Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Debut Novel Recommendation & Giveaway! 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS)

I'm so happy to recommend author KA Barson's debut novel 45 Pounds (More or Less). It's a funny contemporary novel about a root-for-her heroine and her dysfunctional family. In this case, the dysfunctionality centers (mostly) around food, since Ann is overweight and has a high-pressure, stick-thin mother.

The official rundown:
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 book has a lot of humor, and Barson develops the complexity of all the characters in Ann's blended family and outside life very well.

I was a little leery at first about how Ann's weight loss would be handled throughout the book, but I was happy with how the story progressed. I appreciated that, from the start, Ann KNOWS what the "right way" to lose weight is — she can quote a weight-loss book cover to cover — and she's very aware of how damaging her fad-dieting and bingeing behavior is. Sometimes she can fight it, and sometimes she gives in.

That, along with Ann's self-esteem issues and skewed self-perception, felt very realistic to me, and I think it will ring true with a lot of readers, whether or not they've had weight/body issues. Ann isn't stupid, but she's battling an addiction and lifelong habits, and I sympathized with her struggles.

Updated to add:  I want to emphasize here that, despite the (no-pun-intended) weightier subject matter, this is a funny book. Ann is a wry, witty narrator who gets herself into some ridiculous situations, and I read 45 Pounds cover-to-cover with a smile on my face!

Also, the book avoided falling into bad-cliche territory. I won't be spoilerrific about the romance/friendships, because it's so nice as a reader to watch it all develop, but I'll tell you what the book is NOT: a get thin / get pretty / get happy story. I hate those, and they send a terrible message. Thankfully, this book has none of that, and it also doesn't shove morals at you like an after-school special. (Seriously, I just want to give KA Barson a thumbs up for a job well done.)

Overall, I recommend 45 Pounds for anyone looking for a funny but not fluffy contemporary!

45 Pounds is available on July 11th from Viking Juvenile! Pre-order at Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, etc, and you can win my ARC here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

  1. My favorite moment from school was when I was in eight grade. My history/homeroom teacher had this green chair that he could lean back in and almost touch the floor. One day near the end of the year a classmate of mine tried leaning back in that chair and fell onto the ground. The whole room burst into laughter and my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. It's by far the best moment of my eighth grade year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm... favorite memory from school? That is a tough one. Maybe... how we used to always play music in the locker-room before various sports practices, and one time a friend of mine and I jumped on top of the lockers and started dancing. That was pretty fun.

    Brynna

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm... favorite memory from school? That is a tough one. Maybe... how we used to always play music in the locker-room before various sports practices, and one time a friend of mine and I jumped on top of the lockers and started dancing. That was pretty fun.

    Brynna

    ReplyDelete
  4. My parents were both teachers, so I have so many memories, but I do have a great memory of being able to write all over the chalkboard in my dad's room when I was little and just loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am soooo excited for this book to come out! I know that this is going to be a good one.

    Ann@Blogging E-books

    ReplyDelete
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