March seems to be my month of introspection. The books I have read till date, and therefore the forthcoming reviews will indicate how much thought triggering happens due to the content and the storyline.
This is a book that has you reflect about your own body image and how you react to others. I have a mild bias going in, especially after seeing the author’s note at the very beginning. I was super skinny throughout my childhood well into my bachelors, irrespective of what I ate or if I exercised at all. So when I started putting on weight, I did not know how to keep it in check (working out has turned out to be the best solution). I am not overweight, and I know some people would look askance at me for even talking about this topic, but that’s pretty much the point of the narrative. Everyone has weaknesses and sometimes its easier to wallow than consider that there are alternatives, again-not talking of losing weight per se but to even see yourself healthily.
Greta Gale is a budding actor, she is also much heavier than she would like to be. She dresses in a way she thinks hides herself the most and also cracks jokes with others while being the punchline and has people in her corner and even as she does the judging, they help her out. Greta also learns the hard way that she has a problem with her coping mechanism. That is just the first half of the book, in the second we have a road trip with powerful parallels to the Wizard of Oz as the author warns us would happen. Both parts are pretty unique and have different learning curves for the protagonist and her loyal family and friend. I really liked the positivity running like a thread through it all, and I think this is a brand of Uplit that makes sense in the current social media-obsessed world where what you see is often not what you get, but you aim for that image anyway.
The only reason I did not give this a full five stars is because despite the serious content and the colourful characters (I loved Greta’s mother the best) it took me a considerable time to get invested emotionally in their trials and I felt like the second half wrapped up a little too abruptly. It is still an excellent book to read and has all the kinds of people one could cheer for, and we are strongly advised to do just that both fictionally and in real life.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.