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The author of my book is Carolyn Mackler. She was born in Manhattan on July 13, 1973. When she was one, her parents moved from Greenwich Village to Syracuse and then to Brockport, which is a small village in Western New York (and the setting for many of her novels and stories). Carolyn graduated from Vassar College in 1991. In 2003, Carolyn’s second book came out. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things went on to win the Printz Honor. Carolyn writes about literature-fiction, romance, and young adult.
Carolyn stated, “People always ask me, ‘Why do you write books for teenagers?’ Lots of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that I honestly believe that, along with certain friendships, I was saved by the books I read during those years as a teenager. They spoke to me in a way that nothing else did. They helped me feel less alone. They made me laugh. They made me feel like there was a world bigger than my high school.” Now Carolyn lives with her husband and son in New York City.
The main character of the story is Virginia Shreves. She is an average teenager. She has blonde hair, and a little overweight. Everyone in her family has dark hair and darker complexion than her, so she insists she is adopted. Her family is supposed to be the “picture perfect” family and it looks as if Virginia is the ugly duckling of the bunch. But her family is not what it seems. Her mother is a psychiatrist for teens. She is a tall, slender woman. She goes to the gym constantly to try to keep her figure because she was overweight as a child and she refuses to go back to that life. She helps people with their problems but fails to face her own. Her father is a blunt person. He says what he thinks without thinking. He is always emphasizing about how woman are supposed to look and how looks are everything. Byron is her older brother.
He is handsome, outgoing, tall, and athletic. In high school, he was the most popular kid at school. No one believes that Virginia and him are related. Her sister, AnaΪs, is also like their father. She speaks what is on her mind. She constantly insisting that their mother is in denial about everything (which she is). She later leaves to join the peace core in Africa. Froggy Welsh the fourth is a boy in her grade and also in her French class. He has sandy blonde hair which is kind of long and is in the style of a cow lick. Virginia and him ride the bus together on Mondays when he is going to trombone lessons and she is going home.
She doesn’t think much of him but he starts to grow on her throughout the story. Shannon is Virginia’s best friend. She has red hair and lots of freckles. She also has a stutter, which makes her and outcast along with Virginia. But when Shannon talks to Virginia, she doesn’t have a stutter. Ms. Crowley is one of her teachers. She is there for Virginia if she needs her. During lunch Virginia goes to her room because Ms. Crowley invites her to. It was much better than sitting in the bathroom stall for lunch.
Virginia Shreves is just a girl who has an average, drama filled life. She eats to make herself feel better and lives on the internet. Virginia lives by “The Fat Girl Code of Conduct.” Her best friend, Shannon, leaves her for a year to go to Walla Walla for her parents work and the only way she stays in contact is through e-mail, her sister, AnaΪs, leaves for the peace core, and her brother, Byron, is away at college. Virginia doesn’t have too many people to turn too, but Ms. Crowley is always there to help. Virginia tries to go through life quiet and unnoticed, because her siblings are impossible to live up to. Byron is and always has been her idol, when they were younger they were close and she looked at him as if he were king.
One phone call on a normal day changes everything. Virginia’s perspective on her family and life changes. She starts taking matters into her own hands. She starts rebelling against her mother. She skips a few days of school to roam New York City. Virginia wanted to go see Shannon for Thanksgiving. Her mother said no, so Virginia bought her own ticket and left. Virginia comes back home with an eyebrow piercing. Her mother told Virginia too get a nice dress for a holiday dinner. She bought a purple, revealing dress from a store her mother told her not to go to. And she also dyed her hair purple to match.
Her mother took Virginia to the doctors for her “weight problem.” The doctor said that she is healthy so her weight isn’t an issue. But for her mother, weight is always an issue. On a different occasion, Virginia sees the doctor because of a broken toe, which was the result of her kicking a wall out of anger. She talks to the doctor and he recommends a kickboxing class. Not for weight particularly, but to have a positive way to focus her anger. But in the process she loses weight and makes new friends. Virginia will never forget the phone call that changed her life. In the end, Virginia’s life changed for the better and ended with a kiss.
I would recommend to anyone I know. This book is for the teen age group, more focused towards girls. It is a really good book, that some people could relate too. One of its downfalls, is it can get kind of boring at some parts but it picks right back up again. I would love to read another book by this author because she is writing for teenagers about the lives of teenagers. And some of the things she writes about I, personally, could relate too which interests me.