From Publishers Weekly
A beauty queen develops a rare (and fictional) weight-gaining disorder. "Reading this often artificial novel for insight into [issues of weight, self-image and beauty] is a little like eating peanut M&Ms for the protein, but it's a similarly addictive experience," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Aug..-- is a little like eating peanut M&Ms for the protein, but it's a similarly addictive experience," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up?Lara, 16, is just what most girls want to be: thin, beautiful, and smart. She's dating one of the cutest boys in school, and she's popular. Then she notices that she's gained a few pounds. Unconcerned, she starts to work out harder and watches what she eats. However, her weight keeps going up, and soon Lara weighs over 200 pounds. She spends a week in a hospital on a controlled liquid diet, and the doctors and nutritionists can't understand why she becomes even heavier. Suddenly, she is no longer popular and is faced with ridicule from everyone around her. The story of Lara's weight gain is set against a backdrop of her outwardly perfect, but deeply troubled family life: her father is having a long-term affair, her mother is insecure and obsessed with her (and Lara's) appearance, and her younger brother is angry and rebellious. All of these characters and situations are skillfully drawn, resulting in a compelling story. Bennett captures the voices of teenagers well and offers insight into what it's like to be overweight in a society that is so caught up in appearances. Lara is further challenged when she finds out that the cause of her sudden weight gain is Axell-Crowne Syndrome (readers learn in an author's note that the disease is fictional). This plot device allows for more insight into Lara's character, as she struggles with being overweight through no "fault" of her own. While the fabrication of the disease may surprise or even disappoint some readers, most will find this an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.?Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.