Book: Just A Few Inches, Tara St. Pierre
Release Date: May 31st, 2015
All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.
To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.
Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.
Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.
Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.
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"Just a Few Inches" is a Young Adult novel that deals with issues of body image, self-esteem, and teenage relationships. It is intended for readers age 13 and up.
Rating: 3 stars
*I was given this book in exchange for an honest review*
Right now, I would say I’m quite positive with my body. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for me. And that’s what matters. But if you’d asked me how I felt about my body five years ago, my answer would’ve been the complete opposite. I believed I was fat, ugly, and that everyone thought so and that I’d never be loved because of it. I’ve realised that that’s all just teenage insecurities and 90% of girls will go through this phase during their life. So if I’d read this book back then, I would’ve been able to relate to our main character way more than I do right now. As it is, I can still relate to the reasons why she did it. And I still applaud St. Pierre for the way she handled social norms and insecurities about our bodies, and the lengths someone will go to get that perfect body or impress that certain someone.
Carrie Roberts is our 18 year old protagonist. At 5’8, she’s the tallest in her friend group, but that’s still not enough for her. To fit into the perfect red dress so her boyfriend will look at her and not the other hot cheerleader, Carrie takes some diet pills. However, due to scientific and genetic factors I honestly didn’t really understand, Carrie starts losing height as well as weight. And so the story portrays Carrie’s personal growth as a character as she slowly shrinks down to the size of a doll.
I really enjoyed the first part of the story, how Carrie discovers the shrinking and has to come out to her friends and family, and how they deal with this unusual phenomenon. However, by the second half I realised that this book was incredibly dragged out with not a lot happening; just Carrie dealing with everyday things such as finding clothes to fit her, opening doors and going to school. It got pretty boring and a part of me considered just skipping to the end to find out what happens. I think St Pierre could’ve taken out a chunk in the middle that wasn’t necessary and still get the same growth she needed from her characters but not bore her readers as much.
I liked Carrie as a character for the most part. She was incredibly strong in the face of what was happening to her and didn’t let it change her for the worse; only for the better. However I did think she became TOO much of a crybaby toward the end of the book; she seemed to start crying whenever she got trapped, when she was scared, even happy! She didn’t need to cry that much, it was a bit weird. And there’s only one word to describe her relationship with Evan: insta-love. He goes from this adorably geeky boy in her class to suddenly (and I quote) “the best boyfriend in the world.” I don’t think we were given enough room for development for these two to go from friends to lovers, it just sort of happens before I realised what was happening. I didn’t get enough time to absorb it and have proper feelings toward it.
However, I did enjoy her relationship with her friends and family, they had a realistic response to what was happening to her and I loved how supportive they were of her, doing whatever was needed to support her.
Overall, this story was good, but not great. There were some parts I truly enjoyed and think were portrayed very well, and others... not so well. However the concept was truly original and unique and was done quite well by St. Pierre. If you’re someone who has struggled with body issues, weight, self-esteem, I think this book is for you. It really opens your eyes into the concept of loving the body you’re born with and what’s considered “normal” or “average” in today’s society.