Title: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K. A. Barson
Check out this book on Goodreads.
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! (Source: Goodreads)
45 Pounds is about Ann’s attempts to lost weight in time for her aunt’s wedding. More than that though it’s a story about learning to love yourself, and learning to love your body for what it is instead of hating it for what it isn’t. The content is inspiring and honest with varied approaches to the issue of body image, which was really wonderful.
Ann is sort of an annoying narrator initially. She’s sort of childish and whiny to begin with, which made me groan and become frustrated. However, she goes through a tremendous amount of growth throughout the book, outgrowing her whiny and seriously growing up. This isn’t all tied to her body image issues, instead it’s linked to her family problems, friend troubles, and her own journey to self discovery. I though she was a well written character, especially through her growth and that she was very easy to identify with.
Other characters in the book may appear shallow, especially from the point of view of Ann, but they contain a surprising amount of depth. The complexities of each character become more obvious the more Ann develops into someone a little less self-centered. This was really well done and helped to create a better sense of depth to the novel overall. Initially I found the book a little lacking, but that was because the way Ann saw things made the world lack the depth that really existed. Barson did a great job of this.
The content of this book is really important stuff. Body image is a huge issue for the target audience of this book, teens, especially because of media and advertising that teens are faced with every day. I think Barson really did a good job of looking at several types of body image problems from overweight to anorexia and really developed some complex relationships with bodies. Overall the book is very body positive which is fantastic and is a quality many books about dieting lack. In the end the diet isn’t as important as Ann’s feelings towards herself and her family, which was awesome.
I found this book highly enjoyable and highly recommend it. It’s a bit of a light read, I finished it in less than a day, which means it’s quick, with good flow, and easy to follow and not complex prose. I think it’s a great book even for “tweens” just because the writing level is still good for that age category and the content is really appropriate for that age group as well.