Jesobel Jones is bold and brash, the daughter of a hand model and a washed-up rock star. Jess sees no need to apologize for her rambling house, her imperfect family, her single status ... or her weight. Jess is who she is. She makes her own cupcakes and she eats them, too. No regrets. That is, until Own Clothes Day rolls around at school. Jess and her friends dedicate the requisite hours of planning to their outfits, their hair and their makeup for the one day they are free from school uniforms. But a wardrobe malfunction leaves Jess with a pair of leggings split open at the worst spot, and a mean girl calling her the one thing that's never bothered her before: fat. The encounter shakes Jess's formerly iron-clad confidence, and she starts to wonder if she's been just a little too comfortable in her own skin. When the boy of her dreams invites her to a party, she must decide whether to try to fit in for the first time in her life, or remain true to herself --- whoever that really is. Debut author Anna Mainwaring is a teacher by day, and her understanding of teenage life shines through on every page. This book is laugh-out-loud funny, and captures teen girl life with all its ironies and contradictions. Rebel with a Cupcake also explores important questions around body image, fat shaming and self-confidence.
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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.