It’s summer before senior year, and Mia, who needs a boyfriend to “feel like a person,” finds herself on the receiving end of a publicly humiliating breakup.
Her best friend, Justine, hatches a revenge plan: catfish ex-boyfriend Seth via social media and make him fall in love with fictional “Katie,” thus ensuring his total destruction. “Slightly chubby” Mia, who’s already decided on revenge-through–weight loss, acquiesces, and the two white girls go ahead with the plan. As their scheme progresses, they express doubt about their actions, but that doesn’t stop them from seeing the plan to fruition. As Mia’s body shrinks, thanks to her overconsumption of creatively named smoothies, so does her lingering love for Seth; other factors play a role in her changing attitude, but weight loss seems to be the key ingredient. (To Justine’s credit, she’d rather enjoy the cookies than worry about an extra 10 pounds.) What had the potential to be a delightful summer-vacation story is marred by the dysfunctional weight-loss narrative, the girls’ obsession with appearance, and only a modicum of diversity. (Justine and Seth are both Jewish.)
Decent enough for readers looking for something fast and fun to pack in a beach bag, but young feminists will likely throw it at the wall. (Fiction. 13-17)