Book Review: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

Published September 18, 2012 by LS Murphy

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex, especially when she compares herself to her slim, brilliant, picture-perfect family. But that’s before a shocking phone call — and a horrifying allegation — about her rugby-star brother changes everything. With irreverent humor and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine who speaks to every teen who struggles with family expectations, and proves that the most impressive achievement is to be true to yourself.

The First Line: “Froggy Welsh the Fourth is trying to get up my shirt.” If the name Froggy doesn’t interest you, I’m not sure what else would. I’m immediately curious who this girl is that would allow a boy named Froggy to feel her up.

The Good: Virginia Shreves is smart, funny, and overweight. Unfortunately, she focuses on the last thing. And so does her family. Her mother is an adolescent psychologist who was once overweight. Her father constantly comments on women’s figures. Her sister and brother are both thin, and in Virginia’s mind, perfect. How can a fifteen-year-old compete with that?

Virginia’s honesty and observations are true to life. She’s relatable to teens who struggle with their own identity. While Virginia’s obsession with her weight is what seems to be the priority, it’s more about how she fits in with her family and how she lets that define who she is.

The Bad: I wish there would’ve been a conclusion to the Brie storyline.

Recommendation: This is a book I think every girl should read and every Mom of a teenage girl should read as well. I wish I had read it earlier.

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