Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Earth, My Butt, & Other BIG Round Things

Is it just me, or has anyone ever noticed how in books, where the main character happens to be a bit bigger, her parents seem to be ashamed of her a lot of the times??  It was like that in Huge by Sasha Palley, Life in the Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett, and then in this last book I read, The Earth, My Butt, & other BIG Round Things by Carolyn Mackler.  It may not seem like that many books, but I'm sure there are many more out there that have this common theme.  And let me just tell you...IT PISSES ME OFF!!!

I mean, don't get me wrong, sometimes it makes sense, like for instance in Huge it did, because who willingly goes to Fat Camp? But in Life in the Fat Lane the main character's parents practically disowned her, because she gained some weight, going from a 5'7" 115 lbs teenage girl (if you ask me, that is way too skinny!!) to 220 lbs., and it didn't even end up being her fault!!! She had this disease (that the author made up!!), that made her gain the weight automatically (I really HATED that book!!!).  And then this book, The Earth, My Butt, & other BIG Round Things the main character, Virginia's, parents don't say it out loud that they are ashamed, but you definitely get that drift.

Virginia has felt like she doesn't fit in with her family.  While her mom, dad, older brother, and sister are all well built, skinny, athletic smart bilingual (French and English) speakers, Virginia, is a stout slightly overweight, plus-size wearing girl who hates French!  Sometimes she feels as if she was accidentally switched at birth.  While her mom used to always to take her brother and sister to functions for her work (she is a teen psychologist), Virginia feels left out because her mom has never invited her to go.  Then her father takes her brother all the time to baseball and basketball games, while she gets left behind, even though she is a huge fan herself (she likes staring at the players behinds... ^^).
Her mom and dad make an appointment for Virginia to see a doctor about her weight.  Virginia feels ashamed, that her parents are so blunt about it, because it isn't something she can control.  She uses food as comfort; so while her mom tries to make it appear as if her family is perfect, Virginia seems to be the only one who knows what a screwed up family they really are...especially after her parents get a phone call that changes Virginia forever.

I thought the story was pretty good, except of the complaint I made above.  However, it also seemed as if the ending was rushed a bit.  It went from Virginia dealing with a bunch of problems at once, and then all of a sudden...BAM! all fixed!  Within the last fifteen pages probably everything was solved.  I found that to be a bit annoying.

It did win a Printz award, which I was a bit surprised about, just because it definitely wasn't one of the best novels I've ever read, and believe me, I'm an easy grader!!

However, I did like Virginia's character.  She went from being a shy low-self esteem teenager, to a person who stood up for herself, and didn't care what others thought.  The message I got out of it, was that it isn't how you look that makes you, you, it's how you decide to handle the way you look that makes you the person the you are.  And I really liked that, I thought it was a great message, especially for young girls struggling with their appearance.  

Overall Rating:

Well, that's it from me once again! I hope everyone is having a great week, and talk to you soon!

The Romance Bookie :)

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