The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

I was totally pulled in by this title. It’s pretty much the only reason I wanted to read this book — I didn’t know anything about it going in. And I’ll tell you this: the book lives up to its title. I read almost all of it in one very quick sitting, and was highly amused when I finished. Good work, book!

She of the Big Round Butt is Virginia Shreves, a tenth grader with, obviously, a few self-esteem issues. She’s a bigger girl in a family of tiny people, with a mother who has anorexia athletica (without the diagnosis, but it’s obvious) and a father who loooooooves the skinny girls. I think anyone would have self-esteem issues in a family like that! Anyway, the story follows along with Virginia’s life as she navigates school with her best friend on the opposite coast, tries to decide if a guy likes her, deals with her revered older brother doing Something Really Really Stupid, and tries to please her parents by shedding a few pounds. Some of these work, some of them don’t.

I loved Virginia. She makes lists! She can’t be bad! I totally remember what it was like in tenth grade, trying not just to make sense of everything, but to make up rationalizations for things that were never going to make sense. Like her Fat Girl Code of Conduct — completely unnecessary in actuality, but absolutely needed in Tenth-Grader Low-Self-Esteem Land. Even though I felt like she had an inordinated amount of crap dumped on her all at once, I was okay with it because of the way Virginia dealt with it all (or didn’t deal with it, as the case may be) like it was as ridiculous as I thought it was.

Rating: 8/10
(Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
Persnickety Snark
Blogging for a Good Book
an adventure in reading

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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