big girl small by rachel dewoskin
One can probably glean from my other reviews that I love nothing more than a coming of age story. Reading about a person’s growth, and experiencing that with them, is one of the reasons why I read so voraciously.
This is a coming of age story which is both unlike and like many others I have read over the years. Unlike firstly and foremost because our narrator, Judy, is less than four feet tall. She is a “little person” and whilst she is accepting of it, other people are not, no matter how hard they try to be. Like her mum, who worries herself sick about what the big bad world has in store for her, and how she won’t be able to protect her. And like that cute boy, who seems to like her, and kisses her, but doesn’t want anyone else to know about it… and this is where it rings some bells. The overprotective parents, the secretly fucked up boyfriend, and the spectacularly bad way Judy deals with it.
Judy is not particularly likable, she is preoccupied with herself and of climbing social ladders. She wants desperately to be in the in crowd. She has a big beautiful voice that gets her noticed at her prestigious arts school, but not enough that the ‘beautiful people’ will accept her. Her best friends are “Goth Sarah” and Molly, a kung-fu expert who thinks nothing of wearing her karate uniform to school. She has *disaster* inadvertently fallen in with the outcasts! The horror, the horror. But also, to be fair, it’s all so painfully familiar, so raw and honest. She may be a little person, but she is still a teenager. She makes really bad and stupid mistakes. One so horrible that she runs away from home and camps out in a dingy motel for a couple weeks. That kind of shame, I can relate to.
This is a book that I read cover to cover one rainy Sunday, and I truly enjoyed. Judy wasn’t so likable cause she was a little too real, she’s not a perfect, shiny teen, as much as she would like to be. She can be really dark and sarcastic, and uses humor as a front. And yes, the book hurts to read by the end when she goes through a pretty traumatic event. But just like in real life, when it seems the whole world is against you, your true friends, your fellow misfits and outcasts have got your back. And that, I can dig.