Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Just a Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Author: Tara St. Pierre
Series: N/A
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: May 31, 2015
Pages: 306
Format: Paperback
Average Rating: 4.02
My Rating: 3.5

All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller. To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.

Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be. Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.

Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.

» Review «

This story had a ton of heart and is a great little contemporary tale about acceptance, growth, family and love. In the book, Carrie is distraught because she wants nothing more than to fit into the perfect dress for her school's Valentine's Day dance, which she is sure will impress her boyfriend and classmates. To do this, she enlists the help of some weight loss pills and things kind of spiral from there. In today's society, a story about body shaming and how we compare ourselves to others is extremely relevant, and I thought the author handled the topic very, very well, which I 100% appreciated. Nothing was really glossed over; instead, Carrie regularly comes back to her mistake as she continues to lose weight/height, and openly shares her thoughts, which I think will resonate with younger readers experiencing the same sort of pressures and/or feelings. As a woman in her late 20s, far from the worries that accompany high school and fitting in, I still found the message of this book empowering. Carrie was a great character; though she was a little too eager to please in the beginning, she quickly grew into a feisty young woman that could accept her body the way it was—even at just a few inches tall—and hoped other people could do the same. The familial aspect was great as well; I always enjoy seeing a supportive family come together in a time of crisis, and the Carrie/Amy parts were sweet as I, too, have a headstrong younger sister who was difficult to relate to growing up. The Sci Fi elements of the story were definitely my favorite!

I did find the story predictable and felt like everything was pretty much explained to the reader; there weren't very many surprises, and instead of being descriptive, Carrie usually just came right out and told us what people were thinking and/or feeling. Also, the romance in the second half of the book did move a little too fast for my liking. That being said, fast-moving relationships are a thing, especially in high school, and I am just someone who generally likes to take her time and doesn't understand the concept of feelings developing so quickly. So this may be a part of the plot that only someone like myself would have a problem with.

Spoiler-y Thoughts:

  • Because there was such a big age different between myself and Carrie, I had a bit of trouble connecting to her. However, I did really enjoy the introduction of her blog—because HEYO, I have one too!—and how she used it to connect to others and get her story/information across. I would have loved to see this aspect introduced a little sooner because I feel like we didn't get enough time to appreciate it, but I thought it was a great addition.
  • I really, really liked Evan.
  • I also liked Janelle for some reason? She kind of embodied the classic high school "mean girl," and I was able to relate to her character because of it, since everyone generally experiences someone like that at one point in their lives.
  • My favorite part of the entire book is probably when Carrie was "kidnapped" by one of her sister's friends. I felt like I was watching one of the Toy Story movies; particularly when the cat got involved.
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Overall, I thought it was a good book with a great message for young readers. Definitely worth a read!

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