The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round ThingsFifteen 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 Realistic characters Well written Virginia could be someone you actually know Virginia could even be you Anyone who s ever been given a variation of the criticism, You could be pretty if and anyone who was chubby in high school and looked down on for it will be able to greatly empathize with Virginia One thing that struck a note of reality with me was Virginia s mother I used to teach and had a student who transferred to my school a couple of months into the school year She was in one of my classes Her transfer grades were excellent, all As and Bs Remarks and comments in her file from previous teachers indicated she was also well behaved and nice to be around All that changed when she came to the school where I was teaching Her mother had gone back to work as a child pyschologist, overseeing an entire hospital based clinic for troubled teens The mother was so focused on her work and so convinced her two children were perfect that when her son and daughter both began acting out at school, the woman refused to believe it was her children She kept trying to blame everyone else She actually said in a conference with one of the vice principals and me that her daughter was NEVER a problem until she came to us and clearly we had it out for her child Later, that vice principal told me that before I arrived for the meeting, he d mentioned that it wasn t just big behaviors and failing grades that was getting the girl in trouble but small things as well such as gum chewing The mother stood there hotly denying her daughter even chewed gum while the girl stood right beside her blowing huge, pink bubbles and popping them Reading the constant denial and unwillingness to see her children s imperfections that Virginia s mother displays throughout the book reminded me so much of this woman I met years ago Another theme that strikes a reality note is Virginia turning her anger onto herself, both physically and mentally Anyone who s ever pinched, hit, cut, or burned themselves and had thoughts of, If only I weren t fat stupid ugly short tall etc will truly grasp the torment Virginia puts herself through.An excellent book that I highly recommend Find all of my reviews at Here s an important message to all of the people who made this selection top the Banned Books List Do you actually think that by removing stories like these from school libraries that it will also magically eliminate any nastiness from ever occurring to your speshul snowflakes I mean, I understand that Virginia might not be everyone s idea of a great time, but silencing her won t keep the superbadawful stuff from happening.The good news is, I loved Virginia enough for at least 20 or 25 naysayers And I loved the messages contained in this little slice of awesome even Sure things got wrapped up in a tidier way than would happen in real life, but it s a YA book FFS What s the message supposed to be Everything is horrible and life sucks That s what the grit lit genre is for So what kind of things are within the pages of this little gem Well, I ll tell you But first, to all the helicopter parents out there The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things tells some straight up truths such asLosing your virginity is sloppy and painful and about as fun as getting your toe amputated, so it should definitely happen with someone you care aboutVirginia learns that maybe her brother didn t really deserve to be put up on a pedestal like she always thought when he gets kicked out of college And discovers that while she feels this wayI know what it s like to hate your body so much that you want to hurt itEven a person who she thought was perfect, might be hiding the truth about what they do to get there Most importantly, Virginia eventually comes to terms with the fact that this line of thinking is disgusting Because everyone deserves friendship and love no matter their size I loved watching Virginia find her voice and realize thatI think people can choose to be victims or they can choose to be empowered and to carry on That s what I want To be empoweredHighly recommended.And to any youngster who might be reading this review who can relate to Virginia Please remember This one was a strange mix of empowering and kinda problematic for me I m a bit at a loss of what to think tbh I got sent this review copy from the publishers and it s actually been rewritten updated by the author to fit into being a modern 2018 book The original was set in 2003 which, we ALL KNOW Is when dinosaurs were still around The underline of the whole story is nobody is perfect Which is a good message And honestly I love how Virginia learned to accept and love herself for who she is, to not be ashamed of being fat, and to stop being crushed by her family s smothering expectations However it is like this wiiiildly easy pendulum swing of how fast she goes from one day self harming and starving herself to just loving herself 00 I feel like mental illness is a lot deeper rooted than that.AND okay yes nobody is perfect but that doesn t mean you can be horrific and just be easily forgiven Consequences, ok But Virginia is such a nice person She s kind of funny and honest and she believes very deeply about things I really enjoyed her narration But alsooooThere were some things that seriously freaking disturbed me And I m not totally keen on how they were handled Virginia says seriously HORRIBLE things about herself to start, but she never really takes that back I kind of felt at the end she was happy despite being fat, not just happy to be herself that might be me misunderstanding though HER PARENTS ARE AWFUL Her mum is a child psychologist, but legit praises her daughter for getting an eating disorder also her MUM has an eating disorder Her dad openly comments on his daughter s weight, tells the mum she s fat if she doesn t just eat lettuce, etc etc view spoiler But as soon as Virginia says that s not cool dad at the endhe s cured 00 hide spoiler This book has trigger warnings for depression, rape, self harm and bulimia So keep that in mind if you decide to pick up this book.I did enjoy it but there were some things that I did not like The first thing is that it took to long to get anywhere The first 100 pages were the same story, and for a book that is 250 pages long, it shouldn t have taken that long to get into it I felt there wasn t much of a plot.Another thing is that the ending happened quickly The book rounded itself off too fast for the pacing that was started in the first 200 pages I feel like the author could have taken the last 50 pages or so and flush them out to make a longer book Something I did like was the connection I felt with Virginia I connected with her on so many levels. I m wavering between a 3.5 and a 4 on this one Very quick read The book is about Virginia a girl trying to live in a picture perfect family when she herself does not feel quite so picture perfect Dealing with being overweight, critiqued and facing a family crisis, Virginia deals with teenage issues.On paper, Virginia has it all A super slim beautiful Mother, and caring family She is wealthy