Word Spelunking

45 Pounds (More or Less) - K.A. Barson I've always had issues with my weight, from the time I was in middle-school, all through my teen years, to even now. I was never one of the skinny girls who could just shop anywhere and find super cute clothes...so when I read the blurb for K.A. Barson's 45 Pounds (More or Less) I just new it would be relatable, and relatable it was! This YA Contemp is not only wonderfully relatable, but also funny, thought-provoking, and unexpectedly touching.Sixteen year old Ann is a size 17 and not comfortable in her own skin. Her perfect size six mother, who is not subtle about her disappointment in Ann's weight, doesn't help Ann's situation. When Ann's aunt asks her to be a bridesmaid in 10 weeks, Ann decides she'll lose 45 pounds and fit in the perfect dress. Desperate, Ann turns to an infomercial weight loss program, which doesn't turn out to be the miracle it claims to be. A new summer job, best friend issues, family drama, and the cutest boy Ann has ever seen, all collide, creating one busy summer for Ann.45 Pounds (More or Less) was such a fun, cute summer read! This YA Contemp isn't just about Ann's weight loss struggles, it's about family, friendship, acceptance, and self-discovery, but it isn't cheesy or too after-school special over-the-top. This is a quick read, easily consumed in one sitting, and once I began reading I didn't want to put it down. Barson writes with a smart, witty voice and has created such a likable, refreshing main character.Ann's struggle with losing weight, her relationship with her family, and her awkward interaction with the cutest boy ever, are all so relatable and written in such an authentic way, with such charming humor. Barson deftly explores important and heavy issues, like eating disorders, bullying, and dysfunctional and broken families with a seriousness such issues deserve, but in a way that keeps the story from ever getting dark. Whether or not readers have struggled with weight issues, Ann's addicting, often hilariously cringe-worthy experiences are irresistibly entertaining and easy to relate to. Ann's home-life and various family relationships are thought-provoking and written with care.I loved Ann a lot and saw so much of myself in her. I felt like I was standing right there with her through every awkward encounter, every painful experience, and every squee-worthy accomplishment. In many ways, Ann is pretty average, not insanely smart or wickedly snarky or a total outcast, but it's this average-ness that makes her so likable and endearing. I was easily caught up in the relationships between Ann and her various family members, especially between she and her mother, and found myself moved, surprised, frustrated (and lots of other feels) by them. However, one thing that bugged me was the way Ann often treated her younger siblings with unwarranted and unfair annoyance and impatience.I really liked how the subtle romantic elements played out in 45 Pounds (More or Less). The romance doesn't dominate the story at all and is sprinkled throughout in just the right amounts of organic doses. The “cutest boy Ann has ever seen”, aka Jon, is super likable and the perfect mix of sweet, charming, quirky, and swoon-worthy. I loved every scene and interaction between Ann and Jon!45 Pounds (More or Less) ends on such a wonderful, refreshing note.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: 45 Pounds (More or Less), with its authentic voice and awesome main character, was such a delight to read! I walked away from this book with the biggest smile and look forward to reading more from this debut author.

Currently reading

Kendare Blake
Blue Moon
James Ponti
Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter
Simon Mayo
The Real Boy
Erin Mcguire, Anne Ursu
Crest (Ondine Quartet, #3)
Emma Raveling