Select one of the keywords
Where Fat Girls Haven't Gone    by Staci Backauskas order for
Where Fat Girls Haven't Gone
by Staci Backauskas
Order:  USA  Can
Triple Moon, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Giletta Montrose's dream in life is to become a Shakespearean actress. She's spent many years training for a career on stage, but her weight has always stood in her way. Very few casting directors want an obese woman in their play. So when Giletta auditions for a role in a reality television series entitled Where Fat Girls Haven't Gone, those in charge are wowed by her wit and talent. Giletta lands her first major acting job.

Giletta's first assignment is to compete in the Miss New York pageant, which she does with complete aplomb. From there it's smooth sailing - kayaking, jumping from an airplane, and even going on a televised blind date. Giletta is befriended by Madison, the assistant producer of the show, who has ideas of her own about Giletta's future. Madison's dream has been to write a screenplay, and her new friend inspires the main character. Will Giletta's newfound success catapult her to fulfill her dreams? Can Madison line Giletta's ambitions up with her own?

This is an unusual novel. It breaks all the rules about the way characters should look and act. Readers will warm to Giletta right away and will never feel sorry for her. In fact, one almost feels sorry for Madison, who ends up having to realign her expectations about her future, more than Giletta does. The chapters are written alternating Madison's and Giletta's points of view. This works well once readers get into the flow, but as the chapters are sometimes very short (two pages), it can be jarring to skip back and forth. I often forgot who I was reading about and had to check.

Though uplifting, the conclusion is not what the reader will expect. The story is both funny and touching, with many instances for introspection. Fortunately, the reality-TV angle isn't overdone to the point of becoming boring - just when the reader begins to get tired of it, the plot changes focus. Those who enjoy reading about the entertainment industry will like Where Fat Girls Haven't Gone. Group discussion questions and a resource list are included.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews