I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Leah Lobermier dreams of becoming a doctor, but it’s hard to stay focused on getting good grades when boys make oinking sounds at her in school and her mother spends every night on the couch with a bottle of wine. Leah’s skinny and popular “friends," Kristy and Corinne, aren’t much better and can hardly be counted on for support. When the girls convince a handsome older man to buy them beer, Leah takes his phone number and calls him, pretending to be Kristy—coy and confident—and they develop a relationship, talking and texting day after day. But as the lie she created grows beyond her control, can Leah put a stop to things before she—or Kristy—is seriously hurt?
Okay, so where do I start with this one? I could kind of relate to the main character with this one and not in a "she is so much like me that I am annoyed by her" way. I did feel for her. Leah is overweight and deals with insults from everyone at school (including her so-called friends) and she has to deal with being poor and having an alcoholic mother. She dreams of being as pretty and as thin as her "friend," Kristy (notice my quotations around the word friend, we'll get to that in a minute). When her and her friends meet this creepy looking guy in his late twenties, they all thought he was so cute (gag me) and Leah gets his number and calls him, pretending to be Kristy. That is supposed to be the main premise, but the author kind of danced around those conversations. I have no idea what they talked about; the author kind of skipped around those parts.
Let's talk about Kristy. God, Kristy is such a mean girl and she just sucks. She calls Leah names and Leah hates her, but she still insists on being friends with her. I just didn't get it. And when she meets a new girl (Anita) who is super interesting and actually a good person, Leah abandons her pretty quickly when Kristy is around. Oh, and Kristy's mom is dying of cancer so it's totally cool that she treats everyone like crap. And everyone has to put up with it because if you abandon your friend whose mom is dying, you are evil. I don't even care. If that were me, there is NO WAY I would ever be friends with Kristy, regardless of what's going on with her mom. Kristy is just not a good person.
The whole book was just boring and annoying because of all the mean people. And Leah didn't help matters because she just made all the wrong decisions. I know I shouldn't totally hate her for that because she's young and all that, but I do. And I'm not even sure what the point of the book was or what the message was supposed to be. Was Leah supposed to realize she was great regardless of her weight? Was she supposed to stand up for herself and realize who her real friends were? Was she supposed to stand up to her mother? Or learn to deal with her mother? None of those things actually happened so what was the point. I didn't like any of the characters or their decisions. Actually, I did like the secondary characters, Anita and Carl, but they weren't shown nearly enough. And towards the end of the book, I skimmed certain sections and I was ready to be done with it. After the book, I felt very unsatisfied and I'm not even sure I can say why. Maybe it was because there were so many storylines and so many issues that were talked about and I didn't feel great about the resolution to any of them. I would not recommend this book.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one!