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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Thoughts: 45 Pounds by KA Barson

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

**ARC received from NetGalley 

I am just going to say it. 45 Pounds was fantastic. I loved it. KA Barson's debut was inspiring and encouraging. I am so glad a book like this has been written and I am very glad I got the chance to read it. 45 Pounds made me chuckle and it make me angry, it made me cry because I was sad and because I was happy. Contrary to what you might think looking at this book, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

The story is told from Ann's perspective and recounts her past failed diet attempts as well and her current one. Ann is a lovely character who is authentically written and is easy to relate to. What she struggles with I am sure every high school girl also struggles with. When Ann decides to go on a TV diet to lose 45 pounds for her Aunt's wedding she is determined to succeed.

What made me adore this book so much was how Ann saw herself- Barson didn't gloss over anything and it wasn't pretty. Ann's weight affected how she related to her mother and it impacted her self confidence and ability to connect to other people. Ann thought that because she was fat she didn't deserve friends and that she was worthless. I imagine that a number of girls who struggle with weight feel this way. It was heart breaking to see how Ann thought about herself and I wanted to just give her a hug.

Ann also has a pretty messed up relationship with her parents. Her dad hasn't been all that present in her life since he and his new wife's angry run in with her older brother. Her older brother disappeared after the aforementioned incident. And her mother is so obsessed with food and over eating and her daughter's weight. She is the least supportive person and doesn't realize how much she is hurting her daughter.

45 Pounds addresses issues of weight, eating disorders, infomercial diets, food obsessions and more and it does it in a way that really makes you see how each and every one of them impacts the lives of those who are facing them.

Overall, I think 45 Pounds is one of the most important books written and I am hopeful that it will encourage every young (and not so young) person out there. I was amazingly impacted by this book in a good way.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. Wow, high praise! So good to hear. And heartbreaking is right, how terrible. But I assume this has a positive and uplifting ending in the end? I hope so. I have been meaning to read more contemporary issue books (having enjoyed the last few), and this is one that I would definitely put high on my list if you are this moved by it. Excellent, thanks for this review, Sara! Well done.

  2. This one sounds so interesting, and possibly something I can relate to. I'm glad that there are books of all types for teens to learn from. I'm glad you loved it so much, and it definitely sounds like one I should pick up.


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