45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by K.A. Barson


Age Range: 12 - 18
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Ann has a weight problem and a mother problem—and the two issues are likely connected.

A rising high school junior, Ann has fought (and lost) the weight battle since early childhood. Getting hilariously stuck in a too-small dress she tries on at the mall surely proves it. She clearly has a dysfunctional relationship with food, eating way too much whenever she’s troubled—which is to say quite often—and blithely rationalizing her behavior. Unwisely determined to lose 45 pounds in two months in order to look good in a bridesmaid’s dress when her aunt marries her girlfriend, Ann buys a diet program from an infomercial. Her account of suffering horrendous exercise videos and bad food is both funny and sad, and she falls off the wagon several times. She and her thin, driven mother don’t, at first glance, seem to have much in common. But when Ann sees her 4-year-old stepsister telling her teddy bear he’s too fat, she realizes both she and her mom have serious food issues that threaten her sister’s well-being. That recognition, presented in an authentic first-person voice, gradually paves the way for believable changes as Ann re-evaluates failed friendships, her own role in consuming secretly spiked drinks at a party, and the potential for a relationship with a nice—and attractive—guy.

While lessons are offered, they are deliciously coated in readable prose and a compelling plot. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 11th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-670-78482-0
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2013


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