Title: The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex, especially when she compares herself to her slim, brilliant, picture-perfect family. But that’s before a shocking phone call — and a horrifying allegation — about her rugby-star brother changes everything. With irreverent humor and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine who speaks to every teen who struggles with family expectations, and proves that the most impressive achievement is to be true to yourself.
Final Rating: ♥♥ and a half / ♥♥♥♥♥
AimalReads Review under the cut:
I received this book as a gift from my boyfriend (ha ha, you’re funny) and I went into it without knowing much. For some reason, I’ve been out of the mainstream reading genre for a long time, so I’m trying to get into the books that are talked about a lot, because I feel extremely out of touch with it. And I hadn’t heard anything about this book. It has a fair rating on Goodreads, so I was looking forward to reading and liking it. I didn’t have high expectations, so I didn’t HATE it, but I didn’t love it either. It was entertaining and meaningful, and it tackled issues like eating disorders, rape, bullying, self-harm. It was a quick read, and I finished it within two sittings, but I wouldn’t say all these issues were dealt with properly. But that’s just my opinion.
I can’t say much about the plot, because I feel like nothing much happened. This book is the kind of book that doesn’t really have a story, per se. It’s focused more on the theme of the book, rather than a set story. Like I said above, this book focuses on a lot of real, important issues. A lot of light on bullying and feelings of insecurity due to the weighing scale is shed, and I could relate to these feelings of insecurity or self-loathing. But I did feel like that the bulimia of one of the characters was disgustingly overlooked, so much so that I began to hate the main character for not taking the right step. The issue with Byron, the main character’s brother, was repeated extensively throughout the book, and Mackler did a good job of portraying how someone deals with an issue that happens to someone you love, but the issue itself never really resolved itself. So even though the book was more theme-oriented, I was severely disappointed with some of the decisions made regarding how to tackles these themes.
I didn’t really care for the characters much. I cared for the main character up until the half mark, but after that, I felt like she was just annoying. Overweight people go through a lot of shit in their lives, from small remarks to self-loathing, from feeling absolutely insecure to feeling like they don’t deserve love. Virginia feels all these in the beginning, and it was heart-breaking to watch her go through these things. But then she turns rebel in one day, starts accepting her issues in two seconds and it was so unrealistic. My major problem with her was her reaction to a certain person’s bulimia- she does nothing. You’d think a person who has struggled with weight-issues and insecurity problems would reach out to people who have similar issues, but no. She ignored it completely, turned it into a reflective incident and I hated it. Also, how she treated her love interest, Froggy, was annoying. The other characters were just there— they didn’t do anything to the story-line.
Cliché and uninspiring. Mackler didn’t make me feel anything at all.