Realistic look at an overweight girl dealing with self image and trying to lose weight.
I wanted to read this one because I am overweight myself and figured that I would connect with Ann. I was right, I understood her battles with self-control, letting food control my thinking and schedule, as well as wanting to be thin but not being able to stick with the dieting.
Ann's character growth, realizing she wants to be healthy rather than striving for skinny. Her relationship with her mom and her little sister, and how their body image issues and food talk was effecting her at age 4. Ann's mom is thin but feels fat and talks about how she can't eat another bite. Further family relationships including feeling left out from her father (parents are seperated), her brother going off to college and not staying in touch, to feeling like both families have started over with another spouse and smaller children. It is so realistic and easy to relate to if you have any sort of similar issues.
It is pretty gritty and Ann's internal dialogue is true to life. I am overweight and can connect with how much she waivers, and how it isn't glossed over. The issues with eating are handled well and fleshed out.
I also felt a kinship with Ann because of how close she is with her grandma. I lived with my grandmother a lot when I was a kid, when my mom was busy, moving or having her own issues. This made us so close, she shared my love of reading and always was a safe place. Ann's grandma was more hip and louder than mine, but that just added some humor and wisdom to the book.
Ann and her friendships were also a little dysfunctional. She was semi manipulated by Cassie who used to be her best friend. Not only that, but when she gets a job she is working with some of the "cool kids" from school. One of them is more different and actually liked Ann for who she was, not worried about body image, etc. Raynee was so sweet and glad that she was in the book and was accepting. But I like that she wasn't a complete outcast, and she made it worse for herself because of self-doubt. A lot of people were nice to her and talked to her, and I think that she could have been more popular if she would, because she has a funny, real personality and easy to like.
There was some romance and although it didn't take the front seat, it was sweet. I like that he didn't care about her size, he cared about her personality. He was also understanding, he pursued her, and a generally good guy.
I liked the ending and the place where Ann left off. She had a better understanding of health and although she didn't meet her goal, she made progress.
Bottom Line: Realistic look at an overweight girl dealing with self image and trying to lose weight.