Rosemary Goode, who works at her mother's busy beauty shop in Tennessee, is fifteen and a half years old, nearly weighs two hundred pounds, and doesn't have a boyfriend. Her only friends are the candy bars she snacks on and the food that her mother tries to hide from her, and she is one lonely, self-conscious fat girl, afraid of the popular Bluebirds who mock her and call her "Artichoke" behind her back. Even Christmas this year for the funny and witty obese teen is a total disappointment (just like everything else in her life): "Santa" (aka her tough mother and obnoxious aunt) brings only an un-used treadmill and tickets to "The Fat Girl Within" conference.
But the day after Christmas, everything changes. After a showdown in the salon, Rosemary realizes that she is sick and tired of being known as "the town fat girl" and is suddenly determined to lose most of her 203 pounds and turn away from her food obsession-for good. Luckily, with the help of a new, reliable friend she can count on and a fresh romance with a boy who doesn't care if she's heavy or skinny, her goal isn't too far away...But when her mother (who is not very close to Rosemary at all), is diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, will Rosemary be able to keep her goal in these tough times? Or will she turn back to food?
Sincerely and beautifully written with true emotions and wit, Artichoke's Heart is now on top of my list of favorite summer reads. Readers ages 13-17 will delight in reading Suzanne Supplee's beautiful novel, packed with feeling and Southern charm. If I could eat this delicious novel, I would (and I bet it would taste great!). (:
(Also, doesn't the cover look yummy?)