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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love by Ken Baker

Release Date - April 22, 2014

Running Press Kids

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

For Emery Jackson, daughter of a former NBA player and a Laker's cheerleader, being overweight seems to be the worst crime  imaginable. Ridiculed by many of her peers and her perfect older sister and subjected to a mother who feels the best sandwich is one ordered without bread because carbs are evil, Emery finds solace in her equally overweight boyfriend Ben.

When Emery learns her family is on the verge of bankruptcy and that reality TV is the only way out. She agrees to become the star of a show titled Fifty Pounds to Freedom. The goal is to have Emery lose 50 pounds in 50 days. If she's successful, she gets $1,000 for every pound lost and her family receives $1 million. Even Emery knows that with her family about to lose their home, she can't say no.

I love how reality TV is portrayed in How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love. I've never understood the world's fascination with reality TV, it's quite sad the things people will put themselves through in order to gain money. Ken Baker does a great job at capturing how much of a show is really scripted and not impromptu. I also loved that Emery never turned into a fake person like her mother and sister. Her wit, sarcastic nature, and strength came through from finish to end.

That said, the descriptions used to come up with a physical image of Emery often seem over the top. At 199 pounds and 5.5 feet in height, I am not convinced she would have "elbows resting atop rolls of blubber that billow out from the sides below my bra like squishy armrests." Yes, she will have some extra weight, but not quite the blubbery whale the author kept portraying.

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