Friday, May 20, 2005

The Next Big Thing

I just took a trip to Borders. I think I have a problem. If I don't stop buying books, I'm going to end up on Intervention.

I read The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards in two days.

It's the story of Kat, a 20-something sized 18 woman who is having an Internet romance with a fashion obsessed Londoner named Nick Appleby. Nick has no idea that Kat is not the size 4 that she, with the help of a heavily photoshopped picture, led him to believe.

So, at the behest of her best friend she gets accepted to compete on a reality show called "From Fat to Fit" in a last ditch attempt to lose the weight so she can meet Nick in person for the first time. On the show she lives in a house with several other overweight women where they are subjected to the expected daily tortures aka "challenges" of reality television.

The book was a fun read from start to finish. I am usually leery of the "Fat Girl Loses Weight" genre of Chick lit. I was worried it would be a reverse of Jemima J by the wonderfully inconsistent Jane Green. (Some of her books ROCK, others are unreadable). In Jemima J the heroine drops her weight down to a size four in under a year and has an adventure in America with a man she met on line. It's clearly written by somebody who has no idea what it's like to live with a weight problem. Fortunately, The Next Big Thing concentrated on the reality show. It also focused on the ongoing theme in every fat girls life "Everything will be completely different when I'm thin."

It was a great read with a kind and sympathetic narrator. I'm of the belief that everybody who would choose to go on a reality show deserves their fate. The author seemed to believe that as well. It had some truly surprising twists and turns and kept me reading almost non-stop for two days. It would be a great beach book for somebody who doesn't have to chase toddlers 24/7 on their vacations.


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