Title: The Summer I Lost It.
Author: Natalie Kath
Format: ARC eCopy.
Release Date: August 1st 2011
Published By: Capstone
Imprint: Stone Arch Books
My Copy: Recieved free from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. HUGE thanks to them!
Taken From Goodreads.
Kat is just like other fourteen-year-old girls. Except this summer, she's spending four weeks at a Health Camp . . . otherwise known as fat camp. Can she lose the weight she needs to be able to do the things everyone else does? Or will she let her body control her?
This is a difficult one to review because, athough I enjoyed it and found it inspiring, I wonder if it's for everyone. I suppose there is a part of me which questioned whether the lucky slim girls of the world would really care to read this. The weight-obsessed (like me) would like it though. I found I could identify with Kat. She has body issues that I think a lot of YAs and women could identify with. She never feels pretty, her weight is slowly becoming her life, she feels that in being a few lbs overweight she is therefore some kind of failure. Kat inspired me. She takes her health and lifestyle into her own hands and transforms her life through willpower and effort.
The book is well written in the first-person epistolary form, which allowed empathy for the main character to be created. The book is very short, which meant that there wasn't really much room for many plot twists or subtext. Still, I felt that this was never meant to be a narrative-driven text. At 112 pages, The Summer I Lost It reads more like an inspiring self-help text than a YA fiction.
When I read the synopsis, I wasn't sure how I felt about a YA book which was about weightloss. I worried that it might put too much emphasis on being "skinny" in order to "get the guy". This book wasn't like that at all. Kat isn't interested in being skinny; she wants to be healthy and to feel better about herself. She wants to know that she is in control of her eating habits and not the other way around.
TEENY TINY SPOILER ALERT
I liked that when Kat did meet a guy, he fell for her while she was wearing her gym clothes, all sweaty after a workout. It emphasised the idea that it was her energy and her healthy mentality that drew him to her, not the fact that she was losing weight.
Overall, this is a motivational read that might not have the most detailed or plot-driven story, but it does have some great messages about beauty being something you need to believe before anyone else can see it. Oh, and it'll make you think long and hard about picking up that bar of chocolate!