I’m fat,” I hear myself saying. I look in the mirror. My face has gone hot and red; I feel like I’m going to explode. “I’m fat.” It sizzles under my skin, puffing me up, pushing me out, making me massive.
Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen’s life. How could it not? Her mom is obsessed with the idea that thin equals beautiful, thin equals successful, thin equals the way to get what you want. Carmen knows that as far as her mom is concerned, there is only one option: be thin.
When her mother sweeps her off to live in the city, Carmen finds that her old world is disappearing. As her life spirals out of control Carmen begins to take charge of the only thing she can — what she eats. If she were thin, very thin, could it all be different?
Carmen’s mum is obsessed with dieting and worse she expects her to be too. Carmen likes food though and her Dad agrees with her and so he makes sure she is fed but when her mum takes her off to Birmingham things are about to change. Carmen’s gran is the opposite of her mum, she eats loads and is round as a result of it. Carmen can tell her mum doesn’t really want to be around her family again, particularly her sister but they are here for her job and it doesn’t matter that Carmen wants to go back and live with her dad. When she starts back at a new school things don’t get any better and eventually Carmen begins to feel like getting thin is the only way to be happy. However to get there she is about to turn to extreme measures and the consequences of her actions are about to be shown to her.
With weight and dieting being such a central focus so often in the media at the moment this is a really interesting and powerful book highlighting just how people can become so obsessed with fo0d. Between her Gran and her mother Carmen is experiencing both ends of the scale and she doesn’t know what is best and I think this reflects how a lot of people are feeling with the media coverage of weight we are often faced with.
The attitude of Carmen’s mum is this book really hit me. Having your own mother trying to force you into a diet and telling you you are fat must be one of the worst feelings in the world. I really felt like she didn’t really care at all for Carmen there points I wanted to shout at the book. There were other characters in the book though that helped round out the experience many people are having. At school there are the thin popular bullies and that one fat girl who they bully that help fuel the idea thin is better whilst her Dad and Auntie just wants her and her mum to be healthy.
This is a really worthwhile read and one I think many teenagers should get there hands on. It highlights the dangerous of dieting and how our feelings towards food can effect those around us not always for the better.