I picked this ARC up at Northern YA Literature Festival and I’m so glad I did because I really loved this book!
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.
I am so glad books like this are being released which not only have a character where the character is not the typical perfectly skinny and flawless teenage girl but she is also happy within herself and what her body looks like. Can we please have more of these books please!
This book is about self-acceptance, about being comfortable in your own skin and loving yourself. It is about body positivity and I really loved it! It also deals with how others can create self-doubt and how others perception of you can be the thing that actually holds you back. It can cause low self-esteem and even result in them suffering from mental health issues.
“It’s not my body that’s holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.”
I really loved the discussion around family and friends who may not even realise that telling someone they need to lose weight to look better is not okay, even if they say they are only saying this because they love that person. It still hurts regardless of “how they meant it” and can cause people to become distant from each other. Like in the book Emily has a difficult relationship with her mum because of how her mum always tries to get her diet, and even tricking her to attend weight loss meetings, saying she only does it because she loves her.
But it was also important to show how these doubts that make us feel less, that make girls feel like they aren’t pretty enough or skinny enough can affect them so much in adulthood too. Like Emily’s mum who constantly worries about her weight.
It was also interesting to see how something as simple as trying on clothes in the shops can be frustrating and stressful for someone who is fat and not many people will understand that stress, especially if they don’t experience something like this themselves.
Emily’s friendships were so wonderful to see, it felt real and relatable. She has a wonderful group of friends who support each other. Her best friend loses a lot of weight over the summer so Emily has to deal with a whole range of emotions from feeling jealous to feeling pressured to lose weight and also being happy for her. And it does cause some tension between them but I was glad to see that they worked through it.
As the story progressed and we see more of Emily’s and Joe’s relationship and how he treats her I was totally rooting for her to go with her gut instincts and I’m so glad she did. I love how the author showed that we shouldn’t be okay with anyone making us feel less than who we are or be with someone who is embarrassed about how we look. Though I do wish the author had spent more time on this part of the story
The ending is the only part I wish we got more of. The middle part of the story felt too long and the ending felt rushed and I would have loved to see more of Emily realising she deserves so much more.
Overall I really enjoyed this story and I hope to see more books that deal with body positivity being released.