Saturday, July 20, 2013

Big Girl Panties, by Stephanie Evanovich

Holly was never a thin girl, and after dealing with the death of her husband, she has put on more weight than ever.  When she bumps into Logan, a personal trainer, on an airplane, they strike up a camaraderie, and he offers to train her.  After months of hard work, Holly has transformed, blossomed.  Will Logan notice the change, and will love blossom as well?

I wanted to like this book, really I did.  I wanted it to be a story about a normal sized woman owning her looks and finding the love she deserves.  Sadly, it was not exactly what I wanted.  When Holly is introduced to us, the first impression we get of her is a big, fat, mess.  I think this is the impression a lot of people have of overweight people, even overweight people who are meticulously groomed and well put together.  So, right away, the author feeds into fat stereotypes.  Holly was never worthy of love, and only settled on her husband, because that is what a fat girl is supposed to do.  She is supposed to feel grateful for any attention thrown her way.  Which is also why Holly jumps at the chance for a handsome man to become her trainer. Logan is, in short, a pig.  In fact, the book is pretty full of misogyny that is thinly veiled as sexy fetishism.  

There is a lot of sex in this story.  I am hardly what I would call a prude, but I am not a huge fan of words like "moist mound" and "throbbing member" in a romance book.  A talented writer can do much better than the standard Harlequin novel fare.  Between the language and the spanking, this is like a watered down version of the 50 Shades books.  

I am really not sure who the target audience is here.  Not feminists, that is for sure.  And not anyone comfortable with their body, since all the women (no matter what they weigh) in the book are incredibly insecure about their looks.  

The book is a fast easy read, and at times fun and playful.  But in the end, my heart hurt for every woman who has ever felt like Holly.

I received a review copy courtesy of Amazon Vine in exchange for my honest review.


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