I've been writing a lot lately about plus-sized heroines in books, especially since my latest novel deals with a main character who's not just plus-sized, but morbidly obese. I'm writing about an extreme example, but most women are NOT a Size 2; having dealt with a lifetime of weight issues myself, I appreciate when a story features a curvy character who's portrayed as being beautiful, smart and loveable.
Author Becca Ann does a wonderful job in creating such a heroine in her YA novel REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND. Hayley is described as being "not fat, not thin," but has many insecurities about her weight, thanks to her belief that she's just the "Funny Fat Friend" (or FFF). Interestingly, the story is told from the guy's POV; through a smitten Brody, we learn how terrific and gorgeous Hayley really is.
I really enjoyed getting the guy's side of the story because girls tend to be harder on themselves -- and each other -- than boys. When I was in high school, I was SKINNY, dangerously so at times, but I seriously thought that I was fat. I remember my guy friends telling me that I was too thin and was very surprised by this; but most of them agreed that they liked girls to have curves.
I was also drawn into Hayley's very toxic relationship with her mother, who has rather unrealistic expectations for her daughter. For anyone who thought the mom is critical in BAND GEEK, this one is far worse! I do wish that we'd seen more of this relationship because the mother came off as being one-dimensional and I feel as if we got only a glimpse into a serious issue. But again, this was told from Brody's POV, so he'd only have so much access to the mother and Hayley's home life.
I also would have liked to have had some more detailed scenes. We never get much information about characters' appearances or even what the town looked like. I had to fill in most of those blanks on my own. But, in a way, the limited descriptions made sense for a male narrator because most of the guys whom I know, including my husband, tend to be less visual than females. If Jon needs directions, for instance, he can just look at coordinates on a map and figure out where he's going. I, on the other hand, prefer directions like, "Turn left by the gas station and blue house." I'm not saying that ALL men think in a more linear than visual way, but a lot do so this felt realistic to me.
What I really loved, though, was the meat of the story which was Brody and Hayley's relationship. They go from being friends to more over the course of the book and Becca Ann did a geat job in showing this progression. Both mains are extrmely fun and likeable, and you can't help but root for them to get together.
Overall, I give this sweet read four stars and highly recommend!
Meantime, please read my novel REVENGE OF A BAND GEEK GONE BAD, now only 99 cents!