I am a big fan of Dallas after I finished reading her book The Best Week That Never Happened. The book left such an impression on me that I re-read it two times and each time I was flooded with emotions that refused to go away. When I was approached for her next work I grabbed the book like one grab for oxygen at high altitude. Her work takes me to a different level where even when reading I can visualize each scene as I read each sentence. That’s the magic she draws with her words, a magical spin of words catching you in its net. I managed to finish the book in one week and then I re-read it again. I delayed writing the review as it felt that a piece of me was going away.
I am relieved that I chose to read the ARC on offer. My hopes were really high after her earlier novel and must confess it was set really high. Dallas did not disappoint me in the least. The book caught on me from the first page itself. The author presents the story of Rose, Carissa, and Brad in first-person accounts, though only Rose and Brad and speaking. This style of writing makes the characters more real and also contemporary.
This is a beautiful journey of friendship turning to love between Rose and Brad. But do not be mistaken. This love story is anything but smooth. Rose and Carissa are identical twins, but nothing is identical about them. Be it their physical appearance, their nature, their attitude to life, or friends. They have nothing in common. Carissa is little Miss Perfect who has it all going for her. The perfect body, looks, grades, friends, etc. She is popular in school and adored by the teachers. On the other hand, Rose is shy and timid, gentle by nature, and overweight. She lives in the shadow of her sister and is more or less ignored by everyone. Brad, is Carissa’s boyfriend on whom Rose has been majorly crushing upon. Life comes crashing down for Brad when Carissa announces the breakup. He is unable to handle this and becomes clingy and needy. He tries his level best to win back Carissa and even charts out a “self-improvement plan”. Carissa would hear nothing of it. In the meanwhile, Carissa has signed up her sister, rose for the reality TV show Help Me Lose Weight and Live Again. Rose leaves for Texas for its shooting unaware of the changes back home. She befriends Daniel who helps her gain confidence and also discover the star inside her. Her journey of weight loss becomes more than just a number as she discovers her true potential and accepts herself completely for the first time.
What happens when she returns home? Does Rose lose all of her weight? Does Brad win back Carissa? Pick up the book to seek your answer. I promise you will be lost in the magic Dallas spins within the pages. You will relate with the issues faced by the characters as they are not exaggerated nor are they out of proportion for the sake of a work of fiction. These characters seem like the regular teens we would see in any high school.
Some lines in the book really touch you deeply and will rest with you forever long after you’ve closed the book. This book will help you see the importance of self-worth and self-acceptance in a world of photoshopped and Instagram images. This book resonated with me on several levels as I too face weight issues and the battle is very much real.
I would like to thank Dallas and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.