I recently ordered the novel 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson for the YA collection.

One of the reasons I ordered this book is because I don’t think the Library can ever have enough novels about real people with real problems.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a good paranormal romance between a zombie and a Sweedish girl or fantastical adventure with a talking walrus and a magical toothpick.  I just think sometimes you need to read about someone real that has similar issues to your own.  Knowing that someone else is going through what you’re going through just might make your own issues seem a bit less heavy (pun intended.)

This book is about Ann who is a normal girl with normal problems:

  • She’s a little bit overweight (though she thinks she’s huge)
  • Her parents are divorced and have moved on to perfect new families (though she doesn’t feel like she belongs in either)
  • She worries about her chain-smoking grandmother (though she is the coolest person Ann knows)
  • Her best friend transferred schools and her brother moved out and isn’t talking to her (though she is kind of OK without all of the drama that both of them always created)

When Ann’s aunt asks her to be in her upcoming wedding, she kind of freaks out.  Like anyone who has had weight issues she just want’s to look good in her clothes.  But how is she going to look good in a bridesmaids dress when she can’t even find something that fits her to wear on a normal day?  After another humiliating failed shopping trip with her perfect size 6 mother she decides she needs to do something drastic.  Unfortunately losing weight isn’t as easy as the infomercial says…

Eventually Ann realizes that it isn’t important what other people think and no one is perfect, no matter what they look like.  What is really important is that you feel comfortable inside your own skin, however that skin may look.   This would be a great book for anyone age 12 and up interested in a funny read about a real girl.

Barson may be a first time novelist but she did a great job!  45 Pounds was nominated to be on the 2013 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list and received an Amazon Editor’s pick for Best Book for July.  It also received great reviews from various sources.  Visit the author’s website, http://www.kellybarson.com/, for more info.

For more books on teens with weight issues, check out our booklist Big Girls (and Boys) Don’t Cry!.