It's YA Friday and I am looking at Ken Baker's How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love.
Emery Larson is overweight. She is reminded of this fact consitently by her perfect model sister, her fitness freak father, and her once Laker Girls mother. But, Emery takes it all in stride, living her life and having fun with her also overweight boyfriend Ben. Then she finds out that her family is in finacial trouble, and that she might be their key to salvation.
Her mother has arranged for Emery to be part of a live reality show. If she reaches the goal of losing 50 pounds in 50 days she'll win one million dollars. Enough money to help her family and to allow Emery to have a life all her own.
However, reality shows have a way of twisting things, and soon Emery finds herself entangled in lies and portraited unfairly. With a signed contract, she is stuck, but with her being at stake, she must find a way free.
First off, this book is designed so well that is was a pleasure to read. The book is divided into four sections: Appetixer, Soup or Salad, Entree and Dessert. Totally clever. We also have Emery's input added at every glance. She includes lists of hilarious opinions and also posts her own blogs. There is no way the reader can miss out on Emery, who she is and what her struggles are about.The story is also told somewhat as a diary, so the reader gets the story in order by date. Even the page numbers are represented by ruler marks.
The topics brought up in this book are highly applicable in today's world. The author delves into not just obeisity, but self worth, sexuality and trust. There is sex involved, so definitely a YA book. The only thing that bugged me was the author's description of Emery. It didn't seem factual with the story. He describes her as heavily overweight with big rolls and hefty thighs, but at the beginning of the book he says she is 5ft. 6 ins and only 192 lbs. Um, those numbers don't add up. A woman that tall would not look obese, just a bit heavy. He needs to add at least fifty more pounds to that number to even begin to match the Emery he describes in the book. Just a bit of a reality check.
That point aside, the book really unrolls at a great pace. I enjoyed hearing of Emery and her struggles, not just with weight, but with family and boys. Things feel so real. The author really gets it. Now the ending surprised me, I expected a big old, knock-down drag out retaliation, but there isn't. She solves her problems in another way, but it feels like I was robbed somehow.
This book is funny and heart-touching all-in-one. 4 stars!