by Jen Larsen
Release Date: October 6th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, High School
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.
Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.
As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?
Through her indecision's and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.
I was really looking forward to reading this book. It was a great book with a great message. Especially in today's society. Ashley is fat. Every year on her birthday her Grandma gives her a card that rewards her with something she would love if she lost X amount of weight. For her 17th birthday her Grandma gives her a card that says she'll pay for Harvard if Ashley has gastric bypass surgery. I really wanted to hate the Grandma, but in a misguided way, she was just trying to do the right thing to make Ashley happy. Her kinda happiness, not Ashley's, that in itself was messed up. This book had a great cast of characters and I really, really loved Ashley. She did what was right for HER at the end and no one else. I've always loved Jen Larsen's books, but this one just became my new favorite.
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Jen Larsen is the author of Future Perfect and Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed With My Head. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and currently lives in Madison, WI. Find her at jenlarsen.net.
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