Author: Lynn Biederman and Lisa Pazer
Release Date: November 2010
Published By: Delacorte Books
Pages: 336 pages
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 stars
Review: Teenage Waistland is a support group for obese teens undergoing the Lap Band weight loss surgery. Marcie struggles not just with a big body size, but a big mouth, ultra-thin remarried mother, and super-skinny stepsister. Bobbie wants to lose the weight, but it means he won't be able to play football anymore, which will disappoint his dad. And East has the toughest situation of all - dark and morbid herself, she lives by herself with her depressed mom who refuses to leave her bed. These three teens become friends, but through a fourth girl in their support group - energetic, enthusiastic Char. Except Char's hiding a secret, one that could change everything.
This book was written from three perspectives, Marcie, Bobbie, and East. Each was raw and honest, sucking me in with their no-holds-barred stories. The cover may look fluffy and cute, but this is in no way the case for the actual content. The three teens have their own emotional tales to tell, and I found myself enraptured by every one.
Marcie had a biting wit that led to one-liners that could crack me up and a certain scene that left me in hysterics, but beneath her cynicism was a lot of pain that made me feel for her. Bobbie seemed like a typical jock on the outside, proving through his budding romance with Char that he was actually sweet and gentle. It was easy to relate to him, what with the pressure he felt from everyone to continue playing football but his own disgust for his body. East had the most heart-rending story of the group. Her voice could be somewhat overly dark and depressing in places, but it was understandable given her struggles with her shell of a mother.
TEENAGE WAISTLAND was initially slow going for me, but the deeper in the story I sunk, the more addicted I became. By the end, I found myself completely immersed in the world of Marcie, Bobbie, East, and Char every time I cracked the book open, especially as twists showed up to bend everything around. This was a book I didn't expect to like as much as I did, and provided a pleasant surprise. Although it could be heavy on the emotions, I wouldn't call this a particularly dark book - there were several scenes that lightened things up, and the ending, while on the too-perfect side, wraps everything up nicely. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a read that's not fluffy while straying away from depressing.