Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review: Hungry for Happiness

I wanted to like this book, I really did. Instead, I found it to be quite offensive.

Loretta Crawford has lost significant weight after a gastric bypass. Life remains a struggle, as she ties to get her catering business off the ground and navigate the dating scene as a thinner woman. Loretta has a terrible self-image, and discovers that life as a thinner woman is not as easy as she expected.

The main problem with this book was the characters. They were at best unlikable, at worst offensive. The worst of the lot is Loretta, who expresses tremendous hatred of fat people. She is constantly criticizing overweight people, including her friends and family. Loretta genuinely believes that fat people do not deserve happiness, and she thinks that her overweight friends and family are disgusting, a sentiment she repeats ad nauseum. She expresses anger and disbelief when good things happen to her fat friends. Loretta Crawford is certainly not someone I would want to be my friend. Hatred of fat women seems to be coursing through this book. The male character who prefers to date fat women is repeatedly described as "a pervert," and treated much more harshly than the male characters who commit rape.

This book also employs a strange dialect. I've lived in the south. I'm used to heavy accents. I've never heard anything like this. Loretta calls everyone "Bub," "Buster," or "Buckaroo." I have no idea what the intention was, but I have yet to hear a Texan speak lie this.

I honestly cannot recommend this book.

James Villas, Hungry for Happiness (Kensington, 2010) ISBN:

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