Published by 5-Spot, a division of Hachette Book Group
Rating: 4.5 stars
This book is officially released today!!
"The Makedown" begins with memories of Anna Norton's life as an overweight, geeky, friendless teen and tales of her eccentric family. Anna decides to take drastic measures to change her fate and moves from her small town in Ohio to New York City. There she begins working in a catering business, where her boss becomes a personal mentor and health coach, forcing her to get in shape and helping her shed all her extra fat. Though not as glamorous or good-looking as the other women of Manhattan, Anna begins to gain some confidence and manages to attract the attention of a very handsome bachelor named Ben. Unfortunately, Anna is not the only one who admires Ben's good looks and she finds herself feeling insecure and jealous as other women constantly flirt with her boyfriend. One day Anna devises a plan to make Ben less attractive and therefore less competition for his attention - hence the makedown.
While I have to admit the book's plot sounds a little ridiculous, the execution is really well done and this book turned out to be even better than I thought! I love Gitty Daneshvari's writing style and her flawless choice of words. I also loved the humor in every situation, especially Anna's semi-delusional mother, whose personality merits another book all about her!
Throughout the beginning part of the book, I felt badly for Anna and the way the other kids tormented her. I really sympathized with her and wanted things to improve. Then once she lost the weight, I was relieved that she didn't magically transform into a beauty queen or become conceited. It was very realistic that Anna's insecurities did not disappear and dating the epitome of male perfection would inevitably bring the insecurities to the surface.
Surprisingly enough, even when Anna was fattening Ben up and putting Nair in his shampoo, I still loved her as a character. I thought Ben was way too stuck-up and in some ways deserved to see how it felt to be less than god-like in appearance. Of course the makedown doesn't go as planned and with time, Anna learns her lesson and is a better person because of her experiences.
My only complaint is that I wish the book didn't fast forward in the end because I would have loved to see what happened in between but I did think it was a good ending. This book was humorous and even witty at points, and certainly a lot of fun.
BIG THANKS to Miriam and Hachette Book Group for my review copy.