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A heartwarming and hilariously cheeky tale.
Please note: this version is delivered in British English. I hate using that phrase ‘British English’, but for the American readers thinking about picking this book up, just go with the flow and submerge yourself in the culture. It’s not so very different from American English, aside from a few words spelled differently, and I am certain many Americans that I know personally will rave about this book. And just so you know, in the UK a fanny is a vajayjay, not a bottom.
Anyway, back to the review:
Reading this novel is like having coffee with those hilarious old school friends that don’t have a brain-to-mouth filter. I found it to be light, easy to read, entertaining and really funny. And I guess what’s good about the humour in this book is that is it isn’t forced. The author wasn’t hunting for comedic lines or incidents to insert into the book (or didn’t seem to be), so all the hilarity came very naturally and flowed really well to leave you laughing at least twice (but most often more) in each chapter.
There’s a little bit of Mary, Jesse, and/or Dotty in all of us, I think. For me, I’d say I’m Mary’s build, Jesse's personality, and Dotty’s eating habits. I really related to the girls (even though I live under different circumstances), and I found myself reading really fast so I could find out if things turned out how I hoped.
From a writer/editor’s perspective, I thought the plot was balanced well, giving you the hint early on that there will be a trip to Greece, which places a marker in your mind as you read on waiting for the shenanigans to begin.
Grammatically (and I only mention this because this is the one thing most readers tend to pick on in books these days), I picked up only a few things here and there, like a space that shouldn’t be there and a few contractions that my own editor wouldn’t allow in third person narration, but that’s nit-picking to the extreme and what I pointed out wouldn’t bother a reader at all. Clearly the author has hired a great editor or is just one very clever cookie.
I like that throughout the story the author doesn’t try to change the girls. In a lot of stories with overweight charters, they are often hellbent on fitting in to society and becoming the media presented normal weight. The girls in this story, of course, would like to be thinner, as we all do, but the author didn’t make the story about their physical transformation. It was more about accepting themselves for who they are and finding a happy life within that (and maybe even a man). There’s too much preaching out there these days and too much pressure for people to be perfect, so it was refreshing to just be among friends that aren’t placing so much importance on it. However, having said that, there is a sequel coming up, and being that the girls do want to be a bit slimmer and have more self-control, it would be nice also to see that unfold, even if purely for their own health and also because it would be difficult to read about a person wanting change and never achieving it. I’m not talking change as in perfection, but maybe a happy medium. And having said that, it's not a deal-breaker for me. If they have no luck in weight change or self-control, I will still read another crazy book about these girls!
For me, the reading slowed a little for the first half of chapter 15, but picked up again quickly in chapter 16, and I only mention this so other readers won't put the book down at that point. In fact, the conversation in chapter 16 was packed full of little pearls of wisdom, even for a happily married lass like me. I found myself cheering on the conversation with heaps of ‘You go, girl!’ and ‘Yes, exactly!’.
I think this story offers great insight into the lives of these three women and their struggles in a very natural and realistic setting. It offers a unique perspective for those lucky naturally thin girls to understand how those of us with extra kilos feel. And for those of us who put on five pounds when we so much as look at a chocolate bar, it offers some deep insights. Hell, it even made me feel better about myself. Surprisingly, for the first time ever, watching the girls go through their journey made me actually stop worrying so much about my appearance and just love myself a little bit more as a human being. As quoted from the book: “You’re only fat. You don’t have a disease. There is nothing wrong with you.” And best of all, this isn’t even a self-help book, but I really connected with it all. Those are the best kinds of fiction novels; the ones that make you reevaluate something in your life or just view it from a different perch.
The book leaves us awaiting a sequel, but it’s not a cliffhanger, as I know many readers are averse to those, but you will definitely want to get the next book when it comes out, and I recommend leaving a review to let the author know you’re eagerly awaiting it, as I am.
A great overall read. Light, enjoyable, funny, and not too short while also not too long. Five stars!