Tuesday, October 07, 2008

This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous

Trying to branch out from my usual fare, I picked up This Book Isn’t Fat, It’s Fabulous by Nina Beck. Our narrator is young Manhattan socialitie, Riley Swain, slightly overweight, certainly spoiled, head over heels for her male best friend, and parrying blows with her social rival, or “best enemy.” Life is complicated even before Riley’s soon-to-be-stepmother arranges for Riley to spend spring break at an expensive fat camp. Now Riley has to step deftly in order to keep this embarassment a secret. Her best enemy smells blood and threatens to discover the truth. Riley makes a pass at D, her love interest and discovers the kiss isn’t all she’d imagined it would be. Then Riley arrives late at fat camp and whom should pick her up from the station but an intriguing young man who seems smitten with her. Should Riley even bother to give the time of day to a guy who wears black fingernail polish? She seems to strike up an instant connection with him, which doesn’t please the guy’s recent ex, who is—naturally—one of Riley’s new fellow fat camp students. How is Riley supposed to survive all of this? She needs the city!

I enjoyed this book, mostly because of Riley’s hilarious voice. She’s spoiled and self-centered with several character flaws, but you can’t help but like her anyway. In fact maybe I liked her because of those flaws. I can absolutely identify with someone who thinks the only place worth living is in the heart of a bustling city, plus there’s just something satisfying about a character who says what’s on her mind, no matter how shocking. And of course Riley has lots of room to grow as a person, the ol’ “character arc” thing, you know. I found Riley’s arc to be believable—she changes, a little bit, but by the end of the book she’s still the Riley the reader has come to love.

1 comment:

TrinAM said...

Thank You for that helpful comment I enjoyed reading it