Seventeen-year-old Ryan Burke has got it rough: Her previously dorky ex-boyfriend is now an international pop star, her best friend has abandoned her for sunny California for half of their senior year, she has a boys name, AND she is the product of artificial insemination. Seriously.
After all that, you wouldnt think a few extra pounds could make life any worse, right? Maybe if they belonged to anyone else, they wouldnt. But to Ryan, being plus-sized trumps everything else.
If she were thin, she could tell her crush how she really feels about him.
If she were thin, applying to her number one college of choice wouldnt intimidate her.
If she were thin, her ex, Noah, wouldnt have a reason to write mean songs about her and then share them with the world.
But all of that is hypothetical. If there is one thing Ryan knows for certain, its that the pounds dont come off easily. So shed better learn how to live with them instead.
I loved this book. Not because its perfect (it isnt), but because it felt real. Ryans initial reluctance and eventual willingness to explore her psychological weight-related issues struck me as honest and never easy. Ryan is also very funny. The way she tells her story kept me turning the pages from start to finish. The author does a terrific job of keeping the story narrowly focused to Ryans perspective, which allows the reader to really get inside of her head and empathize with her (often) warped views of how she sees the world, as well as how she believes the world sees her. Not surprisingly, with the help of a few good friends and her camera, she comes to realize that the truth is much different than she thought. If some of the secondary characters feel underdeveloped, I think it can be reasonably argued that Ryan is a highly subjective narratorshe often needs only one or two facts before forming an opinion, so why would she offer the reader anything more?
For those who might feel a little squeamish about reading a book about the sensitive subject of weight, dont be. When I started Go Figure, I was skeptical and thought I knew exactly how it would end. I am glad to say that I was wrong. (Id say what I was wrong about, but that would spoil it for you.) Suffice it to say, this book is not really about weight. It is aboutand foranyone who has ever worried about their appearance and wondered what it would be like to look different. And isnt that most of us?