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45 Pounds (More or Less) Hardcover – July 11, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
K. A. Barson's debut novel has incredibly strong characterization. From page one, Ann's personality shines through. She's rather funny and intelligent, but, more than anything, she's a mound of insecurities and self-hatred. If, like me, you hated pretty much everything about yourself at some point in your life, you will feel for Ann; I ached and part of me was right back in that place. If you never went through that, I suspect it will be really hard to really comprehend how Ann could think that way about herself. From my own experiences, Ann's thought patterns are wholly accurate. They are also frustrating. She makes so many bad choices, but not for the sake of the plot, the sort of well meaning bad choices that are a part of growing up.
Ann really does have a problem with food, and Barson shows this very well. The root of Ann's dietary issues stem from her family. Any stressful situation sends her to the food, a response programmed into her from childhood, one she can't quit, though she wants to. Unhappy with the way she looks, Ann tries fad diet after fad diet, losing a few pounds and then falling off the wagon.Read more ›
45 Pounds by K.A. Barson is about every girl Ann, who is overweight, wears a size 17, and is incredibly embarrassed about it. She has a stick thin perfect mother who has apparently never worried about weight her entire life, and has difficulty making new friends. She's struggled through many different diets, but this one is different-- her aunt has a wedding coming up, and Ann is determined to fit into a cute bridesmaid dress. This all seems very stereotypical to teen literature, but this book takes a generic idea and makes it new.
I admit that the first 100 pages were very painful for me to read on so many different levels. Ann is the perfect teen protagonist-- very insecure with many flaws, but with so much room to grow. She's like any of us were when we were at the awkward teenager stage where all we wanted to do was belong. I'll be honest-- I almost wanted to put it down because reliving those years was not my idea of relaxation. But then midway, something changes. Ann realizes that her sphere is larger than just around herself and that everyone has their own history, their own insecurities, their own fears. Barson introduces some really wonderful supporting characters-- Raynee, Ann's new friend, was probably my favorite of them all, and they take this book to a new level. The writing is crisp and the pacing makes absolute sense.
The resolution of this book is perfect-- and it brought tears to my eyes. In contemporary YA, the characters are the center of stories, and this book is chock full of it.
Overall, a book bursting through the seams with heart, courage, and depth that I was not expecting. A must read.
I found Ann to be easy to relate to as a character. There were definitely some moments where I really felt for her and could remember what it was like when I was a teen and people made comments about my weight or eating habits (I wasn't overweight but my relatives made comments anyway) or like Ann, I had those emotional fitting room scenes where clothes were too tight. I liked Ann's spunk and determination and I enjoyed watching her grow and discover more about herself and her family. It was great to see Ann decide to quit trying to fit her mom's ideal and work on being herself instead. Along the way she even makes a great friend in Rainee and finds a sweet love interest who likes her the way she is.
Overall I thought this book had a great message and great characters. The mom isn't portrayed as some villain. She genuinely cares for Ann but she doesn't have the healthiest attitude towards her body and she has passed that on to her daughters. She has her own issues to work on and while the end of the book doesn't wrap everything up with a bow, it does show that Ann and her mom are making progress in their relationship with each other and with food. There is also progress in mending broken family relationships. What I liked best is that the emphasis of the story is not on weight loss but on being healthy and being yourself rather than trying to fit someone else's concept of who you should be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While this was a cute read, I was disappointed. I had hoped that along the way of the protagonist's journey, I would be taken on my own journey of self-love and acceptance. Read morePublished 12 days ago by GreeneJellyBean
This was a great book recommended by Might Girls about positive body image, I liked it and so did my 12 year old granddaughterPublished 1 month ago by Patty Morais
This book is real and relatable. I loved the fact that the main character has a messed up family and not a best friend from birth. It's so real. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sage
This book will make you laugh. And cry. And feel inspired. It was a stunning debut, and her new book CHARLOTTE CUTS IT OUT is just as great in unique and beautiful ways.Published 3 months ago by CMM
I have to tell you, I found myself crying over this book. I felt like Ann at times and her mother at other times. Food is my crutch, my comfort and my enemy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cathy J. Parker
I enjoyed the book. Some of the people in the book are not so nice, but a real portrayal of many.Published 7 months ago by BookLuvr
I loved this book! It was truly an inspiring story about a real life situation! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good read absolutely loved it.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a story about a teenage girl who struggles with being overweight. I liked Ann's voice. She was very relatable. Read morePublished 10 months ago by jenf2