Title: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K.A. Barson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.
Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!
This is definitely a story that needed to be told and read by all. I’m sad I didn’t get to it last year so that it could have shown up on some end-of-the-year lists, but I think it’ll stick around for the lists at the end of this year.
Ann was a very relatable protagonist. She can be judgmental at times, especially of her mother, but I pretty much always relate to her or really felt for her. She seemed very realistic, and you didn’t just relate to the situations she was put in, but the way she acted and felt during them.
There was a little romance in this, and even though I would have been a bit happier if there wasn’t a romance – I mean, not every book needs romance – I think this romance works. It’s very, very much in the background and the love interest is kind of easy to forget about, but it’s great to show that people don’t have to be a size 2 in order to get a guy to even give them a second glance.
The biggest thing about this book is the talk about weight, of course. Ann is a much larger girl, but she isn’t the only one who fits into the theme of weight and self image. Her very thin mother has plenty of weight issues and things are beginning to rub off on Ann’s half sister. I really appreciated the fact that one character made it clear that being thin doesn’t always mean that shopping for clothes is easy. The focus should be on overweight issues, as it is, but it’s great to see a wide range of issues on the subject.
There’s plenty more to this story than the weight issues. There are mean girls, friend issues, a gay wedding, family drama – there’s really quite a lot packed into this pretty small book, but it never feels like too much. Overall, this was just a really powerful book, and I look forward to future stories from K.A. Barson.