Future Perfect by Jen Larsen
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.
Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.
As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?
Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.
Publishes in US: October 6th 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
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I wanted to read Future Perfect because the premise. Her grandmother offers big incentives to try to get Ashley to lose weight, and a college ride, this year's offer, is extremely hard to pass up. But Ashley is okay with how she looks, she knows she is bigger than the average person, but she is smart, funny, and motivated, and she wants that to be enough.
I am a larger person, and I do not have near the confidence and acceptance of my body as Ashley does. And I think that is a beautiful message-- weight just being a number, and really accepting that what makes you who you are is on the inside, your personality, and your drive in life, and she doesn't want to let what is on the outside, her size 20 to define her. But she faces pressure from all sides, her friends, teachers, her grandma to accept this. She understands they are just trying to help, but that is a hard thing when no one seems to be able to just let it go, and love her for who she is, not what she looks like.
I liked how she was strong, and put on her brave face. Ashley surrounded herself with her friends, and family, and she is able to stay pretty confident about who she is. She is a people pleaser when it comes to her grandmother, and it turns out that she feels obligation to her because of how much she has done for her dad, her and her brothers. I appreciate that at one point, she tried to see it from her grandma's point of view as well as how it might change her health and future. But she realized a lot about herself, and that it is okay for her to stand up for it.
The premise played out well, and I liked how the romance wasn't the main thing. She does have a boyfriend, and I appreciate that he didn't seem to care about her size, rather who she is and her personality. Rather, her friendships and family as well as her college dreams and decision about her birthday proposition.
While it dealt with some heavy issues, it didn't get bogged down. It was all about the characters and their development.
The ending was well done, and I liked the way Ashley made decisions for her best future.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
How is your body image?