Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee


Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee wasn't what I hoped it would be. And maybe that's my fault for putting too much faith in a dust jacket description and a decent rating on Goodreads, but it fell flat. It was unauthentic and uninspiring.

Artichoke's Heart is a novel about Rosemary, an overweight teenager who's anything but happy about her situation in life--and body. Her mother and aunt are constantly discussing her weight and shoving diet books and treadmills at her, hoping she will thin out to a "normal" size. Shitty, right? But when she is compared to a morbidly obese attendant at her mother's salon, Rosie stops and finally reevaluates her choices.

I had many problems with this book, almost too many to count. By I will try.

1. Her Diet: When Rosie decides to lose weight she does two very unhealthy things: gives herself food poisoning and drinks only weight loss shakes. Now, I understand that desperate people do this often, so that wasn't the problem I had with this plot point. My problem was that most of the weight Rosie lost was with the weight loss shakes. If this is a book for young adults, you shouldn't encourage unhealthy weight loss techniques. There was one character who became the voice of reason about the issue, but it wasn't natural. She didn't thoroughly explain just how bad those shakes can be for you. If an author is trying to write a novel about a young woman struggling and losing weight with the intent to inspire others, you should have the weight loss technique be inspiring. I mean, Jesus. Didn't think I'd have to write that one down for you.

2. The Writing: It was sub-par. I mean really sub-par. The internal dialogue flopped between italics and parentheses and CAPS LOCK--it was incredibly annoying and impossible to keep track of. Plus, the language was completely unlike a teenager. How many fifteen year olds say bosom? Zero. Unless it's ironically. Definitely not to describe the pretty popular girl's chest. Absurd. I like to give teenagers credit because I think in society they are often seen as stupid--and yes, some of them are--but a lot of them are incredibly intelligent. But bosom? No.

3. Rosemary: I don't think I've related less to a character in a long time. Which is hilarious because I picked up this novel in the first place because I think a teen struggling with weight in this day and age is practically universally understood. Every person, especially female, struggles with self image issues. But Rosie was obnoxious. And essentially, she decided to lose weight to impress a boy and to stop being made fun of, not for herself. Again, not a good example for young adults--or anyone for that matter.

4. Food: This book had more description or discussion of food than any book I've ever read. It was over the top. I wanted to just scream at the author, "JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS OVERWEIGHT DOESN'T MEAN THEY ONLY EVER THINK ABOUT FOOD!" It was cliche and so unrealistic to the point it was hard to read.

In the end, just pass on this one. If you want a book about a teen and their weight loss that will inspire you, run in the other direction.

You may also like

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.