High school junior Bett was an athlete and a daredevil.
That was until two years ago, when a dare gone devastatingly wrong destroyed the life of someone she loved. Guilt-ridden and heartbroken, Bett engages in self-punishment by denying herself anything she considers a treat, including the purest pleasure of all: movement. Merely thinking about running and how good it made her feel is something she’ll have to counteract with a junk-food binge. Now heavier than she's ever been before, Bett attempts to mortify herself daily with short-shorts as part of her punishment. When odd circumstances (notably, not an attempt to lose weight) force her to start running again, Bett finds herself stuck in a Catch-22 and can no longer deny her true self. Bett is unique among fat characters in fiction: She can scale walls and outrun the thin kids on the cross-country team. The third-person narration is limited to Bett’s perspective, and run-on sentences when she’s anxious place readers in the midst of her out-of-control thoughts. Throughout, the fatness-as-punishment message simmers just under the surface; however, the resolution somewhat negates that message. Whiteness is assumed for most characters.
A much-needed story about a fat girl that does not equate weight loss with salvation. (Fiction. 12-17)