Plus by Veronica Chambers

At only 17 years old, Beatrice Wilson is exactly where she wants to be: a student at a respected Ivy League college taking a full load and dating Brian, the boy of her dreams. Or, at least she was until Brian dumps her without warning and Bee is left stunned and depressed. Twenty-five pounds and one broken heart later, Bee is still determined to find a way to get Brian back when a modeling agency executive signs her as the newest, hottest plus-sized model. Although she's thrilled at first, the former egg-head turned fashionista quickly realizes that modeling encompasses a lot more than just standing around, taking pictures. Surprise! Bee's agent expects her to be dressed and ready for 5:00 AM shoots, follow a strict diet, work out twice daily and maintain her grades at school. But with encouragement from her best friend Chela and an up-and-coming rapper, Bee is determined to do the best she can -- even in the face of psychotic models and boys who just want to a ride on her fame.

Plus is a lighthearted, fun novel with a real winner in the voice of Bee Wilson. She's young and funny and most of her account was simply an entertaining read. As someone who will confess to being sucked in (repeatedly) by episodes of America's Next Top Model, Bee's meteoric rise to superstardom was eye-opening and immensely gratifying. Who doesn't love a good Cinderella story? At times however, I found myself wanting to shake some sense into Bee because I could not understand why she persisted in chasing the horrible Brian. The guy treated her like dirt, broke her heart and then proceeded to use her repeatedly. I did not understand the attraction. Nor did I feel like Bee was always the best friend to Chela -- who had repeatedly rescued Bee -- but felt like she saw her as a 'fall-back friend.' And maybe it's the realist in me, but I couldn't see Bee (as a minor) jet-setting off to all these exotic locales without at least one of her parents along for the ride. If they had been, I'm thinking some of the tight spots Bee finds herself in would not have occurred. But that doesn't make for the best reading, does it?

What Veronica Chambers really excels at is broadcasting her message, loud and proud, that you have to learn to love yourself as a person first -- outside and in. It was immensely refreshing to encounter a plus-sized protagonist who is beautiful and smart and ready to tackle any challenge set before her. At each new obstacle Bee encountered, I found myself rooting for this funny young woman, hoping she'd be able to make things work. Overall, Plus is a light yet entertaining summer read with lots of heart.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
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las risas review
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book source: giveaway from las risas


Anonymous said...

Yay! Glad you enjoyed it. The cover you posted is definitely one I haven't seen yet, I've seen 3 different covers for this book so far and I have no idea which is the final one.

I also thought the main message of the book (love yourself) was communicated nicely.

Michelle said...

lasrisas - It was a lot of fun. Thanks again for sending it along to me! I know what you mean about the cover, I saw several, but this one was the one I found on the publishers website, so I'm thinking it's the final one. Even though I don't love it as much as the one where she's making a kissy face.