contemporary, review, young adult

Big Bones – Laura Dockrill

“Yes, before you ask, I am fat. Yes. I just called myself fat and that’s allowed. And… I’m not greedy. I just love food.”

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Blurb: “A heart-warming teen story from the unique voice of Laura Dockrill, about Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Big Bones – a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she’s perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food. Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself.”

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
From the outset, the protagonist Bluebelle – nicknamed BB – is told by a nurse that she is fat and needs to lose weight, and given a food diary to track her eating habits. BB is a very forceful, in-your-face kind of character who knows exactly what she wants and that is to eat what she wants, when she wants and to leave school. So she is forced into a deal with her mother: shift some pounds, and she can leave education.

I was really interested in reading this because of it being pegged as a “body positivity” book and, as a fat girl myself, I wanted to see how this would play out. Sadly, it did not have a good outcome. All BB does is talk about food. And I mean that’s all she does. For over 60% of this book. Each chapter heading is a reference to food and the contents focuses either on a memory or her current situation surrounded by whatever food is taking the centre stage. I get that this book is essentially meant to act as the reader traipsing through her food diary but there’s only so many food descriptions and recipes processes one person can read before they are left wondering where the plot actually is. I mean, a fat girl who only talks about food? That’s really breaking the mould… It isn’t until 75% in when the plot really gets going and BB actually starts to re-evaluate her behaviour and start to become more of a formed character. I just wish that had been there from the start.

Of course, her sister – Dove- had to be the exact opposite: she’s skinny and super fit, her main hobby being parkour and I really liked her. I loved seeing her relationship with BB and how they stuck by each other while their separated partners feuded but once again that was piled under layers of food talk.

Big Bones was a book that could have been a game changer. Sadly, it wasn’t one for me.

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