THESE 4 FUN READS HAVE POWERFUL MESSAGES ABOUT BODY POSITIVITY
SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT
Author: Meg Cabot
Romance usually gets a bad rap for propagating unrealistic expectations, particularly 90’s Mills and Boons with their life-size Barbie heroines and their impossibly perfect (and often misogynist) heroes making sparks fly and the pages sizzle. The past decade has seen this genre grow up and get real. Rom-com queen Meg Cabot is one of the first to start a wave of chick lit featuring perfectly imperfect characters and romances that combine the ideal doses of fantasy and reality.
Size 12 is not Fat is an oldie but goodie. Published in 2005, it features down-on-her-luck former pop idol Heather Wells, who medicates herself with KitKat bars to escape the reality of one parent in jail and another gone AWOL, just like her music career and her former fiancé. A job at a New York college dorm seems to be a great second chance – until people start dying.
Part romance, part comedy, part thriller, this one, and its sequels Size 14 is not Fat Either and Big Boned, make for some great reading, and Heather, with her intelligence and empathy is an outstanding protagonist.
Author: Adam Rex
It’s not just girls who get insecure about their weight. When we think about vampires, the popular image is of perfectly sculpted, ethereally ageless men with badass superpowers. That’s not what we get with Adam Rex’s Fat Vampire.
Tubby young Doug Lee learns the hard way that, contrary to what the media tells you, when you become a vampire, you’re stuck in the body you inhabited right when you Turned. For him, it means he’s doomed to never have puberty turn his overweight body into a Greek statue. Worse, apparently being a fat vampire is against some kind of vampire law, and now he has to fight for his life.
From cover to cover, this book is funny, sad, and nerve-wracking all at once. Lee is such a sympathetic character, but he’s also so badass in his own way, you won’t feel sorry for him.
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Sci-fi/Fairytale re-telling
There’s something about Disney princesses that make for great retellings, and Marissa Meyer’s cyberpunk take on the age-old story is definitely a fresh one.
Forget the beautiful soot-stained girl playing with mice and birds in a lonely attic; Meyer’s world sees Earth in thrall of the Lunar people, and our heroine is a mechanic down in our home planet. Not only is she not the conventional ideal of feminine beauty, Cinder is not even human. After she was horribly burned in a childhood accident, the only way doctors could save baby Cinder was to replace her damaged body parts with robotic prosthetics. This includes one eye and parts of her brain, so that the teen Cinder is post-human, all too post human.
As for Prince Charming, in this book, Kai is a human prince, whose last chance at saving the planet from the Lunar Queen is to marry her. But does he realize that this is all a trap? And can Cinder get to the ball in time to warn him? You’ll have to read the story to find out.
While fairytale retellings are always touch and go, the richly crafted world is what makes this and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles a shot.
Author: Dean Koontz
If you thought your skin concerns were bad, wait till you read about this poor guy. Chris Snow, the protagonist of Dean Koontz’ Moonlight Bay series, suffers from a rare, but apparently real condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), which means his skin is so sun-sensitive, he’d break out in tumours instantly if he was ever exposed. This disease forces the poor guy to spend his entire life indoors and maintain nocturnal hours, like a vampire minus the immortality and super strength.
When Snow inadvertently witnesses his recently-deceased father’s body being swapped for that of a vagrant, he does some ill-advised snooping, is almost caught, and this sets him down the most intense 24 hours of his life, one that involves mutant apes and government conspiracies.
Aside from being a breathtaking page-turner, this is also a read that shows how our bodies are mysteries and even our imperfections have interesting stories to tell.