Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review: Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Size 12 Is Not Fat - Meg Cabot

The life of Heather Wells has been far from ordinary. Once the darling of the teen pop world, and engaged to famous singer Jordan Cartwright, Heather was at the top of the entertainment game. That was, of course, until she rebelled against singing the sugary pop songs that were written for her, witnessed Jordan in a compromising situation with fellow singer Tania Trace, was abandoned and robbed by her mother and saw her dad end up in jail.
Now she works at a New York College dorm as the assistant resident hall director- a job that will guarantee her free university tuition if she passes probation- and boards with sexy private investigator, and Jordan’s older brother, Cooper, in his nearby brownstone apartment.
But Heather’s life is about to change a whole lot more, and not for the better.
When some of the female residents of the dorm fall to their deaths from the building elevators, Heather suspects that foul play is involved. She doesn’t believe the university administrations’ views that the girls were involved in elevator surfing, a predominantly male ‘sport’.
Enlisting Cooper’s help, and relying on a whole lot of junk-food to get her through, Heather’s on a mission to track down the killer of Fischer Hall and put an end to the student deaths…

What I gained from reading this book:
The opening chapter of this novel touches on the sensitive issue of weight, clothing sizes, and what is considered the norm for women’s body shapes. Heather is in a change room trying on pairs of jeans when she overhears the woman in the next stall complaining that the jeans she’s trying on are too big, despite the label saying that they are her size. This prompts the salesman at the store to mention that their clothes use the ‘vanity-sizing’ system, designed to make larger women feel better about wearing a ‘smaller’ size even though they’re still wearing exactly the same size, with only the number on the label reduced.
As a size 12- the size of the average American woman- Heather is outraged by the insinuation that size 12 is fat, and so the title of the novel is born.
Vanity sizing, although common with some clothing companies, is luckily starting to get phased out as more and more women become comfortable with their bodies and the image they want to project. For some readers, Heather’s sizing experiences may be a comfort, especially since she is portraying the image of a normal-sized girl, rather than a stick-thin heroine.

Heather, while she has her quirks, is a somewhat relatable character. She is a fairly normal girl who loves to eat junk food, lusts after her housemate Cooper with an almost obsessive tenacity, and would rather have a bath than a shower because she’s too lazy to wash while standing. Although these aren’t behaviours that most people indulge in, readers are still able to relate with her character and see parts of their personality within her.

The character of Heather can be a little irritating, especially in the first few chapters where she continually calls her workplace a dorm, only to correct herself and call it a residence hall- every single time! But luckily this annoying affliction does ease up as you get further into the story.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Genre: Comedy/ Crime

Recommended for: People who enjoy reading stories about former pop stars who’ve reconstructed their lives.

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below:

Size 12 is Not Fat

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