Pear Shaped - Stella Newman
Avon Books, 2012
From the back cover:
"If you found yourself glued to David Nicholls’s One Day or belting out the lyrics to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black then you’ll love this book.
Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl loses mind.
Sophie Klein walks into a bar one Friday night and her life changes. She meets James Stephens: charismatic, elusive, and with a hosiery model ex who casts a long, thin shadow over their burgeoning relationship. He’s clever, funny and shares her greatest pleasure in life – to eat and drink slightly too much and then have a little lie down. Sophie’s instinct tells her James is too good to be true – and he is.
An exploration of love, heartbreak, self-image, self-deception and lots of food. Pear-Shaped is in turns smart, laugh-out-loud funny and above all, recognizable to women everywhere."
I'm finding it very difficult to work out what I want to say about this book. Part of me doesn't want to bother writing a review at all but the other part feels the need to explain the reasons why! Odd, I know.
I got this out of the library expecting good things as the blurb sounds really interesting. What I got was a book that around 90% of I hated. Yes hated! So many times I thought about DNF'ing it but I also found that it was strangely compelling. I HAD to keep reading.
The heroine, and I use that term lightly, is an idiot... She starts going out with a total bastard of a man who treats her appallingly, yet she keeps going back for more. Yes, I know it happens, there are women like this, but, you know, I don't want to read about them. This heroine is weak in my opinion.
But, I can ignore or forgive that to a certain degree because, like I said, it is a part of life. So, my main issue with this book is the it is obsessed, and I literally mean obsessed, with weight. Barely a single page goes by without a mention of it. And what gets me is that the writer has her heroine called fat almost constantly - the heroine fluctuates between a size 8 and a size 12 (UK sizes) throughout the story. That is not fat, and it is insulting to imply it is.
The issues with the heroine going slightly of the rails and her sinking into depression were handle like a joke, and not dealt with the sensitivity they deserved - this was a chance to make the book have more depth but sadly this wasn't taken.
Between the heroine's boyfriend, the constant mention of weight, and a weak heroine, etc, this book made me angry... Yet, I couldn't put it down.
Make of that what you will; of course this is just my opinion of the book. It's not for me, but YMMV.