REVIEW: 'What I Like About Me' by Jenna Guillaume Was The Book About Body Positivity We All Needed
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I am continuing on from the slightly manic ‘blog birthday’ celebration that I have created and I am finally reviewing ‘What I Like About Me’ by Jenna Guillaume. I read it a few weeks ago and I finished it in less than a day (that could be because it’s a pretty short book but shhh, let me have this).
You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE SUMMER OF THEIR LIVES?
This summer is probably not going to be that.
Source: Everything that’s happened since yesterday …
The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing this summer 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 for Christmas and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s shaky confidence. And her best friend starts going out with the boy she’s always loved.
But Maisie’s got something to prove.
As she writes down all the ways this summer 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…
I really liked this book. I found it sweet and fast paced and I related to the characters in ways that I never thought I would. This book was on the shorter side but I still think it got the point across and the plot didn’t drag like it does in some longer books.
I quite enjoyed all of the characters and Maisie’s voice resonated with me rather strongly. I found that the characters were all fairly well developed for a book so short. I felt like the characters were people that I can imagine myself talking to and knowing because they were very real. Maisie was a person that I would probably get along with and although she has a troubled home life, she isn’t defined by it like so many YA characters with similar stories are. Maisie was a source of constant entertainment as her inner dialogue was pretty funny. I related to her in ways that I didn’t expect be it her distaste for certain teachers or her insecurities regarding her body. Maisie was also pretty badass. She had the courage to go up on a stage, big or not, for a competition that is meant for showing off your body. I thought that was pretty cool of her.
I also really loved the depiction of female friendships in this book. Her friend Anna did bother me at times but she wasn’t evil or a bad person, just complicated as we all are. I really loved Maisie’s friendship with Leila and her willingness to make new friends.It teaches us that it can be good to meet new people and ‘broaden your horizons’. Not to mention, Leila is kind of fantastic. She’s a local fashion designer and is her own individual person and a unique and important character in the book.
I also adored just how authentically Australian this book was. From the language to the experience, everything was true to Australia and an excellent example of #LoveOzYa fiction!
This book is a YA contemporary romance type thing but it is so much more than that. Yes, there are romantic elements of the book but I think it focusses more on Maisie falling in love with herself which is so incredibly important.That being said, the romance was still incredibly sweet and wholesome and I really liked how they were together. I did find this novel a little bit predictable but it was still sweet and charming all the same. I really enjoyed this book but I think it can still be enjoyed by younger audiences.
Overall, this was a wonderful book about self acceptance and first love. Thanks to Silene for recommending it! I’m rating it 3.7/5.
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