Sometimes books about teenage girls who think they are fat are terribly depressing. Other times, the author gets it just right when it comes to the inner turmoil and constant battles with self you can have when you don’t look like your thin best friend. This one got it right. Hayley lives in California-the land of perfect bodies-and is ruled by her insecurities and her mother’s quest to make sure she doesn’t suffer the same fate she did. Hayley isn’t really fat, she just doesn’t fit the mold of expectations and those expectations are pushing her over the edge.
In a surprise move by her parents, who actually realize the damage they are causing her, they send her to Italy for the summer where she has a chance to experience a different culture that doesn’t put so much pressure on being rail thin and discover who she wants to be.
While I thought the author hit the inner feelings of Hayley spot on-always looking at what you are and aren’t going to eat and how you will lose weight anyways, I thought she missed the mark on experiencing Italy as a teenager. I felt a lot like I was reading about an adult enjoying the food, museums and beauty of Italy-not a teenager. Still, that may just be a personal opinion because teens are reading it left and right at my library. 2008, 213 pages.