I have so much to say about this book so please bare with me. A little bit ago I declared I was done with Contemporary YA because I felt I was getting too old for it. This book is definitely something I would typically not gravitate towards either but I adore both authors so I figured I would give it a shot. And I am so glad I went with my instinct and read it. Not only did I finish it within one day because I couldn’t put it down, this story will stick with me for a while. I honestly thought going into this book it was going to be focusing on Peyton’s weight and how she isn’t defined by it and just a bunch of that. Even though this series is called “Redefining Me” and the book itself is called “The F Word” there is so, so, so, so, so, much more to this amazing and uplifting story. The six friends in the story grew up together and after the accident that one night, everything changed. Peyton’s brother Cooper is killed. Cooper’s twin brother Julian leaves. Peyton’s best friend Cameron leaves to “train” at an Olympic facility and doesn’t contact Peyton the whole time he is gone. Addison and Avery no longer associate with them and become the “jock” and “cheerleader” personality that they are believed to be. Nahri is the only one who tries to hold them all together.
Peyton feels abandoned and left alone so she turns to food for comfort. As the story continues, we learn that Peyton has always struggled with her weight but before felt good about herself. Once she realizes how she’s “let herself go”, she wants to change and lose some of the weight. So let’s address this right now. I loved how the authors portrayed this. Peyton wasn’t comfortable with herself and wanted to change. She didn’t want to become a stick or obtain an unhealthy weight but she wanted to feel good about herself. And the support she had was amazing. While she had her friends and family constantly telling her how amazing and beautiful she was, they also supported her in losing weight in a healthy manner of working out and dieting. They realized that this was something she wanted for herself and supported her. I felt this on such a personal level and was so happy to see that she was being supported in this way. Along with the support, she also received backlash from people who didn’t understand. There were multiple points throughout the novel that Peyton was still made fun of her weight even though she had lost up to 30 pounds. It is unfortunate that people like this do exist but I thought the authors did a fantastic job on creating a positive message. A lot of it had to do with Peyton believing in herself even if she was being harassed. It was so great to see Peyton stand up for herself in such a positive light and never give up on what SHE wanted for herself. Again, what an amazing message the authors have sent to the readers - and this hits on all readers, not just the young ones.
Along with Peyton being true to herself and finding her confidence, she brings more her surroundings in means of support. Peyton had created an app that is meant to be an anonymous source to talk about any situation that needs to be addressed. With this space she has created, there was absolutely no bullying but only positive messages. Again, what a great way to send a message of positivity and the authors incorporated it in the most perfect way. This plays a huge part in the book and while some of the lines were very cheesy and cliche - they fit and it that much better.
The other point of view provided was Cameron. And oh my goodness did I feel for his character also. He was affected a couple different ways from the accident and each one really pulls on the heartstrings. Cameron is lost and confused by many things and doesn’t know how to deal with them. I loved seeing how he came into his own issues as well. While he never believed he was good enough, he slowly learns the things that are truly important to him. Cameron and Peyton were exactly what each other needed to heal, even though it takes them time to realize it. One of my favorite things about Cameron is how true he is. Throughout most of the novel he has a hard time expressing his feelings but in the end, he finds his true words and they are perfect.
There are so many other things I could go on and on about this novel but it was so good in so many ways. The messages were clear and the authors presented them in such a good way. This book was a lot more than redefining the characters and stereotypes but learning how to heal after a great loss. I was not expected to be moved by this book but I truly was. It exceeded all of my expectations and the characters were astounding.
Overall, The F Word by Michelle Macqueen and Ann Maree Craven was an amazing book. This review was the longest one I’ve written so far and I didn’t even encompass all the wonderful things I had to say about the book. I was truly blown away by the message this book held and how much deeper it went than I originally thought. There was so much to this book and I recommend it to everyone. Not only does it send a positive message about believing in yourself, it teaches a lot about healing after an extreme situation.
Some books hit you right in the feels (or a bit lower). This is one of them.
In the wake of a horrible car accident that took one life and changed many others, five small town teens most learn to cope with the aftermath.
Peyton is "the fat girl", ridiculed by her classmates despite her every attempt to get in shape. Cameron, the aspiring track star with Olympic dreams and Peyton's BFF, disappears for 18 months following the accident, leaving all of Peyton's emails unanswered. When he returns, nerves are raw ... and for good reason.
The first half of this book will have you reaching for hankies, so keep them close. The sheer level of meanness in this small-town high school was so awful it made me wince. But despite the black cloud that hangs over this group of former friends, a ray of sunshine tries to poke through. Unbeknownst to her peers, Peyton has created a wonderful app of self-empowerment that (anonymously) gets the attention of everyone fed up with the domination of the school's pretty people.
As a former teenage outcast, reading this story made me hopeful for the future. Body shaming is a terrible thing, and putting it a stop to it (hell, ALL forms of bullying) are long overdue. I hope that millions of people will read this book and pay it forward. This book is THAT good. (less)
I'm not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical when I started this book. As someone in a wheelchair, who struggles tremendously with weight and body image, I was very nervous. This book is everything, though. It's incredible.
The struggles both of the main characters face are so real, and the authors handled them perfectly. There were so many moments when I was reading that made me tear up because of how well it was done.
I wish I'd had this book about 10 years ago. I've been physically disabled my whole life. I was never able to crawl, let alone walk. This has always been my life, and one I've accepted, but there are still bad days. The body image issues are much more prominent in my life. It's something I'm still working on. So, to have this book fall into my lap that deals with both... it just about melted my heart.
The book is very well written. There's a good pace to it and nothing feels forced. I absolutely love the characters. Not even just Peyton and Cameron--I love Nari and Julian and the others! I cannot wait to read the other books about these other characters. I already have the next book, The N Word, and it's taking every bit of will power I have to not jump into it yet (darn school and responsibilities!).
