I received this book for free from Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
Published by Peachtree Publishing on April 1, 2020
Buy on Amazon
You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES? This vacation is probably not going to be that.
The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she’s always loved. But Maisie’s got something to prove.
As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back.
Jenna Guillame’s American debut features a plus-size protagonist with a compelling, funny, and authentic narrative voice. This relatable and charming novel about friendship, confidence, and self-love will draw readers in as Maisie’s realistic emotional journey unveils the importance of embracing one’s body and celebrating one’s self.
Here is what I thought
Sometimes it’s good to read something that is not usually in your comfort zone of books. I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary but I was intrigued by this one and was in hope of a good plus size representation read. Though at times the MC made me mad in the end I think this was one of the good ones when it comes to plus size rep.
So it starts out with Maisie complaining about having to write a journal during her time off and so the book is written in sort of a journal style but with a lot of writing in between of her telling the story so it’s not really a complete journal style. Anyway, in this journal she calls DJ Maisie tells her story.
Her family and another family who are friends always spend the Christmas break together as it’s the one time they get to hang out together. Maisie grew up knowing Sebastian during this holiday and they sort of grew up together and had a lot of fun till he started bringing his friend Beamer and then they didn’t hang out as much. Then Maisie seen some of his poetry and it made her fall for Sebastian so that made it even more awkward when they would get together. Now at Sixteen her father has decided he isn’t going as he has to work leaving Maisie without her ally, but they are allowing her to bring her friend.
Things don’t go so well for Maisie when her friend Anna starts crushing on Sebastian and instead of telling her friend that it bothered her she just let it happen. The typical- skinny girl gets the hot guy while the plus size girl stands back and lets it happen scenario. The one thing that Maisie doesn’t see is how much Beamer is always hanging around her, I mean she sees him but as the annoying friend of Seb.
While at the beach hiding herself under her hot cloths because she refuses to show anyone her awful swimwear she meets Leila an eccentric and fun teen fashion designer. They become fast friends and she kind of ditches Anna a bit to hang out with her and while doing so she ends up signing up for the teen beauty pageant.
A lot of the things that Maisie done during the vacation will have an impact on her moving forward and she learns how to like herself no matter her size.
So I liked Maisie though at first I really wanted to smack her a lot as she was kind of whiny about the whole Seb/Anna thing and not speaking her mind. Though I have to admit I seen a lot of my own teen self and even adult self in Maisie which is probably one reason she drove me crazy. It was easy to yell at the book and tell her what she should do but I know when I was like her I stayed quiet too. She did eventual find the courage to do things I wish I would have done as a plus size teen which is why I ended up enjoying this book in the end. I really rooted for Maisie in the end.
With all the other characters in the book it was easy to remember back and put a name of my own with each character. All my friends growing up where skinny while I wasn’t. There was the crushes I had that I stayed quiet while my friends went for them. So it was very easy to think back and identify with how this book played out. I think we need more decent plus size representation in books!
I survived the teen angst and enjoyed this one and would recommend it to those who like YA contemporary books.