Finding Confidence in Oneself
'Rebel with a Cupcake' by Anna Mainwaring deals with a vast array of themes, mostly stemming from self-esteem issues that the main character - Jesobel, or Jess for short - encounters. It doesn't do much to stroke her ego that her mother is a former model and her sister, Cat, is thin and beautiful. However, despite Jess' weight, she tends to feel good about herself, until a brawl at school with one of the mean girls makes her start questioning what she wants to do to make some sort of change. Coupled with the mean girl, Zara, who has nothing better to do with her life than make mean remarks for the sake of staying on her high horse, Jess also is trying to win the attention of Matt, a cute musician from whom she gets some mixed signals. He seems to like her, but he also comes across as sort of being for himself. The thing is, though, that when a girl likes a guy, it tends to happen that she disregards things that anyone not interested in the guy could otherwise see very easily. Being smitten takes away a certain amount of clarity, which could be good if the guy has good and noble intentions, but in Jess' case only keeps her from seeing that someone else is waiting in the wings, hoping that she will realize that Matt is not necessarily the answer to the problems she is trying to solve.
Along with her best friends and her sometimes snarky, yet witty and sweet attitude, she comes across as a girl who shouldn't be so worried about the pressures of teen life, yet falls victim to them just like anyone else. She learns that everyone has self-esteem issues, no matter how seemingly thin, heavy, happy, or mean they may be. This sometimes gave way to unnecessarily rude comments that surely happen, but seemed to plague Jess more than what the average person should have to endure in terms of comments about her weight. Even teachers and her own family, at times, caused her undue stress that should have been minimized by these people rather than maximized. Despite this, she finds solace in her family as the novel progresses.
In 'Rebel with a Cupcake,' Anna Mainwaring has shown that everyone has issues that trouble them. It's the way that people cope with those issues and face the problems and people that have caused them stress that shape the path for becoming a newer version of oneself.