I picked up this book at the Edinburgh International book festival a couple of weeks ago which I attended when I went up to Edinburgh for the fringe festival (please let me know if anyone is interested in seeing some sort of haul/ ramblings about the book festival!) - I spent a lot but it was an amazing festival and I will most likely be going again next year. Anyway, back to the point, I was drawn to this book simply because of the cover and because like so many girls, and boys, I have struggled with the way I look/ my size for a great number of years; and I thought 'hey with a title like that I'm probably going to relate to this one'.
I was not wrong.
The story depicts the life of Ever, a 302 pound (thats almost 22st I think my dear British folk) 15 year old girl, and her struggles with weight. I have to say the story quality left me ever so slightly disappointed, however the ideas and message were very interesting. Certain scenes blew me away with their accuracy to how I, and I'm sure thousands of others, feel during everyday situations and confidence and insecurities were addressed and highlighted brilliantly- in particular when it came to insecurities from people who may be deemed 'too pretty' to have confidence woes, something that I have never seen addressed in any sort of literature before or indeed given much attention too.
In addition to this, I was forced to reconsider my relationship with how I look- something that I will admit has always been hard for me- no one can make you feel worse than the changing room mirrors- and I adored the scenes where Ever addressed 'skinny' directly. This book has less to do with the characters themselves and more with our own attitudes towards ourselves.
I can't claim this is the best book I have ever read or that it has changed my life dramatically, but it did make me think; not only about myself but about the society as a whole. What concerns me the most about the story is that this girl is 15 years old and she hates herself so much, I was shocked 'surely no one that young feels that way!?'. But then I remember- was I not about 15 when I first started to wear make-up? 14 when I cried because I had been called ugly at school? I remember distinctly having concerns at 13 about love handles...
It shocks me that it was so important and necessary that a book like this was written to highlight how young children are when they start to become preoccupied with what others think about them and how big their thigh gap is, as well as confronting the increasing obesity epidemic that is taking a hold of the world. I would recommend this book to all those who have ever had any doubts about how they look or what others think about how they look- please don't expect some great classic but this is defiantly worth reading.