Celeste Harris loves to eat chocolate cookies. But she hates being called a cow by teen mean queen Lively, that she looks like a watermelon in the Peach Monstrosity of a bridesmaid’s dress she has to wear for her cousin’s wedding, and that her Aunt signed her up to model in the Miss Husky Peach pageant for plus-sized girls. Is it time to "just say no" to junk food?
Let me say right off the bat that I loved Celeste. She completely charmed me with her matter-of-fact voice and her sweet personality. She’s an underdog, but not a complete social outcast and her road to self acceptance is filled with the kind of middle school drama that’s completely relatable.
I was also impressed by the way debut author Erin Dionne handled the sensitive issue of weight loss. Celeste knows that she’s chubby and she is hurt by her classmates’ taunting, but dieting is not really on her radar. A diet ad with a bikini clad woman gives her the idea to try to lose the Husky Peach modeling gig by losing weight so they won’t want her anymore. The desire to eat healthier starts with her and at her friend’s gentle urging, she also becomes more physically active. It all comes off as totally natural and that is quite a feat.
There are many laugh-out-loud scenes – the diet drink fiasco being a particular favorite of mine – and I just had so much fun reading this.
Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies comes out in hardcover tomorrow.