Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: 45 Pounds (More or Less)

45 Pounds (More or Less)
By K.A. Barson
Published: July 11, 2013

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

My review:

Ann has been on many diets over the years and what usually happens is that she'll tell her mom she wants to lose weight and her mom will push and push and push her. At some point, Ann's diet will fail, her mom will be disappointed, and Ann will feel disgusted with herself. It is an unhealthy cycle and one that is about to start again when her aunt announces her wedding and asks Ann to be a bridesmaid. Ann decides she wants to go on a diet and this time she will stick with it. Unlike in the past, she also decides to keep the diet a secret from her mom.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book but I knew that I wanted to read it. I found myself really touched by Ann's struggles with both weight loss and other people's perceptions of her based on her size. The book also looked at friendships and family relationships which I really appreciated.

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. 

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley


  1. I love the concept of this book and that the message is about being healthy and not some number on a scale. I think many women can relate to this story and I think it's important one. I'll definitely keep my eye out for this one at the library. Thanks for the great review!

  2. I've become more interested in health and fitness in the past two years so the topic really speaks to me plus I like the sound of focusing on family and especially examining women's self-image issues (something close to my heart.) I really want to read this!

  3. I've been so curious about this book! Glad to hear that it has a great message + characters, and that it focuses on family and relationships. Sounds like a good story!

    Excellent review :)


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