Author: Sasha Paley
Published: Simon Pulse, 2007
Genre: Realistic fiction
Cover Score: A (yummy s'mores!)
Overall Grade: B+
Privileged Wil's health nut parents are forcing her to spend the summer at Wellness Canyon (aka fat camp). Reluctant to leave behind her flat screen TV and luxurious beach house, she's determined to get the ultimate revenge by gaining weight. Meanwhile, perky and enthusiastic April has been saving up her money all year in order to attend, and is pumped to shed the pounds.
But when the girls are assigned as each other's roommates, the fur starts to fly. Wil's sneaking off to 7-Eleven, April's determined to get into the popular crowd, and soon they're even crushing on the same guy. But between reduced-fat snacks and fitness hikes, the girls both get humiliated by the same person--and revenge is in store. Can these two, overweight, unlikely friends come together to form the perfect prank? Maybe this summer will be one to remember.
My thoughts: I've been watching the TV show (based off of this book) on ABC Family, and I fell in love with the cast of quirky characters and the drama-filled, honest, and funny plotline. However, I was a bit disappointed at how different the book was--in fact, it fell a little flat for me.
While I loved April and Wil as main characters, the book could've used more well-developed secondary roles. In the show, this kind of character keeps the story really interesting and fresh. I was expecting to see more characters that I know from the show: like Dr. Rand, Amber, Chloe, Ian...Now I know that the show is a loose adaptation of the book.
However, I really liked the "fat camp" setting. It was unique and was a perfect background for all of the self-discovery and growth that went on in the book. I also liked the relationship between Wil and April, even though it was super-predictable. Even though I hate whiny characters (ahem Wil), their dynamic was perfect for the drama that went on, and I liked the alternating points of view (though I'm not a big fan of third person).
Even though the book could've used a few more twists and turns and better-developed characters, it makes for a fun summer read. If you're a fan of the show, or if you just want a book that's funny and sincere, give Huge a try.