by Ken Baker
published by Running Press Kids
Available April 22, 2014
"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.
Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?
My Two Cents
Emery Jackson is definitely a character that you won't forget. She is a big girl with an even bigger personality. Despite living in the land of Botox and eating disorders, she is heavy...and doesn't really care. I enjoyed her voice. I felt the teen vibe from her, which is something many YA books struggle with, in my opinion. I felt like her character could have been rounded out a bit, as she was just a bit one dimensional. Overall, though, this girl is someone you would want as a friend.
This was a quick read--perfect for a vacation read this summer! I will also say that this book is really appropriate for older teens and, of course, adults who love YA. It mentions some pretty heavy topics that someone younger might not be ready to deal with...not censoring, just making you aware!
My only disappointment was in the ending. I refuse to spoil it for you, so I will just say that I thought it could have been developed further and was somewhat inconsistent with Emery's strength of character. BUT...YOU be the judge! To entice you to pick this lovely book up, take a peek at the super fab videos below!
Watch the Book Trailer:
Watch Ken Baker read a segment while at USC:
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review