Biederman, L., & Pazer, L. (2010). Teenage waistland. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN: 9780385739214
Annotation: When four teenagers apply to be part of a clinical trial for the lap-band weight loss surgery, they are thrust together and help each other come to terms with the deeper reasons behind their obesity.
Reaction: This book was super engrossing from the first chapter; my husband had to actually pry it from my fingers so I’d go do some homework. This is not normally the type of book I check out from the library, as I read primarily fantasy, but as a person who deals with weight issues, I am always interested in “fat stories.” These teens are considered morbidly obese, according to their BMI, and they are all looking for a way to lose the weight and experience what they think regular teenage life is supposed to like.
To the characters in this book, their surgery initially seems like an easy way to change their lives, but, thanks to mandatory group therapy sessions, they begin to realize their weight issues run much deeper than fat. After tragedy strikes a couple members of the group, they all begin to look more deeply about why they gained all the weight in the first place.
I will admit, that towards the end of the book, the story gets a little sappy and touchy feely as the teens all deal with the psychological issues behind their weight gain, but I sat down and finished it in probably less than twelve hours. The story is told from three different third person limited view points, and each of the characters is compelling, but I was particularly interested in the drama of East’s life, which kept me reading to find out what happens to her and Char.
Author’s Website: None