Losing weight is the solution to all basketball-star Leah Mandeville’s problems, or so she thinks. Getting superthin will:
a) help her jump shot
b) make her look like America’s Next Top Model
c) get the attention of the high school hottie who ignores any girl with a little junk in the trunk
And it’s working, isn’t it? Her boo is now crushing on her. Everyone says how good she looks. But the problem is that Leah doesn’t feel good. And her life is taking a huge turn for the worse, despite her new “perfect body.”
THE GOOD: The not-so-stereotypical characters. For once the protagonist dealing with body image problems isn’t a caucasian cheerleader. Not only is she into sports, she is also the school basketball star, the one on whom hopes are built. Leah’s mom is a former supermodel and her so-called friends are the popular asian cheerleaders, so it’s understandable where all that peer pressure comes from. I think the best thing about this book is how Dona Sarkar shows the length someone can can go to to look good. Leah tries every possible thing you can think of to get her dream figure from living solely on watermelon juice or laxatives to her growing dependence on pro ANA websites (after I finished this book, I went looking at some of these websites and it’s freaking scary!). Very, very credible.
THE BAD: It lacked the intensity that such a topical book perhaps requires. Yes, there is a sense of death-fright, but somewhere along I would have liked to know why exactly Leah goes this way. I mean, yeah, we all know about the peer pressure thing but it was like, one moment she’s thinking -‘Fuck body image’ and the next moment she goes -‘Omg, I must get thin!’-which didn’t make her a protagonist I liked very much. Shrink To Fit could have done better if it had been written in first person instead of the third person narrative. Also, I had a problem with the potential love interest, Jay, and Leah’s mother, Victoria. They both came across as confusing characters. So Victoria was a woman with many layers but Jay? Um, I get the fact that he’s super-cute, but hello, he was one of the catalysts to fire off Leah’s downward spiral..so not cool!
THE OVERALL: Topical and very informative. I recommend this since it really gives a lot of useful information on what really happens when your body starts behaving abnormally. Shrink To Fit had the potential to be a lot better, but it’s not a bad book. Try it.
I’ll give this a 3/5.