Gimme S'more

Back in April and May, ALL the sixth grade girls were checking out Huge from the school library. I thought there must have been some kind of sexy scene they were passing around. (Cause the only book ALL the girls in my class checked out of the library back-to-back was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.) But then the ABC Family series based on the book came out this summer, and I figured maybe they were just more in the loop about these things than I was and wanted to get a jump start on the story before the show started? Having just finished the book myself, I still don't know. There is one paragraph about kissing that involves lips and tongues and a boy who tastes like popcorn. However, I'm not sure if that's scandalous enough for middle schoolers these days. I kind of hope so.

I've watched all four episodes of the TV show so far (on Hulu), and I love it. Nikki Blonsky plays Wil, the girl who didn't want to go to fat camp and claims to be happy with her body just the way it is. At Camp Victory, she makes friends with shy, imaginative Becca and enemies with barely-overweight blond Amber (portrayed by the daughter of David Hasselhoff!). One of the great things about the show—in addition to the fact that it was co-developed by My So-Called Life creator Winnie Holzman—is that the characters are more than just cardboard cutouts. You don't totally hate Amber, and you don't totally love Wil. In fact, I think I may like Amber more than I like Wil. She's extremely pretty, and most of the guys at camp have crushes on her. But she's also the kind of girl people would call "big-boned," and because of it she has a lot of insecurities about herself. Sure, she's the Queen Bee at Camp Victory, but what about at home? I'm looking forward to seeing where they take her character in future episodes.

On to the book. The only things it has in common with the TV show are (a) a fat girl named Wil and (b) a fat camp that she was sent to against her wishes. Book Wil is rich and spoiled and almost completely unlikable. She shares a room with April, the perky poor girl who saved up thousands of dollars on her own to go to Wellness Canyon. April is determined to lose weight in spite of the cookies her mom sends her at camp, and Wil is determined to put on some pounds as an eff-you to her fitness-obsessed parents. When the girls realize they both like the same guy (jock-y Colin, perhaps the basis for the Trent character on the TV show), they make a bet to see who can get him to like them back first. If April wins, she gets to keep Wil's iPod for the rest of the summer. If Wil wins, April has to eat all the junk food in 7-11.

My recommendation? Stick with the TV show. The best thing about the book is the cover featuring some mighty delicious looking s'mores. Which are apparently a no-no at fat camp.


Jen said...

Yay, I'm so glad you like the show too. It's rare that I find something on ABC Family that I actually want to sit down and commit too, but Huge is just really really good.

I also appreciate your book review, because I saw it at B&N the other day and thought about picking it up, solely because of the show.

andrea jean said...

Well, I have to confess to being a regular viewer of Secret Life of the American Teenager, too! (And I started watching Pretty Little Liars, but I missed one episode and never caught up.)

Jen said...

I have the Pretty Little Liars pilot downloaded on my itunes, so I'm not sure why I'm being so judgy of abc family. =)

Perhaps I'm just a sucker for tv adaptations of ya books?