Hello! So, I heard this was becoming a movie and–after reading Ramona Blue–I decided I would give this book a try! I have heard a lot about it and if it’s good enough to get a movie, I figured I’d try it.
Author: Julie Murphy
Rating: 4/5 stars
Wow. I know that there’s a lot more representation in YA nowadays, but I found this to be a truly beautiful book. This book was about a girl named Willowdean, who is a self-proclaimed ‘fat girl’ and decides to enter a beauty paegant. Throughout the book, she struggles with her own self-image as well as how she is perceived by others, most notedly her mother, who is the organizer of the beauty pageant.
I have struggled with weight for a majority of my life and Willowdean was a picture perfect personification for a lot of the things that I have felt in the past. I thought her character struggled with the same things I have (not believing someone really likes you, trying to be comfortable in your own skin) and that’s what made me love her so much. I think the story that is told in this book is important for a lot of girls to hear at a time where weight is such a debated topic in our society. There are labels such as ‘plus size’ that make girls and women feel like less of a person because they aren’t the ideal size. Will accepts that she is overweight but she doesn’t let it stop her from doing anything, even when she is put down (more about that in what I didn’t like). I wish that I had her self-confidence when I was younger but this book was a great thing for me to read even now.
The thing I couldn’t stand in this book was her mother! That’s not a jab to the author, I just hated how the character was. I can definitely see, though, that some parents are like that with their children, as one of my old friend’s mother was. The mother constantly nagged on Will about her weight and how she looked in her clothes. These are the types of things that give girls negative body image and some people go even farther, putting young girls on diets, etc. Thankfully that didn’t happen here but I definitely could’ve seen it fitting into how her mother acted.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this book is going to become film! Danielle Macdonald is going to play Willowdean and Jennifer Aniston is going to play her mother. I am actually excited to see this on screen because it is a very real portrayal of how body image is perceived today and I think it will mean a lot to many girls.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a contemporary read that feels very raw and genuine. I cannot compare it to any books off of the top of my head, but the writing is similar to her newest book, Ramona Blue, which tackles the struggle of LGBT youth.
Happy reading! ~ Taylor