Tapestrymlp's Reviews > The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
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's review
May 25, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, general-fiction, read-in-2010, young-adult, contemporary-ya
Read on February 10, 2010

Virginia Shreves is undeniably chunky - the fat kid in a family of skinny, pretty people. Her sophomore year in high school isn't starting out well eitehr - her best friend has moved across the country for the year, her brother just got kicked out of college for the semester and her mom is making Virginia see a doctor about her "weight problem." Much angsting abounds.

First, this is one of my favorite book titles ever. It cracks me up every time I read it. That fact that the majority of the book is far from humorous and majorly depressing in many ways makes the title feel a bit discordant. I definitely had different expectations from this book based on the title. Instead it was mostly a coming of age, angsty teenager book. This is one of those books that makes me so very, very, very thankful I left high school behind a long time ago and my teenage hormones are a faint memory.

I have to admit, the book did make me think a bit about the way we view body image and the pressure on teenage girls, and girls in general, to conform to an accepted standard of beauty. Virginia's self-destructive tendencies were painful to read about made me feel disconnected from her. At times I wanted to shake her so hard! But in the end she does have a lot of character growth and come into her own, thank goodness, so the book redeemed itself. The ending is expected but satisfactory. I like that Mackler didn't feel the need to make Virginia into a perfect girl - but rather help her to find peace with who she is and accept and accentuate that. It's a good message for teens that should be repeated more often.

Overall not a bad book and one I wouldn't mind my daughter reading when she's a tween.

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