Published August 2019 by Macmillan
‘It’s not my body that’s holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.’
Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.
I was sent an e-arc of this book via Netgalley and the Publisher.
I loved this book. It was such a sweet and easy read for me and I definitely connected on a deep level with the main character, Emily who is struggling with how she thinks she is perceived by others because of her weight. Emily is a gem, she is confident and outspoken but inside she is dealing with the overbearing nature of her mother who is struggling with her own weight and the constant worry of teenagers – comparing herself to others, measuring success on her friends relationship milestones and focusing on the only thing she can see as being the difference between herself and them – her body size.
I wish I had read this as a teenager. By the novels conclusion, Emily has realised that she can’t compare herself to others and that she doesn’t need to accept anything less than the best, because no matter what she looks like it doesn’t change who she is as a person. It’s a cheesy and well-worn message but to have it put so plainly in this Young Adult novel really made me feel good and root for Emily as a character.
This novel also attempts to tackle the social issue of fad dieting in the form of Emily’s mum who is constantly trying to lose weight but struggling to do so. She seems to be impeded by her daughter’s self-confidence which from a mother is so completely the opposite of what I grew up with I did struggle to ‘believe’ her attitude although I totally understood the mental health side of things behind these actions. I think this was the only detraction for me and it didn’t impede my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.
Goodreads rating: 4/5 Stars