Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition
Release Date: May 14, 2009
Synopsis: Blubber meets Steel Magnolias in this funny and honest story about body image and family. Rosemary Goode is smart and funny and loyal and the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But only one thing seems to matter to anyone, including Rosemary: her weight. And when your mom runs the most successful (and gossipy) beauty shop in town, it can be hard to keep a low profile. Rosemary resolves to lose the weight, but her journey turns out to be about everything but the scale. Her life-changing, waist-shrinking year is captured with brutal honesty and humor, topped with an extralarge helping of Southern charm. A truly uncommon novel about an increasingly common problem.
Artichoke's Heart is about a girl who's fed up with being fat, sick of being criticized by her overbearing (size zero-wearing) aunt and being made fun of by the girls in school. Rosie resolves to losing weight and keeping the pounds off. For good. So she decides to use that dusty treadmill that her mother bought her and begins crash dieting...which fails once she relapses with overeating. Miserable, Rosie feels destined to never be skinny until an unexpected friendship blossoms between her and one of the nicer, popular girls in school and an even more unexpected crush is interested in Rosie despite what she looks like. Together with her new friends and determination, she sticks to a healthier diet (and exercise plan) and begins seeing results.
I loved this book. It was honest and totally endearing! I liked Rosie as soon as I read the first page: she was a character that I think ANY girl can relate to. Her worries about how she looks takes away her realizing just how awesome she is as a person... and I feel like many girls (and boys too!) go through the same thing. It's no hidden fact that obesity is becoming an epidemic and killing people's self-esteem. Rosie never noticed that she was kind, wonderful and genuinely interesting because the only thing she saw in her mirror were the 200 pounds she was carrying. It takes her a while to understand that she's more than just a number on a scale but she eventually sees the error of her ways. She realizes that with a little bit of exercise and being more careful with her food choices, she can still eat what she likes without sacrificing herself in the process. Her new pal, Kay, also helped her by inspiring Rosie to run with her in the mornings and Kyle, a handsome football player (yay romance!) who takes an interest in her boosts up Rosie's deteriorating self-esteem. By the end of the book, Rosie has a totally new outlook on herself and manages to lose weight the right way. I definetely recommend this book because it deals with a common issue that everyone's been affected by (whether indirectly or directly) and Rosie shows us that it takes time, effort and support to start the painful journey of rediscovering yourself.