.

Instead, we see him go on a horrible crash diet, quit therapy after one visit, and find self acceptance only after losing weight and altering his physical appearance. Despite his insistence that his self-acceptance doesn't come from this weight loss, he hyper focuses on it, to the point where he even tells us the size pant he is wearing to his first day of school.

I can't get on board with a story that ends with Ari losing the weight through incredibly unsafe means, somehow mastering intuitive eating without the help of a dietitian or therapist, and then goes to school to be lavished with compliments on how great he looks. This book super missed the mark, and I'm very sad about that.
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Reading Progress

December 20, 2019 – Started Reading
December 20, 2019 – Shelved
December 20, 2019 – Shelved as: rimsba-2021
December 20, 2019 – Shelved as: middle-grade
December 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

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