One party. One accident Six lives changed forever Peyton Callahan refuses to let the F word define her She has always remained body positive, never letting others’ perceptions color her view of herself. But after the accident that claimed her brother’s life, Peyton’s weight spirals out of control and she succumbs to the label her peers forced on her years ago. The fat girl. In the aftermath of tragedy, Peyton’s world falls apart and worst of all, her best friend and almost-boyfriend, Cameron, leaves her behind, too damaged and heartbroken to ever see her the way he once had. Cameron Tucker—the jock and all around track god—believes he lost everything the night a car accident sent him and his friends plunging over Defiance Falls. His friend Cooper: Dead. Cameron’s Olympic dream: Gone. And Peyton: Will never look at him the same way again. So, he does what he once did best, he runs, escaping Twin Rivers and everyone in it, never expecting to return, never imagining he’d have to face the girl he still loved but left behind. Eighteen months later, he is no longer the boy any of them remember. Except Peyton. No matter how hard he tries to hide, she still sees him, still believes in him. What will she say when she discovers just how broken he is?
The F Word (Redefining Me book 1)Featured
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.
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)
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.*
- 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.
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.