TITLE: Artichoke's Heart
AUTHOR: Suzanne Supplee
RATING: 4 stars
Great, moving read, October 28, 2008 I am an adult who loves to read well-written YA books. Artichoke's Heart stole my heart. The story introduces us to Rose who is going to be sixteen and who is suffering internally and out - with a problem with food and her weight. She is well over 200 pounds and can't seem to stop herself from eating. This is a subject that is very close to my heart. I can well imagine how difficult it must be for any teenager today to 'fit' into the role of the perfect teen and weight issues are particularly horrible and self-defeating.
Our main character Rose is suffering and although she does not do much complaining in this storyline, you can actually FEEL her pain. She is surrounded by the love of a good family (who just do not understand her shame and pain). I loved Rose. She was a regular teenager who had to work after school for her money - she was not a little diva as we so often find in these books now. Rose,to me, was written as a true reflection of a young girl. Not only does she have to deal with her body issues, but she is also dealt the additional blow of finding out her mom is sick. This takes the storyline into an entirely different direction and we see how both mother and daughter are suffering but somehow they cannot seem to speak to each other about their pain.
This book sends a very positive message - you need to be who you are - and if you decide that you need to 'changes' you MUST do it for yourself. The writing was fun and touching and I applaud the author for 'having the audacity' to actually give a fat girl a loving, kind and understanding boyfriend AND a sexy best friend. This was, as mentioned, a very positive message - I loved this book and recommend it highly.