Originally posted 2015-11-04 12:14:20.
Author: Sarai Walker
Published: May 26, 2015
Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Blurb (What Made Me Read the Book):
Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.
Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.
Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying.
Synopsis: Plum is overweight and sitting at around 300 pounds, she is still awaiting for her life to begin. Just like Rapunzel in Tangled. However, unlike Rapunzel who is living under the thumb of her (fake) mother, Plum is living under the thumb of her weight and is desperate to lose it so that she will no long be Fat Plum but will become Skinny Alicia, who true self. She is even saving up 20,000$ for weight loss surgery after trying “Waist Watchers” and everything else under the sun.
One day, Plum notices that she is being watched by a young girl who leads her (in a sorta convoluted way) to a woman named Julia and she just happens to work in the same building as Plum. Convenient huh?
Let’s just take a step back here for a moment and talk about what Plum does for a living. She answers emails from women/teens/everyone who are all having problems ranging from loving a taken man, having an affair, ect, all while acting like she is her boss (head of a magazine) in the emails. Seriously, it is one of the most depressing jobs of all time, which could be another reason Plum has become so jaded with the world and hates when people even look in her direction.
Back to Julia, she is aware of who Plum works for and wants Plum to gather information for her and her secret operations. Here is where things start to get weird. Plum starts meeting with a woman named Verena who is the daughter of a women who created the Baptist Weight Loss Plan (and extremely wealthy), which is something that Plum attended when she was a teenager. Verena shut down the company her parents started and wrote a slandering book called “Adventures in Dietland” which told the true (horrible) tale of the Baptist Diet Company. Verena puts Plum on the “New Baptist Plan” which includes a makeover and some horrible blind dates.
You know what I learned about Plum during this adventure? She is a mean person. I know I was supposed to feel bad for her, and I do, she is struggling with something that she cannot control for whatever reason. But not only are some of the men mean during the blind dates, but she also sabotages them by doing crazy things like wearing full face paint! But through the whole ordeal, she learns to be more satisfied with herself.
But this was not the only plot going on in this book. There is some weird subplot happening in the background where someone is killing male rapists and getting prominent magazines into printing naked males instead of topless females. I really have no idea what this has to do with Plum and her story and it really was not woven in like I feel that it could have been . Maybe I am just really bad at understanding subplots…
Why 1 Star? This book just was not for me. When you take almost 10 minutes (I audibled this) to list different shades of lipstick, I tune you out. I hated the subplot and felt that it almost painted weight loss in a bad light.
Any Redeeming Qualities? The book has an over all good message of find a way to be happy with yourself, which I think is something everyone needs a lesson in. But I feel that it took a weird path to get there.
Have you read this book? What did you think?