Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Review: The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round ThingsThe Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things

Author: Carolyn Mackler
Publication Date: July 14th 2003
Source: Library

An overweight teen is sure that she’s the weakest link in her high-powered family - until her handsome, athletic, star-student brother has a shocking fall from grace.

 Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex. She lives on the Web, snarfs junk food, and follows the "Fat Girl Code of Conduct." Her stuttering best friend has just moved to Walla Walla (of all places). Her new companion, Froggy Welsh the Fourth (real name), has just succeeded in getting his hand up her shirt, and she lives in fear that he’ll look underneath. Then there are the other Shreves: Mom, the successful psychologist and exercise fiend; Dad, a top executive who ogles thin women on TV; and older siblings Ana├»s and rugby god Byron, both of them slim and brilliant. Delete Virginia, and the Shreves would be a picture-perfect family. Or so she’s convinced. And then a shocking phone call changes everything. 

With irreverent humor, insight, and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine whose story will speak to every teen who struggles with family expectations - and serve as a welcome reminder that the most impressive achievement is to be true to yourself

I think I only picked this book up because of the eye-catching title. I just couldn't ignore it when I saw it  on the library shelf. Because of the funny name and the short length of it, I was expecting a light, funny read. Just what I needed after finishing Before I Die...
Well, I have to say that this book was exactly what I expected, nothing more. It was a very quick, mindless read that I'm not sure I will remember in a month.

I disliked pretty much all of the characters, including Virginia. She was really annoying most of the book. She was always thinking of herself as an extremely heavy girl, even though the doctor said that she is only slightly above the average weight. The way she saw the world was twisted - she said that ALL of the girls in her school are skinny, which I'm sure is not correct. In the real world, most girls in high school aren't thin, let alone skinny. There's no way she is the ONLY heavy girl in her school. Virginia was just way too whiny to be likable or easy-to-relate-to.

I also HATED her parents, and her mother in particular. She is a teenagers therapist - she was spending her whole day giving advice and listening to so many teens and parents, but she never helped her own daughter. I also hated the way she obsessed about Virginia's weight and encouraged her to go on unhealthy crash diets. She was ashamed - yes, ashamed - of her daughter because she wasn't perfectly skinny. This behavior just disgusted me. It made me understand why Virginia felt so bad about her body.

At the end of the book Virginia made a change - she pierced her eyebrow and dyed her hair purple, and like a miracle, it made her feel better about herself instantly. Sorry, I just can't buy it. Changing your hair color and piercing you brow doesn't make you comfortable about your body all of a sudden. This was SO unrealistic.
Actually, the whole ending was very hard to believe. Miraculously, all of the problems in Virginia's life were solved - she became friendly and popular, her parents started to be proud of her, she lost weight AND she made up with the boy she loves. That's just a too perfect ending.

This book was readable, but not much more than that. It was overall annoying and unrealistic. I am not sure if I can recommend it to anyone.


  1. Quick and mindless has its value, but I agree--very eye catching title.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. Sorry that it disappointed, Great review :)

  3. huh. I was gonna read this. I will have to look at other reviews on it.