Title: The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Format: E-book (Kindle Edition)
Read: July 15-17
Recommend: OMG Yes!
Summary: Virginia Shreves is fifteen. She is larger-than-average, and has the plus-size inferiority complex to go with. Her best friend has moved to Walla Walla, Washington (as far from NYC as you can get) and she's just gotten to second base with Froggy Welsh the Fourth (yeah, that's his real name). There are moments of light-heartedness, and moments of seriousness that will take your breath away.
Review: This book has appeared numerous times on the American Library Association's banned/challenged book list for a variety of reasons, most of which are 'unsuitable to age group,' however that is a load of crap.
Find me one teenage girl who is the 'fat girl' and tell me she doesn't have self-esteem issues. I know, I was that teenage girl. I was the 'fat girl,' 'the nerd,' and pretty much anything else you could call me. No, my life was not as tragic as Virginia's is, but I still dealt with my fair share of weight bashing from my peers, I had the places that I could 'hide' when I didn't want to be seen, that sort of thing. It took me ages to finally accept myself, accept who I was, and learn what -I- had to do to change things.
After Virginia's brother, Byron, falls from grace and comes home from Columbia for a semester. Things are tense and at the most a failed attempt to be 'picture perfect' in the Shreves household. A trip to Seattle and other life changing events continue to open up Virginia's eyes until she is completely (or as close to completely) at ease with herself. There is a happy ending, and purple hair, and an eyebrown piercing, and even a forbidden public display of affection (that goes against the Fat Girl Code of Conduct!).
All in all, this is a very well written story of every overweight teenage girl who strives to 'fit in' in high school and fill a role that was originally carved out by their older siblings in a picture-perfect family.
I recommend this to anyone who has ever had self-esteem issues for weight, or whatever other reason, and ultimately needed to learn to be true to themselves no matter what others may think of them.