Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.
to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons,
embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some
surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!
45 Pounds is a quick contemporary read that is light while also dealing with some important issues. It kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next in Ann's life. It was an enjoyable read the entire time, and I found it a hard book to put down.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
Ann is a great character who lacks confidence but has a good personality. She isn't comfortable with her weight, so she wants to lose 45 pounds before her aunt's wedding because she is supposed to be a bridesmaid in it. I liked watching Ann gain confidence and come to feel more comfortable the way she was, even without losing 45 pounds. She learns to accept herself for who she is as a person. She also realizes that her issues with her weight don't only affect her.
There are a lot of family relationships showcased in this book. Ann has a step-parent on both sides of the family. Her dad married a woman named Nancy who had two kids, and they had one kid together. Her mom married Mike and they had twins together - a daughter and a son. Ann's brother, Tony, doesn't really talk to anyone in the family anymore since he always tried to stir up trouble, and Ann isn't really sure where she belongs in the family. Ann's mother doesn't really help her self-esteem about her weight. She calls herself fat and Ann weighs more than her. Near the end, Ann learns some things about her mom that do help her understand her mother better. Ann has a younger half-sister, Libby, and the eating habits of the women in the family have a negative effect on her. She is only four, but she is already thinking things about how she won't get fat if she doesn't eat. Ann really realizes how much of a problem this is for Libby to have these thoughts at such a young age.
There is a friendship in this book between Ann and Raynee. Raynee is Ann's coworker at the Twisted Pretzel, and she is part of the Knees - a group of friends that is Raynee, Courtney, Melanie, and Tiffany. Courtney is not nice to Ann at all. She calls her names and tries to get her fired from the Twisted Pretzel since she works there as well. Raynee makes some realizations that maybe the Knees aren't the good friends that she thought they were. She realizes that they actually aren't very nice people. She becomes a very good friend to Ann, and she helps Ann's self-esteem by altering a Snapz dress to fit her for the wedding. Raynee says that she always has to alter her own clothes because she is out-of-proportion. Ann begins to feel better about herself once she knows that people who aren't overweight don't always fit into the clothes from stores either.
The romance in this book is very sweet, and it does not play a very big role in the story at all. In fact, Ann doesn't even know the boy's name until probably halfway through the book. Jon is the guy who is Ann's first pretzel when she gets a job at the Twisted Pretzel. She thinks the pretzel is awful and says she'll make a new one. Then he says he wants to be her first. He realizes then how bad that sounds, so he says he meant he wants to be her first pretzel. Ann doesn't even know his name, but Jon asks some other people to find out Ann's name. He also gets her number from Ann's friend and coworker. This romance is a sweet and simple beginning of a first high school boyfriend for Ann. There is not even a kiss between the two in the book, but there are hints that that will happen later, outside of the time frame of the novel.
If you like YA contemporary, read this book.