First off I have to say that Jaden nails the whole sister thing. I know. I come from a large family that includes 5 sisters and 1 brother. The scenes where Loann wants to be like her so-called 'perfect' sister felt so real to me. It also had me remembering my own teen years feeling I wasn't good or pretty enough next to one of my younger sisters. And like Loann I found that there was a price for that.
There's so much to love about this book. If you have sisters you know that there's rivalries, competitions, and yes, intense love that sometimes is hard to show. Yes, sisters can be jealous of each other. Boy, do I know about that! Also I have to admit we did comment on each other on the whole weight thing. Looking back, I feel bad that I did that. We also had secret crushes on boyfriends. Well, I know I did. I even ended up dating one guy that my sister liked. That's what resonated with me--how honest this story was. Yes, some of the subject matter is gritty and intense but isn't growing up?
I really loved Loann. Sure she feels like she walks in the shadow of her sister Claire and even has a huge crush on her sister's boyfriend. Also very real. What really takes this book to a whole new level is the emotions that Loann feels. You feel for her when her BFF turns on her and starts nasty rumors. You wept when she's betrayed by someone she trusted. You feel her mixed emotions when she finds out what Claire is hiding behind her perfect mask. You also cheer when she digs deep down and refuses to be a victim.
This story could have ended up preaching about the ultimate cost of achieving the world's definition of beauty. No, instead we walk in Loann's shoes and feel all her emotions as she tries to make sense of it all.
The ending has a huge emotional punch. I won't give it away but I felt similar emotions with a personal experience I had with my own so-called perfect sister.
A total must-read with multi-dimensional characters that sweep you along on the roller coaster ride called life.
2. Great voice