I could not stop rolling my eyes through this book. I used to be a huge Meg Cabot fan, devouring the Princess Diaries series like it was nothing, rereading All-American Girl for the umpteenth time, and loving the Airhead series, all as a teenager. So I thought I’d see what else Meg Cabot had written and try it out. And my 21-year old brain couldn’t take it. Don’t get me wrong, the plot itself was interesting, but that was all that stopped me from wanting to throw my iPad across the room at the stupidity of the book (well, that and the fact that it’s an iPad).
Size 12 is Not Fat stars Heather Wells, a one-time tween pop star turned dorm – excuse me – RESIDENCE HALL assistant director of New York College who comes across the murders of two freshmen girls. However, the situation doesn’t seem to be accidental and she has her suspicions of foul play. At first, no one really takes her seriously, but eventually, they see the possible truth in her suppositions. Oh, and there’s not one, not two, but three hot guys involved in her life in one way or another.
First off, the very first page of the book turned me off almost instantly with this lovely gem. Some context, Heather is trying on jeans at some department store and a girl in the dressing room next to her is trying on some jeans in size 0. They happen to be too big for her and she asks the clerk if there’s anything smaller than size 0. And, here’s the gem, Heather thinks to herself, “Whoa. Is it just me, or was that really existential? Because what’s smaller than a size zero? Negative something right? Okay so it’s been a while since sixth grade math. But I do remember there was this number line, with a zero in the middle, and-”
Please tell me I didn’t just read that. Please tell me that I read it wrong. Now I know she’s supposed to have skipped a good chunk of grade school to go touring with her record label and such, but come on. Really? And throughout the book, she just has these asinine remarks that render her helpless and childish. I seriously wanted to scream at her, you are a 28 year old woman, not 15. And it was at this point that I realized that almost all of Cabot’s female characters are like that. Completely disregarding a serious situation because the boy of their dreams didn’t notice them or tell them what they thought of them, obsessing over something completely unrelated to the story, and just basically being immature. It’s all the same archetype, they all get the guy they want in the end, and they seduce him with their non-attractive awkwardness. It seemed like the only level-headed one in the whole book was Cooper who had to deal with Heather’s semi-emptyheadedness.
And do NOT get me started on how many times Heather said some version of, “dorm – I mean residence hall”. She should’ve gotten it right after the first fifty times she made the mistake. Or just give up and call it a dorm. Because nobody calls them residence halls in informal conversation.
However, the plot itself was ok. Cabot knows how to keep it mysterious; I certainly didn’t see the end result coming, but it made sense. I almost want to finish the series because I love mysteries, but I’m not sure if I want to subject myself to Heather’s immaturity again. I could take it as a teenager because I could somewhat relate to it. I mean, what teen hasn’t obsessed over a crush in their life? What teenager wouldn’t want to find out they’re royalty or that they caught the president’s son’s eye, or that only they understand why someone was murdered? But as a young adult, you just want something slightly more realistic with more relatable characters. Who know what a number line is and doesn’t repeat the same, tired, remarks and quips throughout the book.