From Publishers Weekly
A 30-something's makeover hits a few snags in Lamb's wan latest. Stevie Barrett has lost 170 pounds since she had a heart attack at age 32, but she still struggles with the same old dysfunctions: horrifying memories of her insane mother drowning her sister, the toxic uncle who raised her, and deep insecurities that see her sabotaging herself at every turn. Adjusting to her new body, Stevie struggles to carve a self-image as she helps her cousins plan their parents' 40th anniversary party and battles a moral dilemma at the law firm where she works as a legal assistant. Lamb (The Last Time I Was Me) writes with an acute sensitivity in the quiet sections where Stevie plans her garden and contemplates the ramifications of her dramatic physical change, but these pleasant moments are drowned out by extended slapstick sequences in which her uncle and, in flashback, her mother, display the same outrageous behaviors over and over. Stevie's a winning heroine, but the underdeveloped support cast dominate too much of her show.
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In Such A Pretty Face, author Lamb does not skirt around her heroine’s many problems. The book opens with a tragic memory from Stevie Barret’s childhood that would go on to define her life, and she eventually finds herself entirely alone and dangerously overweight. Her life is a restricted one in which she contantly feels secluded and lonely. After she undergoes weight-loss surgery and loses so much weight that she is literally half the woman she once was, Stevie slowly begins her own healing process. However, her path to healing is not a smooth one, and she soon finds herself facing many troubles: she runs into difficulties at the law office where she works, suffers from a crippling shyness around the opposite sex despite her new slim figure, realizes that her best friend is unsupportive, and must deal with a strained relationship with the aunt and uncle who took her in so many years ago and whose anniversary party she now must plan. Lamb writes Stevie’s story with humor and brutal honesty, and the result is an affecting portrait of one woman’s heroic journey from tragedy to her own version of happiness. --Claire Orphan