Rosemary Goode is a normal teenager, with the normal teen issues plaguing her daily routine. Her obesity and her sullen relationship with her mother. After tipping the scale at 200 lbs, catching the eye of her crush at school and learning of her mother’s recent diagnosis with cancer, Rosemary goes through a transformation of not only her body, but mind and spirit as well.
What I really liked about this book, is that it is more about self-esteem than it is about losing weight. Rosemary has a number of obstacles in her life; the popular cliche called the Bluebirds, her bossy aunt, her mother’s reluctance to talk about her problems, not to mention the weight and typical boy issues. Rosemary is smart, excelling in academics, she is independent and continuously stands up for herself against the mean-girl Misty Towers. This book is more of a journey of Rosemary rebuilding a life for herself, strengthening some relationships and building new friendships from the ground up. Rosemary learns that appearances are deceiving and that you have to dig deeper than looks to really find the truth about someone. Despite having a cute boy as a catalyst for Rosemary’s change and motivation for wanting to lose weight, it is not necessarily the central motivator. What I enjoyed was that Supplee provided a wide variety of reasons for Rosemary’s weightloss, and all of which seemed very plausible. Suzanne Supplee manages to break into the mind of a loney teenager, and does a fantastic job with the writing. Her sarcasm is sharp, but never over the top. I never once felt like this book was forced, and I was very pleased with the ending. Rosemary learned a very valuable lesson about herself and I think this is one girl that many teenage girls struggling with weight issues will be able to relate to and appreciate.Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee Speak, 2008 ISBN 0142414279 276 pages