Author: Jen Larsen
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published: October 2015
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother-a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.
Ashley doesn't think there's anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that "fat" isn't a dirty word-that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn't counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she's always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University-in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.
As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what's a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?
Through her indecision's and doubts, Ashley's story is a liberating one-a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.
First off let me start by saying thank you to Harper Collins Canada for sending me this book to read! I was so excited to dive right into this one, as it caught my attention right away.
So when I got this book, I kind of had expectations that it would be something like Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. It was not, however that doesn't mean this book wasn't good!! There was definitely a lot going on in this novel, but I did find that there could have been more to the story.
Right at the beginning, you get Ashley who is a size 18 (which is apparently considered "fat" in her world) and is getting insulted by a girl named Morgan (haha I swear that's not me!) and her grandmother....HER GRANDMOTHER! What kind of person are you telling your family member she is fat right to her face, and pretty much disgusted by her body. When I read through the entire book, and getting a sense of Grandma Clara I was:
Also when there were scenes with Morgan talking about Ashley's weight and looks, it just added on top of my disappointment (more like rage) at the fact that all of these people have an opinion over how someone else looks. I personally deal with being a larger girl than most, and of course I have my moments like Ashley, but at the same time, didn't your parents tell you that if you had nothing nice to say don't say it at all? With Ashley she was comfortable in her own skin until of course an offer has her wavering.
There was also one quote that pretty much sums up the overall aspect of the novel. It speak so much in so little words, and it definitely was a powerful moment:
"But I wasn't listening anymore, because that's when the word fat becomes something real. Something that would follow along behind me and settle in the dark corners and slither around the back corridors of my mind. Whether or not I acknowledge it, the idea was inside me."
While reading this, I really enjoyed the fact that it wasn't a stereotypical novel solely about a "fat/unattractive" girl who falls in love with the "Hot/Popular" guy. Although I am one for those stereotypes, it was a refreshing surprise to see something out of the ordinary. The writing style was good, but I felt like there could have been more towards the characters like Ashley, and her friends. It also seemed like when I was getting towards the end of the novel, I was finally getting into what should have been the middle of the book...and then it just ended!
I was not expecting the ending it had, but I am so glad about how Ashley made her final decisions in the end. Between Morgan, and Grandma Clara, Ashley had her hands full with the constant drag of someone telling her how she should look, act, or feel. All I can say about what she did is this:
Overall I really liked the book. It had a powerful message, the writing style was great, and it did have quite a bit of Ah-ha/Omg moments! I did find it a little slow at times, and I felt that there could have been a little more towards the story (especially at the end!). I got so many feels towards some people, and I definitely did not expect how it all went down!!
So that is the end of my review for this novel!, I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know what you thought if you've read it!
Until the next time! Keep Reading!
Your Graduated Bookworm! :)