Author: Johanna Edwards
Publisher: Simon Pulse on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback, 271 pages
Ryan is not obsessing….
But she does want to lose weight. Ever since she was outted as a “fat girl” at chearleading camp in fifth grade, Ryan’s been on a mission to shed more than a few pounds.
Lately she’s also on the hunt for a new relationship. Now that her ex- boyfriend is a rock star – currently posing on the cover of Rolling Stone – Ryan seriously needs to move on. They haven’t spoken in months, but in the magazine Noah’s wearing the bracelet Ryan gave him. She can’t help wondering what that means…Not that she wants him back or anything.
No, Ryan’s plan is to make the most of senior year. After all, she’s popular, funny, a talented photographer…she’s got a lot going for her. So it’s not all about losing weight or gaining a boyfriend. It’s about getting what she wants. And it’s about time.
Ryan is on the heavy side, and that’s always been a problem for her. Not for anybody else, mind you, just her. She has an ex-boyfriend who liked her just the way she is. Of course, he’s now a famous rock star, and nobody will let her forget that. Her best friend (also on the heavier side) is away until the new school year, but Ryan’s excited to spend her summer at a super-exclusive photography workshop at the local college.
Ryan was obsessed with her weight. To her, everything in her life came down to what she weighed. No matter what else was going on, she found a way to relate it to her weight. While annoying at times, it’s probably pretty realistic for someone at that age to feel that way. Josh was a typical image-obsessed teenage boy. Until he wasn’t. Noah, the rockstar ex-boyfriend, was a jerk. Maybe he was nicer before he became famous, but I didn’t see it. It made it hard to see why Ryan was still crushing on him.
We didn’t get to know Ryan’s BFFF (Best Fat Friend Forever) until she came back from her summer away, and when she came back, she wasn’t a very nice person. Why were they friends? Because fatties have to stick together. Since they were the 2 biggest girls in school, everyone (including the two of them) just assumed they would be best friends. I hated that.
Although I quickly tired of Ryan’s obsession with her weight, I still managed to feel sorry for her every once in a while. When you’re young, everything is so important and life altering.
This was an easy, fast read, but that came at the expense of plot and character development. Everybody learned their lesson by the end, but they seemed to do it by magic. One day, they just woke up and knew that weight wasn’t everything, that it’s not OK to judge a book by its cover, drugs are bad, etc. We didn’t get to watch as they came to these realizations themselves.
A quick story with a lot of potential, but it lacks characterization and plot development.
Johanna Edwards is the nationally bestselling author of the novels The Next Big Thing, How to Be Cool, Your Big Break, Love Undercover, and Go Figure. Her books have also been published in Russia, Spain, Brazil and The Netherlands.
Johanna is a graduate of The University of Memphis (BA ’01) department of journalism.
Johanna, 34 years old, lives in Memphis where she is hard at work on her next novel.