All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.
To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.
Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.
Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.
Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.
Title: Just a Few Inches
Author: Tara St. Pierre
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 306
Publishing Date: May 31st, 2015
I received a copy of this book to review from the author.
This in no way affects my opinion regarding this book and this review is 100% honest!
After being asked to review this book and reading the synopsis of the plot, I was extremely intrigued. This novel seemed as if it would be something along the lines of the old 80’s movie starring Lily Tomlin, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, but with a young adult contemporary twist to it. Whilst reading, this book definitely had that feel to it, but it also held so much more than I thought it would. This book explored the subject of self-confidence and body image while also touching upon the positives (and negatives) that come with relationships, friendships, and family. I really, really enjoyed this novel and the deeper meaning that was easily detectable throughout this story was immensely powerful.
The rest of this review is spoiler-free.
The plot of this book interested me as soon as I read the first few pages. Knowing the premise of this book and knowing that the main character, Carrie, was going to have to deal with the struggle of literally shrinking had me asking so many questions before I even reached page ten — What would cause Carrie to shrink? Would there be supernatural or scientific elements involved? How quickly would this transformation occur? How would this affect Carrie’s everyday life? I’m not going to lie, I was rather worried that some of these questions wouldn’t be covered enough or, if they were answered, they would be answered in unrealistic ways. Thankfully, I was wrong. The author adequately and seamlessly pulled together a plot that was, believe it or not, really realistic. I found myself so surprised and interested regarding all of the details that surrounded Carrie’s situation, but I was never overwhelmed with too much information as it was provided, and this was an aspect that I greatly appreciated.
I really loved how this novel didn’t solely focus on Carrie shrinking. This book dealt with relationships ending and blossoming, the importance of friendships, and familial problems. The romance in this novel was very realistic, never too fast-paced, and really cute and heartwarming. The friendships that Carrie held with other characters were believable and had the ups and downs that come with friendships. The different struggles that Carrie went through with her family were really well-written and I appreciated how family-centric this novel was. I was never bored with the this story because there were always new elements and side-plots that were brought into play and they directly intertwined with the overall plot of this novel.
Some very important main plot points that I loved in this novel were the themes of self-confidence and body image. This book eagerly points out how society has provided both women and men with stereotypical representations of what they “should” and “shouldn’t” look like on the outside, thus provoking a majority of people to feel as if they need to change how they appear in order to be looked at as acceptably attractive within our world. This unfortunate conformity could easily be looked at as the antagonist within this novel; society’s own troublesome ways of judging people based on looks is a direct root of the main character’s own inner struggle with her self-esteem, which leads her to doing whatever it takes to adhere to the societal perception of what body type is most appealing. The plot of this book directly challenges these societal transgressions head-on and it was very powerful to see how a person can be so negatively affected by the common fear of being judged by others and not fitting in.
The ending of this book was a bit fast-paced, but I still enjoyed it nevertheless. I really like the direction that the author took the plot in and I found myself very satisfied with the ending of this novel.
The characters in this novel were very well-written! I loved reading from Carrie’s point of view; she was a very realistic and relatable main character. The character development that she went through as the novel progressed was great and I really loved her moments of realizing that being self-confident was so much more important and significant than being self-conscious of how she looks on the outside. She was such a strong character and, no matter how much she went through, she remained brave and optimistic, which are both characteristics that I always seek in main characters.
Carrie’s family was really enjoyable to read about and I liked how they had character development as well, especially Carrie’s step-sister, Amy. I loved both of Carrie’s friends, Lauren and Trish, as they seemed to have such opposite personalities, but they balanced each other out greatly. Evan was definitely swoon-worthy and I loved how supportive and adorable he was. And can I just say that there were a couple of characters that I really didn’t like, but they, too, went through great character development and I ended up liking them a lot in the end, which surprised me a lot!
I loved the writing style of this novel so much. It was easy to read, fast paced, and there were bits of humor every now and then that enhanced the reading experience even more. There were some genuinely powerful quotes within this book that I really loved and there were many times where I’d find myself thinking, “YES, that’s so true, yes yes yes!” The way that the chapters were titled with different heights was so perfect for this novel, and every time I finished a chapter I found myself curious and nervous as I turned the page to see what height Carrie would be at next.
Overall, I really loved this book! It sent out a great message about body confidence, it shed light onto the horrible consequences that come with society and the media constantly scrutinizing how people look, the characters were very well-rounded, the plot was intriguing, and the writing style was great. Many thanks to the author for sending me a review copy of this book!
“We all have the capacity for incredible achievements and incredible change, but those come from the inside, and none of it will happen while we’re obsessing about what’s on the outside.”
So, have any of you read Just a Few Inches? What did you think of it? Comment your thoughts below!