Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Lynn Biederman & Lisa Pazer
Where do I begin? This is one of those stories that hit so many nerves in me, that there’s not nearly enough room to write about everything it made me feel. These two authors have done an absolutely fantastic job of telling a story that focuses on a subject touching so many lives – teenage obesity. This review is coming to you from a girl who had to battle this particular atrocity during high school; a girl who, when she ran down the hall because she was late for class, inevitably saw someone standing there making elephant noises and pretending that the floor was shaking from the earthquake that was me. So, I must say, I was absolutely thrilled when this book came to me, and I saw that the authors had made sure this particular subject matter was treated with kindness, sincerity, honesty, love, redemption, and friendship.
We begin with Marci. Marci is sixteen and weighs two hundred and eighty-eight pounds. Once upon a time Marci loved her life, when she and her mom and dad were all together as a family, and she was looking forward to the Ivy League in her future. Unfortunately, her mother decided to leave Dad, and they ended up in New Jersey living in a McMansion where Marci inherited a young step-father and a ‘twit-orexic’ stepsister – whose only goals in life are to make fun of Marci and work hard to hone her cheerleading skills. Marci’s best friend Jennifer already went over the border to Mexico to get the Lap-Band surgery done on herself, and she’s been losing weight like crazy ever since. She begs Marci to get the surgery done so that they can both go out and get those hot, hot guys.
Marci and her mother are sitting in the Midtown Sheridan on Park Avenue listening to his miracle-worker doctor talk about this fantastic surgery for teenagers. He’s sponsoring a clinical trial and is accepting a very few teenagers to try this surgery out on. Most of the conversation makes Marci sick. You see, Marci is one of the few overweight teens who actually likes herself and thinks the surgery is dangerous; even though her mother and best friend are constantly putting her down she still likes the fact that she has a brain.
Also in this clinical trial is a young girl named East. East lives with only her Mom – who is overweight and never gets off the couch anymore. Not a big surprise, considering that East found her Dad’s body one day after he’d committed suicide and her brother moved away and never speaks to them anymore. East wants so badly to be accepted into this clinical trial. She doesn’t want to end up like her Mom and practically begs the doctor to let her in. East’s best friend is named Char, who is absolutely beautiful. Yes, she’s overweight, but stunningly gorgeous and is so excited about this clinical trial that she’s eating like crazy in celebration of losing all of the excess weight very soon.
Bobby is the final main character in this touching tale. (It is so nice for the authors to include a male figure in this book and treat him with such wonderful kid-gloves). Bobby comes from a long line of popular football players. Nicknamed the Refrigerator, he is heralded by many fans in his school, his father, and his coaches, for being a fantastically large, unstoppable player. Unfortunately, for the rest of the world, Bobby doesn’t want to be a huge football player; he wants more than anything to drop his three hundred and thirty-five pound frame so that he can find a career he likes, and also find a girl who will truly love him.
Each and every character’s story is so different, but the authors all weave their tales together like a perfect quilt. As the four teens become closer and closer, secrets are uncovered, painful memories are unleashed, and friendships – as well as romances – are born as they get to know one another in therapy with Betsy Glass, the petite, slightly annoying, psychiatrist.
This story is anything but schmaltzy, and in an industry that seems to be producing largely vampire stories, it was so refreshing to not only identify with these teenagers, but really grow fond of each and every one. This is a story that teaches strength, courage, and honesty. Most of all, the amount of heart that these two authors have injected into this tale, is far more overwhelming than anything I’ve read in a very long time. Anyone out there who has ever looked in the mirror and hated what they’ve seen should run out and get this book. You’ll learn the most amazing lessons that will have you feeling like a million bucks. A loud ‘Bravo’ to these wonderful authors!
Click Here To Purchase Teenage Waistland