Miss Invisible, by Laura Jensen Walker
Synopsis: A “big girl” in Northern California tries to overcome her insecurities, with the help of an even larger friend, by coming out of her shell and not letting her body shape/size dictate who she is or what she can do. She turns to God for guidance and help in her struggle as she lives up to her full potential. The back cover boasts: “A feast of romance and laughter featuring a delightful and courageous heroine that you can relat to – no matter what your size.”
Review: Okay, it’s not really so much a review as it is just my opinion, but here goes. I was intrigued by the back cover of the book…a big girl trying to live instead of just watching everyone else do it. I was especially anticipating the humor. I was a bit disappointed in the book, and lemme tell you why.
First – it’s never really told to you how big this “big girl” really is supposed to be, and I find it hard to relate to someone, to know if she (Freddie, the character) is truly struggling or just being whiney. I could write a BOOK about all of the women I know who are a size 10 or smaller who continuously complain about their bodies. As a large woman myself (I can admit it…I’m 5’10”, 195 lbs and a size 16) I found this detail to be MAJOR, but the info was never given.
Second – I didn’t really find the book to be all that funny. I can see the areas where the author tried to be funny, but it felt like she was trying…way too hard. I can admit, there were a few times when I laughed, but I’m not entirely convinced that those were the areas I was SUPPOSED to be laughing.
Third – While I applaud that our heroine realizes that it is God’s opinion alone that matters, I admit that I am still befuddled by the belief that she will never be considered “acceptable” in this world, merely because of her size. I rank this up there with women who think they can NEVER catch a break because they are women, or with folks who play the race card when things don’t go the way they should. I wanna let you in on a little secret: I once tipped the scales at over 230 lbs (I stopped weighing myself then) and a size 20 (I wouldn’t admit it though and squeezed myself into an 18). NEVER in that time was I invisible!! Ladies, here is a secret for you: its all about attitude. I was hoping this author understood that…I don’t think she does. It was a valiant attempt, but I finished the book feeling as if this character could be comfortable in her little sphere, but what about the rest of the world? And, if size doesn’t matter, why does she go out of her way in the epilogue to tell us that her larger friend has lost 13 pounds? It’s a confusing message…
BUT – the book has merit. I appreciate the truth and inclusion of God and certain Biblical principles. It’s entertaining. I enjoy that not every issue gets resolved (she never reallys works things out with her father), for as much as I enjoy a good “happily-ever-after”, I want a LITTLE bit of reality in there. Not too much…but enough to remind you that this isn’t an alternate universe.
So anyway, I don’t have a rating system, these are just my thoughts on the book. I guess the point I would like to make is this: if you are a skinny gal picking this book up (and by skinny, I mean anyone who can fit into a 12 or under) please realize that not all big girls think like this [e.g. whiney]. However, it does give some insight as to the types of thoughts and situations with which we have or do struggle.
Don’t spend the $14.99 on it, but its worth a check-out from the library.