Author: Cherry Whytock
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2003
Genre: Realistic fiction
Cover score: B
Overall Grade: A-/B+
Compared to her cute, tiny friends, Angelica Cookson Potts (aka Angel) feels like a huge, wobbling whale. Even though she loves cooking, eating, and all things Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef), she just feels big around her classmates, tiny ex-model mother, and Adam (aka the Love of her Life). Angel decides it's time for some Life Changes in order to nab Adam and to not look like a total blob at the upcoming school fashion show--starting with an all-cabage diet that has, er, explosive results. But with the support of her 3 best friends, Angel may just realize that being "big" isn't so bad after all...
My thoughts: What a cute, cheeky British read! Angel was an ideal main character--funny and honest, I felt like she was relatable and super down-to-earth. I hate whiny main characters, but Angel was the exact opposite: she was so lovable!
The other characters in the story (Angel's friends, family cook, wacky parents) created a colorful backdrop for the refreshing, unique story. I loved the strong, love-yourself-for-who-your-are message behind some of the silliness, and I also loved that Angel cooked! The recipes in the story sound super-yummy, I definitely want to try some out. And the super-cute little doodles that were scattered throughout the book made a great visual for the story and added a personal touch that really added to Angel's voice.
My only complaint would be that the book might be a bit too short for my liking. After all, it was only 163 pages. Ms. Whytock took a perfect amount of time getting to the point, but the ending ended up feeling rushed and kind of abrupt. Plus, it was a bit predictable.
Still, what a fun, quick, and cute read! I'd definitely recommend this to the teenage girls that I know: I can't wait to see what's next for Angel in the sequel, My Saucy Scottish Dumplings (crazy titles, huh?)!!
PS. Which cover do you prefer, the purple UK one to the upper right (which is the one that was in my public library) or the American version, above?