Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Paley's Huge

When I say that this book is sort of a novelization of "The Biggest Loser" for teenagers, that sounds like a criticism, but it really isn't. I enjoyed the book very much, and any books about eating disorders/weight issues are gobbled up (sorry!) by my students, especially as we are nearing February, which is tradionally Problem Novel Month in my library. This by demand, not by my request!

Wil is forced to go to "fat camp" by her parents, who run a fitness center empire and are embarassed by her weight. April saves up all year to go, to try to escape the eating habits that she and her mother have fallen into. As roommated, they don't work well together because they are at cross purposes-- Wil has decided to gain weight to irritate her parents. While good exercise and eating habits are hinted at, this is far more about the relationship that the girls have with each other, the students at the camp, and their pasts. There are some nasty characters, especially a boy who kisses both girls and then makes fun of them. They exact a rather nasty revenge, but all of the situations are portrayed as complicated and real.

Is this Great Literature? No. It was however, valuable, interesting, and fun. And, along with The Black Sheep, it will be fun to have in the library in 15 years, when reality television is (hopefully!) not around anymore.

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