Sunday 9 February 2014

Book Review - How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love 
Author: Ken Baker
Genres: Contemporary| Young Adult
Release Date: 22nd April 2014
Publishers:  Running Press Kids
No. Pages: 272
Source: Review Copy - Running Press Kids
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?

First of I just want to say that even though I got approved on NetGalley for an honest review, I feel bad because I really disliked this book and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings its just that personally as an overweight girl I found this book to be offensive. I know that a lot of the views of the characters in the book are what a lot of people think but some things just got to me. Like this one line "And, of course, it will limit her socially, as it is a well-known fact that thin people find more success in life-in love, in business,in even getting a seat at a restaurant, you name it- than heavy people" I think what annoys me is that people actually feel like that.

Emery has always been a big girl, and in a look/weight obsessed family living near the beach she sticks out like a sore thumb. She's happy with how big she is though, is in love with her boyfriend Ben (who is equally as big if not bigger) and its everyone around her that seems to have a problem with how much she weighs and what she eats. Her family are constantly putting her down, not as subtlety as they think and are forever over looking her for her perfect sister Angel.

Her mother is obsessed with the family being famous, to the point where she uses emotional blackmail to force Emery into doing the unrealistic, losing 50 pounds in 50 days. Despite the way her mother is towards her, she agrees to do the show. It pushes her to her limits, physically and mentally, with every part of her life being monitored in one way or another. She's an overnight hit though and with success comes jealousy. Her sister Angel is getting increasingly agitated with all the attention, be it good or bad, being focused on Emery, leaving her second guessing sticking by her mum and pushing Em to do the show, even if it was for purely selfish reasons. Unfortunately Angel isn't the only person who seems to be out to get her, her high school rival Kendra decides that its not rewarding being on team Emery and decided to tell the tabloids about one of Emery's very drunken mistakes.

In all honestly I didn't like Emery's character. I wanted so badly to like her (and this book) but I just couldn't connect with her, she was just so angry and negative all the time. She had her good parts, one thing I did like that she said while doing one of video blogs was about the word fat. Or the F-bomb. (she's accidentally said fuck you on camera and is talking about why 'dirty' words like that aren't as hurtful as some)
"I've been called a lot of downright hurtful things: Miss Piggy, Jelly Belly, Big Bertha, Large Marge, Bacon Boobs. And I have had the dishonor of being called all the cliche "muffin" nicknames, among them: Muffin Top, Muff-o-patamus, Muff-a-lo, Muffin Meat. And these are just the names I have heard said to my face. But the worst word that has ever been thrown at me by these Big People Bullies is "fat". Most of my life I have been called fat- so much so that I started calling myself fat just so I could take ownership of what is, basically, a really hurtful adjective. The F-bomb itself is not a specific attack, an indictment of someone's appearance or
personhood. It is just a word we have collectively deemed as a society to be "dirty" or "bad"."
 Now like I said, I am an overweight girl myself. I've put on about 3 stone in the past 5 years since being pregnant and having my little girl, and I try to call myself fat as much as possible to in Emery's words, take ownership of the name. Sadly it doesn't work like that as it still hurts when people say it, so that was one of the only times I connected with her. I personally thought that too much was being squashed into too little pages and maybe if the book was longer and Ken Baker spread it out a bit more I might have liked it more, but almost all the characters got on my nerves and considering it had such potential in my eyes to be a good book, I would be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little bit disappointed. I just think more time needed to go into developing the characters because a lot of them were just one sided.

Some male authors can write from a females prospective, sadly, what I felt from reading this book is that Ken Baker was not one of them, but like I said the potential is without a doubt there and wont be letting my bad reading experience with this book put me off the rest of his work.


  1. This book doesn't sound good at all. I am sorry that you had to go through the process of read it. :(

    1. don't get me wrong, I didn't like it, but I am in no way shape or form doing a book blog to try and change peoples opinions or keep them from a book that could have the potential to be a favourite, if you know what I mean? .

      I'm just very fussy and hard to please lately haha


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