Jul 9, 2013

Review: 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson

Title: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author: K.A. Barson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: 7.11.2013
Pages: 256
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A+

Summary (from Goodreads):
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 informercial 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!

So rarely have I felt utterly and totally smitten with a book. 45 Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson was the book that I started raving about as soon as I was done. I immediately jumped on twitter, facebook, and started texting all my friends because this is the book I want every teenage girl to read.

Ann is a funny, snarky, loveable character that worked her way into my heart in less than a chapter. She also happens to be about 45 pounds overweight. Following her journey across one summer as she tries to lose those 45 pounds is equally poignant and hilarious. I get Ann. I was Ann. I tried it all—Weight Watchers, every get slim quick diet craze, and everything in between. In a world where your value is often placed on the size of your waist, it’s easy to get lost in it all.

Watching Ann transition from a girl to a young woman was fascinating and awe inspiring. I wish I had had the courage to stand up for myself the way Ann did, and the ability to ultimately be able to differentiate between being thin and being healthy. Ann is such a positive role model for young girls. I want to run out and put copies of this in every high school and make it required reading. It’s that good.

But this isn’t just about Ann trying to lose weight. It’s also about why she got to the point and how outside influences (friends, family, and classmates) can alter the way we perceive ourselves and not always in a good way. Barson isn’t afraid to show the insecurities girls face on a daily basis. How things as seemingly trivial as eating lunch in front of people can make you as vulnerable as walking outside in your underwear.

This is that book that will stick with me for a long time. For the longest time I was Ann, but I’m happy to say we both made it out OK. Definitely get this book, especially if you think you can pass it on to a younger reader.


  1. Wow, I really want to read this now! Thanks for the A+ review!

  2. I was wondering about this book and your review just made up my mind. I want to read this one now!

  3. I've heard such GREAT things about this novel. All the blogs I trust, including yours, seem to be raving about it - about the careful way it handles self-confidence and self-perception issues, about the way it handles body weight because very few YA novels really seem to (the most frequently cited novel I've seen on that is The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and I've not always heard good things about that portrayal). I'm getting more and more excited for this novel - the eating lunch comment is so true... To this day, I'm still conscious of that around others. I haven't even read the novel yet, but I bet I would identify with Ann too.

  4. Hannah, you have to stop reading so many good book, my poor TRB list is overflowing! I'm kidding, you know that right?

  5. Great review...I've added this to my TBR list!

  6. Okay, SO adding this to the TBR. I just finished a similar book about anorexia and the pressures of that in high school and it was fabulous. My review goes up on Wednesday, I think, definitely a recommended read.

    Great review!

    1. It's SO GOOD. Amazing. Are you going to the YADCer dinner next month? I can bring you my copy...

  7. Ann is such a fabulous character. I loved her from that moment where she watched the end of City of Angels and decided exercise was obviously dangerous. So funny!


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