Synopsis: Carrie Roberts just wants to fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day, and she needs a quick fix NOW! With the dance just a week away, she turns to desperate measures and takes some diet pills she saw advertised on TV. All seems to be going well as the inches start falling off, but soon Carrie realizes that not only is she losing weight, she’s losing height. Carrie Roberts is shrinking.
I love the message that this book sends about body image and peer pressure. Carrie knew that she didn’t need to take the pills, but she took them anyway to ‘look good’ for the dance. These are important issues to talk about because everyone deals with them no matter what age, shape, or size you are. I could related to a lot of what Carrie was feeling because I felt like that when I was her age, and even occasionally now as an adult (ugh is that what I am now?).
I really enjoyed how strong the relationships were within the novel, especially between Carrie and her family (Amy included). The exception to this is that Amy drove me absolutely insane for the beginning of the novel, and resentment or not (which seemed like it was unwarranted), I felt like her treatment of Carrie was a little absurd. Even after the their heart-to-heart, I had a tough time trusting her because it seemed so sudden. (Maybe I’m just picky.)
Carrie as a Protagonist
When Tara emailed me about reading her book, she pitched it to me on the notion that Carrie and I have a lot in common because she wants to be a journalist and of course the similarity in our names (plus she writes a blog, so yay!). It was also interesting because Carrie is a cheerleader as was I, and did so for about six years. Our similarities don’t end there, though! She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, despite the fact that she’s going through something so unique and ultimately difficult. I couldn’t help but to applaud when she cut certain ties in her life and owned up to her actions if/when she did something wrong. As with the messages shared in the story, Carrie was incredibly relatable because of the issues she had with her body and in her life.
This book took me a while to read because the pacing of the book was slow. While I enjoyed the premise of the story, and thought that the idea of a girl shrinking because she took diet pills was really cool, there were some elements that didn’t need to be included. I totally understand that the reason why we were given a chapter every few inches she shrunk was to see how she struggled adjusting to her size and everyday tasks. I just feel like there was a large chunk in the middle where we didn’t quite need to be updated on every new struggle she came across. As Carrie continued to get smaller, I understood that she wouldn’t be able to reach certain things, or see outside the windows.
However, all of a sudden the book came to a close and everything was wrapped up in a nice little bow. I think there needed to be a little more of a bridge between the end of the last chapter and the mini epilogue about ‘after’ the whole ordeal. I think it’s interesting that when we don’t necessarily need/want the extra information, we get it and when we want it, we don’t. But c’est la vie.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and think it’s a great novel that talks about issues plaguing not only young people, but everyone. It’s a good one to have in your arsenal if someone needs an uplifting story or wants to read about how a girl kicks her body issues in the butt and accepts herself the way she is.
Thanks again to Tara! It was an enjoyable read and a job really well done. 🙂