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If The Dress Fits Kindle Edition
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I freely admit I have got mad feels for Carla de Guzman’s latest read, If the Dress Fits. As someone who wears dress sizes in double digits despite being barely a hair over five foot flat, I found myself instantly relating to main character Martha Aguas. Especially when I read this:
"My relationship with food was long, simple, and absolutely delicious. My relationship with my weight was a little more complicated. I carried it around, and I was good at making it look effortless. It wasn’t something I loved or hated, it was just a fact that I accepted. I know I’m supposed to “love my size,” and I did. But forgive me for not being totally happy with it 24/7."
Little did I know it, but this quote would define a lot of what I loved and didn’t love about the novel. The first two sentences were just a joy to read. The third intrigued. The last two left me a little confused.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start by saying that I have no doubt that big girls everywhere (or even just anyone who’s ever had issues with the way they look or the numbers the weighing scale reports when they step on) will find it very easy to relate to Martha. This is a character who is far from perfect—she’s got emotionally crippling self-esteem issues that seem to feed into a rather urgent case of doormatitis as far as her family (who are lovable, but with huge personalities, sharp tongues, and dull senses of discretion) is concerned.
As a result, she’s got a job she’s good at but isn’t particularly passionate about, a hottie BFF she makes sure not to lust after, and a love life as full as a beer barrel the morning after a frat party. But lest you think she’s all hum and drum, she’s one of those characters with an intrinsic likability because despite everything that gets her down, she remains basically sunny and optimistic and kind. She’s also got a sense of humor that’ll make you laugh out loud. Not to mention a pup who loves her whom you’ll fall in love with.
And then there’s Max, who is just as lovable as the pup I just mentioned. Not just because he’s a hottie with a bod to drool over. Not just because he spends his life helping sick and injured pets get better. Not just because he’s kind of cool on the outside but a total nerd on the inside and a book addict to boot. But he’s a guy who know what and who he wants in life. He’s got a healthy sense of self-respect, something Martha eventually takes a few lessons in. And he sees and loves Martha for who she is, so that the trappings of what she does, what she wears, what she says—these are all layers he doesn’t need to peel away to see to the heart of her. If that’s not swoon-worthy material, I don’t know what is.
But as a romance, If the Dress Fits isn’t all hearts and roses. Not just because conflict is necessary to the story (and is very much present), but because I found myself a little confused by Martha’s vacillations in terms of her love-hate relationship with her size and shape. I guess it’s that I saw a lot more of the insecurity and self-loathing with regard to how she looked than I did the “love my shape” stuff, even though she paid a lot of lip service to the latter. And I think I would’ve liked to seen more growth and a happily ever after with regard to this emotional issue for the character than I did.
Still, this wasn’t really a deal breaker for me, just something that kept me from five-starring the read. Another issue I encountered was with my inner grammatical authoritarianism, which had my brain itching a bit thanks to some issues with verb forms and tenses—past participles in particular.
Yet again, this wasn’t a deal breaker thanks to the tide of feels elicited as I read If the Dress Fits. Not to mention how hungry it made me! It’s definitely a must-read for anyone looking for a sweet BBW romance with a sense of humor and a dash of steam (hurrah for the first steam factor 3 rating for this author!), and it would be a great stocking stuffer for any gal.