45 Pounds (More or Less) – KA Barson


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.

Welcome 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!


I feel an overwhelming sense of catharsis. This book is such a struggle, and it’s heartbreaking. For so long, Ann has such an uphill battle with her weight. At the end of the day though, it’s completely satisfying. I feel so proud of Ann, and so inspired by her. I’ve never been overweight, but have definitely received pressures from the other side (to eat more, be healthier, etc.). Weight is definitely a huge issue for many people, especially women and girls. I’m glad Libby was able to (unknowingly) offer the wake-up call that she did. I never thought I would feel sympathy for Ann’s mom, but I did. There’s always more than meets the eye.

There is a little bit of love, but this book centres around family more than anything else. Ann has no idea where she fits for about 2/3rds of the book. I’m glad she had such an AWESOME grandma. I’m glad we got Naomi’s insight too, but I wish we got Ann’s dad’s perspective as well. I mean, people can’t be all bad. They have to have some redeeming qualities, and I wish we understood why he did the things that he did. Same with Tony. I’m sure the environment he grew up in was difficult, but I wish things were less open-ended with him.

I’m glad Aunt Jackie’s wedding was so prominently featured. The whole thing with Regina exemplified the type of struggles these couples have to deal with all the time. #equalrights

Man, this book was LOADED with Important Topics. There are so many good lessons in this book. On top of family, self-discovery, open-mindedness, and everything else, there was a lot on bullying. Public perception and judgement. Friendship. Raynee was GREAT. I wish Ann saw Cassie in a better light by the end of it all. Sure, she wasn’t the best friend. But it’s pretty sad to be so disliked by others without even realizing it.

This book definitely got my tears flowing. But I laughed, too. Ann’s voice was so genuine and earnest. I’m proud of her, and I enjoyed reading her journey.

Related Reading

  • Keeping the Moon – Sarah Dessen
  • Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
  • OCD Love Story – Corey Ann Haydu
  • The Boyfriend List (Ruby Oliver Series) – E. Lockhart

Rating: 5/5


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