PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan
GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary
It’s not my body that’s holding me back. It’s more of a problem that people keep telling me it should.
Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.
No Big Deal is a warm, funny inspiring debut YA novel from Bethany Rutter: influencer, editor and a fierce UK voice in the debate around body positivity.
I wasn’t too sure at first as to whether I wanted to request to read this book before publication; I’m not a huge fan of the cover (it just isn’t something I’d pick up off the shelf and it’s pink…) and books about weight can be a bit hit and miss for me. However, I am so so glad that I did decide to hit that request button and grateful to the publisher for sending it to me!
From the very beginning I was hooked; Emily is a brilliant narrator and it was so easy to get lost in this book. On the surface it ticks all the boxes for a great YA contemporary, but it goes so much deeper than that with the whole body image storyline. Add to that there’s a whole host of interesting and diverse characters who didn’t just fit into their stereotype.
The main theme of body image is handled brilliantly and in a way that isn’t triggering. It’s about acceptance and feeling comfortable in your own skin rather than about trying to change yourself and be someone you’re not. The thing that really pushes this over to a 5 star book is this aspect because it promotes positive body image and this is something that’s extremely important to get across in YA books at a time where teens and young adults do tend to struggle with these issues. However, I do love that it also showed how negative body image can be something that impacts upon later life. This really is a book that I could’ve done with when I was younger, but even now I’ve found it to be so beneficial in making me feel more comfortable about myself!
I’d find it quite interesting to hear what a male’s take on this book would be; whilst it is very much catered for young females with its narrator and themes, without giving too much away there are aspects where it touches upon how guys respond to girls and how a girl’s body image can be impacted upon by their reactions and what they do and don’t do/say.
It’s without hesitation that I give this book five stars; days after reading it I still can feel its impact and would love to read it again in the near future! Highly, highly recommend.