Pretty Girls Don’t Eat
Winter dreams of being a fashion designer. Her designing talent can’t be denied – but Winter believes that she will never get anywhere unless she is thin. The more compliments she gets for her weight loss, the more uncertain she feels about life, and what actually makes her a worthwhile person.
I wanted to love this novel. I was super excited about it from the moment that Ford Street emailed me to ask my opinion on which of three potential cover images would be the best. Turns out, the one I liked the most was also the one eventually chosen. I just found that this novel added very little to the host of teenage fiction around ‘fat girls’ and so forth. There’s several others that I have read, of which I just can’t remember the name of at the moment, and those would take my fancy first.
Winter moves very quickly from sick to acceptance, which I found very unlikely. People with eating disorders often find it hard to come back to a normal way of thinking. I think this novel shows the slippery slope of calory counting very clearly! The teenage brain is very impressionable. Winter doesn’t set out from thinking that starving herself is the answer. But then, it goes worse, because the boy she likes won’t recognise that she’s beautiful.
At the ending, it’s not clear to me about Winter… What did she do next? Is she really going to keep working on things? Will she fall back into bad habits? Give me more! How can those broken/repaired relationships ever be as strong as before? She seriously stepped on so many toes…
Honestly, with Christmas time coming up, I wonder whether novels like this actually make good presents. What if the (female) teenager has inner weight problems/doubts and this novel makes her think that you think she is fat? Maybe in a stack of other YA novels that cover a range of potential teenage problems, such as Caramel Hearts or Holding Up the Universe! I give this one 3 stars.
Ford Street | July 2017 | paperback