I highly recommend this book. It deals with a lot of important subjects, but it's also a cute contemporary. It's funny in parts, adorable in others, and it made me very happy overall.
*Original review on Functionally Fictional.*
- Deals with important subjects well.
- Funny and adorable.
- Very well written.
Peyton has lost so much over the past eighteen months. Her brother passed away in a horrible accident, his twin left town unable to deal with feeling as though the ‘wrong’ brother died, and her best friend, the boy she’d finally told she loved, disappeared without a trace. The only thing she struggled to lose was the extra weight she’d gained through the ordeal. But when her brother and the boy she’d loved return, neither are who they used to be as they attempt to work out where they fit back in their old lives and piece together the events of the night of the accident.
What I loved:
Peyton was such a believable and loveable character I couldn’t help but continue reading to make sure she got the happiness she deserved. The story does cover her issues with weight and dieting, but it’s so much more than that as it navigates fractured relationships and dealing with grief. It’s just one of those stories that grab you by the heart strings and doesn’t let go till the end.
What was just okay:
So many times I wished Peytons brother would just tell us the truth about what his twin did on the night of the accident, and I can only hope the truth is revealed later in the series.
I loved everything about this story and can’t wait to read the next one.
Covers so many important themes.
I’ve been a big fan of both Craven and MacQueen for many years so when I heard they were collaborating on a book, I immediately requested an ARC.
Although THE F WORD tackles quite a few difficult topics—loss, grief, self-identity, young love, and bullying—I was so impressed that the authors were able to address each topic thoroughly without coming off as preachy. Told in rotating third person POV, I love how we had access to both Peyton and Cameron’s emotions as they struggled to make their way back to each other. The romantic tension between them was perfectly executed, and I found myself rooting for them from page one.
I also really enjoyed the authors’ discussion of body image and weight gain/loss, especially as it related to Peyton and her app development. She’s confident about who she is but her emotions about other people’s perceptions of her are so real and raw that I couldn’t help but relate, as I’m sure a lot of readers can. In the end, though, what I loved most was that this story left me feeling hopeful that we can all learn to be better to each other and ourselves.
Highly recommend to fans of issue-driven YA contemporaries.
What I loved most was that this story left me feeling hopeful that we can all learn to be better to each other and ourselves.
As someone who has heard the “f” word thrown at me more than once, I really related to this story. I love how Peyton comes to realize that losing weight isn’t everything and that there are more important things to focus on. I loved the relationship between Peyton and Cameron, the dynamics of it are so real, and it leaves hope for the future. While some of the dialogue seemed a little forced, I’d give this book an overall rating of 4 stars! From start to finish, it kept me hooked and interested.
Peyton has always been the "bigger girl", but after her brother Cooper dies in an accident, her weight gets out of control. She accepts the "F" word for what it is, but hates hearing it said by her peers. Peyton understands that the word "fat" doesn't change who she is. She's still a good, kind person and won't let anyone's opinion of her change that. She's also been working on this amazing app that's helped her find her place again without her brother Cooper and her best friend Cameron.
After Cooper's death, Cameron is sent to a training camp, but it's for a reason you'd never expect. When it's time for him to return home, he's terrified to face Peyton. They were best friends and maybe even more, but he hasn't been able to talk to her since the accident, especially since he'd been there when it happened. He isn't the same Cameron she remembers and he fears she won't be able to accept the new him or forgive him for leaving her when she needed him the most.
I love how real this story is. THE F WORD is about love, loss, friendship, discovering who you are, and so much more. It'll stir all kinds of emotions in the reader that I couldn't put it down. The relationship between Cam and Peyton is damaged and raw, but not completely shattered. I love how these two authors came together to create something so real, that I wanted to pull Peyton out of the book and give her a hug. The "f" word is a sensitive one and I liked how it was addressed in this book because weight isn't everything.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of contemporary romance, coming of age, and overcoming loss.
After a tragedy that changes the community of Twin Rivers forever, Peyton finds herself coping with it the way a lot of people would: she eats and eats, becoming the “fat girl” her classmates have always called her. And to make matters worse; her best friend left her behind without even saying goodbye. Until 18 months after the life changing accident, Cameron and Julian return to town and remind everyone of how much they’ve lost. The grief-stricken community can finally start to heal.
THE F WORD hit me hard in a lot of ways. As someone on the verge of losing their leg, I could totally relate to Cameron, his fears and reasons. I too would’ve hidden away, not facing reality, if I were him. However, that doesn’t mean I agree with him. It’s obvious how much he means to Peyton and how hard she took it that he left without a goodbye. She’d already lost so much. The fact that the story is being told from both Peyton’s and Cameron’s perspectives gives the reader an insight in their head, mind and feelings. We get to understand their reasoning and how hurt they actually are.
The writing style of this book was very clear. It was easy to read and simple to understand, even when English is not my first language. Although the beginning of the book was a bit confusing. There was talk of a lot of different characters that we hadn’t been introduced to yet, which made the opening chapter somewhat hard to follow. Luckily that changed right after that first chapter.
Peyton and Cameron have great chemistry together and it is obvious they care about each other a lot. You could feel the strong bond between them. However, the fact that their best friendship turns into romance does feel a bit cliché. It contributes to the notion that a boy and a girl cannot be best friends without being something more. I’m all for a good romance, but it does feel a bit forced.
I am intrigued to see how this story will continue in the sequel. The ending of THE F WORD feels quite final, which makes me curious to find out what story will be held within those pages.
THE F WORD is an emotional rollercoaster ride. A lot of tears have been shed in the process of reading it. The pain Peyton and Cameron feel, feels real and is portrayed extremely well. I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.