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Teenage Waistland Paperback – November 8, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375860347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375860348
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,443,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-"Your weight is not your problem, it's merely a symptom," says the psychiatrist to a group of teens approved for surgical weight loss. The statement does not immediately stick, even though, prior to their gastric surgery, Bobby had felt the strain of living up to his father's expectations and football legacy, Marcie harbored resentment toward her new stepfamily, and East still mourns her father's suicide and her mother's retreat from the world. Throughout the teens' operations, recovery, and drastic changes in diet, their problems become more complicated as they shed pounds. While these numerous betrayals, revealed secrets, and tragic losses threaten to overwhelm readers, they effectively illustrate the various health risks and emotional consequences involved with the procedure. One senses that the authors felt a need to get all the information out there, and though this results in the characters occasionally straying into medical lecture speak, their internal journeys and external transformations help drive the narrative. An afterword from the director of the Center for Adolescent Bariatric Surgery at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center is included.-Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Marcie, Bobby, East, and Char are candidates for a teen surgical weight-loss trial. Each is severely overweight, and each has significant issues in their past that have led to their current need for surgical intervention. Three of the teens alternate the narration in a novel that is surprisingly upbeat given its emotional intensity. A mandatory support group dubbed Teenage Waistland brings the teens together with others undergoing the trial. They are encouraged to explore their habits and relationship with food, and in doing so, they uncover and face demons ranging from parental disapproval to suicide and statutory rape. Although group-leader Betsy’s role sometimes lends the air of a self-help book wrapped in a novel’s cover, the teens themselves are vibrantly drawn characters whose journeys into their past as they envision a healthier future for themselves will draw laughs, tears, and much compassion. Grades 9-12. --Heather Booth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
Everyone should be able to relate to this tale of self-discovery and triumphing over one's demons.
Riley
Each and every character's story is so different, but the authors all weave their tales together like a perfect quilt.
HelloWriters
From their back story, to the way in which each character reacted to the world reacting to them, they were very real.
W. Wallace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HelloWriters on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Where do I begin? This is one of those stories that hit so many nerves in me, that there's not nearly enough room to write about everything it made me feel. These two authors have done an absolutely fantastic job of telling a story that focuses on a subject touching so many lives - teenage obesity. This review is coming to you from a girl who had to battle this particular atrocity during high school; a girl who, when she ran down the hall because she was late for class, inevitably saw someone standing there making elephant noises and pretending that the floor was shaking from the earthquake that was me. So, I must say, I was absolutely thrilled when this book came to me, and I saw that the authors had made sure this particular subject matter was treated with kindness, sincerity, honesty, love, redemption, and friendship.

We begin with Marci. Marci is sixteen and weighs two hundred and eighty-eight pounds. Once upon a time Marci loved her life, when she and her mom and dad were all together as a family, and she was looking forward to the Ivy League in her future. Unfortunately, her mother decided to leave Dad, and they ended up in New Jersey living in a McMansion where Marci inherited a young step-father and a `twit-orexic' stepsister - whose only goals in life are to make fun of Marci and work hard to hone her cheerleading skills. Marci's best friend Jennifer already went over the border to Mexico to get the Lap-Band surgery done on herself, and she's been losing weight like crazy ever since. She begs Marci to get the surgery done so that they can both go out and get those hot, hot guys.

Marci and her mother are sitting in the Midtown Sheridan on Park Avenue listening to his miracle-worker doctor talk about this fantastic surgery for teenagers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Wallace on January 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Back in November, when I was looking for new releases, I came across this book and was eager to read it. While I haven't had lap band surgery, I have dealt with weight issues. I was curious to see if the authors would truly be able to capture all that comes with being obese or whether they'd create a story around stereotypes and misconceptions.

The story is told from the perspective of four teens that apply for, and are accepted into, a lap band surgery trial. As part of the trial, Marcie, East, Char, and Bobby (along with a few other minor characters) meet once a week for a group therapy session. They call their group Teenage Waistland.
Within each chapter, we get to know how it is each character ended up obese. The girls experienced painful loss and used food to deal with the aftermath. Bobby, a football player, while trying to live up to the expectations of his father, struggles with wanting to create a life beyond football.

The authors did a good job in bringing together characters that were incredibly relatable. From their back story, to the way in which each character reacted to the world reacting to them, they were very real. Marcie's sarcasm and distrust of people, East being withdrawn and shy, and Bobby wanting approval and to not upset his father gave them all a depth beyond being just people who ate too much and didn't exercise enough.

As well as being a story of teens coming to terms with their weight and doing something to change it, there was also very much an educational aspect to the story in the form of Betsy, the psychologist, who is the gatekeeper into the trial and also leads the group therapy sessions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Lissack on November 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Marcie, Bobby, East and Char are four extremely fat teens selected to take part in a clinical trial for weight loss surgery in New York City. This crowd is as far from the `in' crowd portrayed in so many teen novels base in NYC as could be--and a heck of a lot funnier. And sadder! This story has enough information to be an important read for anyone considering weight loss surgery, especially with the afterward by a doctor who heads up a real weight loss surgery clinical trial in New York. However, you don't need weight to be an issue at all to fall in love with the teens, feel their pain, and cheer them on. One of the best novels I've read in years--and I'm about half a century beyond my teens!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jehw on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I could not put this book down! This is a compelling read about teenagers who are not immediately sympathetic -- they are high school outcasts who are morbidly obese. Yet after the first 20 pages I found myself laughing at their hard-edged wit and rooting for their success. The writing is fast-paced and the conversations -- between the teens and their friends and the teens and their parents -- sound like teenagers I know. I particularly liked the way the authors advanced the plot by alternating chapters in different characters' voices as it helped me understand their fears, hopes and insecurities. I was blown away by the raw power of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Riley on November 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story may be about overweight kids, but this fine book is not only for overweight kids. Everyone should be able to relate to this tale of self-discovery and triumphing over one's demons. The characters all are appealing, but the heart and soul of the book is East, a wallflower with zero self esteem who finds a core of inner strength nobody - especially her - suspected was there. The writing is crisp, and is several cuts above the typical young adult novel. It is a serious story about real problems, but it is filled with wit and humor. Highly recommended!
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