and can basically do whatever she likes Her best friend goes away for the summer and Virginia is left on her own so to speak Virginia has a lot of insecurities She is overweight and gets ridiculed about her weight She has a lot of anger which she turns on herself This story is awkward, depressing, funny, basically it feels like a teenager Like how Virginia feels. I LOVED this book in high school I remember reading it repetitively because I just adored the main character, Virginia Shreves I remember relating to her so, so well and supporting her over and over, always urging her on I was her biggest fan More often than not, I found myself wishing for what she wished for, dreaming of what she dreamt, and hoping and believing in her, because if everything could turn out okay for Virginia, it could turn out for me, too.Mostly, I remember thinking that we were so alike, and yet so different, because whereas she overcame her insecurities, I was still waiting for my miracle But she gave me hope that it could and would happen.This is definitely one of those books that can make you laugh and cry all at once It s awkward, funny, embarrassing, depressing Just about any teenager can relate to this at some point To be honest, I can t believe I forgot about this book until now This book was like my bible in high school I d recommend it to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider Even if it was just for a few seconds. The thing I hate about most realistic teen fiction, especially those attempting to tackle issues, like self esteem and body image, and so forth, is that the characters always experience some profound transformation within in the span of a few months, and everything gets wrapped up and tied with a nice little bow by the end of the book This book was no exception to the rule Our heroine, Virginia, is a misfit teen who hides from the world by immersing herself in the Internet, movies pop culture magazines She lives by the Fat Girl Code of Conduct, which is neatly summarized for us in one her lists in the first few pages and actually is one of the better inventions of the book , and feels out of place in her seemingly perfect family But when her older brother, who Virginia has always worshiped, gets into trouble and has to leave school, Virginia starts seeing that her family isn t as perfect as she thought and that she has plenty to be proud of herself I think there are some valuable messages in here to teen girls about body image, being yourself and not putting people on pedestals but also think that the simplistic and heavy handed fashion in which those messages are delivered might be off putting to many teens, who are much sophisticated readers than this book assumes they are Maybe this book is for tweens than older teens, but still I think there are plenty of other books girls could read and draw the same conclusions from that are better written and have believable characters. This book is a TIME CAPSULE.I read this exclusively because I got an ARC of the sequel, which is inexplicably coming out this year Yes A sequel To this 2003 contemporary Which couldn t do a better job of capturing a bygone, offensive, outdated way of looking at weight if that were its goddamn purpose.For the most part, this is just a strange reading experience When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with reading contemporaries well above the age I was supposed to be reading Mom, what s a blowjob Me at age nine because of a contemporary I can t remember but which I do know had a girl swimming on the cover and 10th grade and up written in pencil in the margin of the title page It was really easy to access these books because I lived in a neighborhood with a library in it, and the library then had a very small, very limited young adult section It was pretty much all early to mid 2000s contemporaries like this one And since the whole thing was limited to a handful of shelves, I read almost all of them I didn t even like them, necessarily I read them disinterestedly, with detachment, as if I were a researcher studying slugs who correctly views slugs as being mildly disgusting.Also like slugs, these books were largely interchangeable Slugs all look the same, I think, and I will not confirm this because I refuse to look it up and therefore voluntarily regard a slug Reading this book was like being forced to reread a book nine or ten year old me read with the clear, clear eyes that a decade of character development has brought me.It was not a fun experience.Outside of that, even, there was a wildly outdated depiction of being overweight It is not impossible to be fat and healthy Any generalized stigmatization of fatness is an unfair one But in this book, fat is equated to bad Virginia s being fat and the only fat person in her family is such a demonstrably negative thing in this book that she hates herself, and believes that everyone in her family hates her, and thinks she s ugly and that everyone thinks she s ugly She thinks her best friend is embarrassed of her and tired of her She thinks her parents are ashamed of her.She turns to crash diets and over exercise and even self harm By the end of the book, she appears to suddenly love herself on the basis of an eyebrow piercing and a bathroom dye job, but none of the really damaging things in this book are confronted Including vitriolic, self hating lists of what fat girls are allowed to do in relationships and otherwise.It was 2003 A lot has changed since then But that doesn t mean I enjoyed reading it.Bottom line The sequel has a hell of a lot of damage repair to do in order to justify its existence. Okay, this book is 15 years old and I just read it now since I have an ARC of book 2 which comes out at the end of May I adored all of the body positive and sexual awareness stuff in this story, although I do have a few minor issues about how food is discussed I think if this book had been written in 2018 it would have been addressed a bit differently, but I respect that I m reading this 15 years late I m VERY interested in how book 2 is going to address the massive technology differences between when this book was written and now it makes sense that a 15 year old book will include outdated technology, but when the sequel is set in just the next year, but written 15 years laterwe shall see Is this in the historical fiction realm yet It just reminds me of how much tech dates books and how avoidances of technology references can help a book live past its publishing date so much easily I ll keep you posted

Carolyn Mackler is the author of the popular teen novels, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things A Michael L Printz Honor Book , Infinite in Between, Tangled, Guyaholic, Vegan Virgin Valentine, and Love and Other Four Letter Words Carolyn s novel, The Future of Us, co written with bestselling author Jay Asher, received starred reviews and appeared on several bestseller lists Carolyn

❴KINDLE❵ ❀ The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things Author Carolyn Mackler –
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
  • Carolyn Mackler
  • English
  • 10 October 2019
  • 9780763620912

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