The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things Review

Title: The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things
Author: Carolyn Mackler
Series: Virginia Shreves #1 
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: July 2018
Source: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pages: 251
Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

Book Review:
Pre-reading Thoughts:

This book was before my time, but I am so excited that the author has updated the story for modern audiences.  I also really love the title.

Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book. Just a small quick disclaimer for those reading this review, I have received this book for free. Please note that this does not affect my opinion in any way. All thoughts are my own.

Writing Thoughts:

The writing had good pacing but felt as though I didn’t really work with the style. There was something about it that just didn’t work for me. I really liked Virginia's narration. I could tell that her voice was genuine and I think that was one of the reasons why I enjoyed the story.

Plot Thoughts:

The plot mainly focuses on the main character’s relationship with food and her body image, but it also deals with an event that shakes the foundations of her family. I think that the author had to tread carefully with the topics that she had to talk about mainly because when this book was originally published, people didn’t talk openly about these topics. I think that the author does a great job of expressing Virginia’s feelings of the allegations against her brother quite well but there were some occasions where I felt as though what the author went a bit too far with the negative views surrounding Virginia’s body. I believe that the author does not give Virginia's struggle with her mental health enough focus. 

Character Thoughts:

Virginia reminded me about myself. She reminded me of a time when I hated the way I looked and only wanted to be seen wearing sweatpants because I didn’t think anything else looked good. There were a couple of times where I wished that I could hug Virginia and tell her that everything was going to be okay. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I think that this book covers an important topic regarding body image and the kind of things we say to ourselves. The empathy that I felt for Virginia made me look at what I was saying about myself. This book urged me to be kinder to not only everyone else but to myself as well. The writing style and I weren’t fans, but Virginia reminded me a bit about myself when I was young and thought the world of what people thought of me. I can’t say that I loved the book, but I can say that I can’t wait to see where Virginia’s story goes next. Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book.


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