June 25, 2011

REVIEW! Massive.

Julia Bell
"I'm fat," I hear myself saying. I look in the mirror. My face has gone hot and red; I feel like I'm going to explode. "I'm fat." It sizzles under my skin, puffing me up, pushing me out, making me massive.

Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen's life. How could it not? Her mom is obsessed with the idea that thin equals beautiful, thin equals successful, thin equals the way to get what you want. Carmen knows that as far as her mom is concerned, there is only one option: be thin.

When her mother sweeps her off to live in the city, Carmen finds that her old world is disappearing. As her life spirals out of control Carmen begins to take charge of the only thing she can — what she eats. If she were thin, very thin, could it all be different?
My rating: 3 stars.


As much as I love when novels tackle difficult and/or taboo topics, I don't feel that Massive effectively handles the issue of eating disorders.
The writing is dry and very bland, yet reflective. Carmen does become obsessive with her thoughts and feelings toward weight, but the thoughts never seem to change or differ.  Her mother is an unbearable character - pushy and full of the worst intentions. The story comes to encompass the two of them; this wouldn't be an issue if there were other worthwhile characters.  But alas, there is no one else in the cast worth being noted.
My biggest problem is that there's absolutely no resolution.  You watch Carmen and her mother struggle, and then nothing.  No help, no change. It's an oddly dark read and harsh in its words. Don't expect a happy ending, or much of an ending at all. The pace straggles then abruptly comes to a close, leaving you hanging.
Massive is a disappointment in both its story and reading experience.


  1. Massive disappointment? Haha. I couldn't resist!

  2. @Nafiza: That is it exactly.

  3. It really is disappointing when a book covering a topic like this ends up handling it poorly. I'll have to be on the lookout for similar books that work well.

  4. Oh too bad... you didn't enjoy this one. I'm wracking my brain. I know that there was a book that came out, I think in the 80's about a beauty pageant contestant who gets a glandular disorder and gains a ton of weight. Her old friends ditch her and she's got to come to terms with her new life. I wish I could remember the title!


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