Saturday, May 24, 2008

Review: The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12

The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12 by Robin Gold
3 stars

Book description: "Delilah White, television’s semi-famous (to her own shock) and completely endearing Domestic Diva, likes herself just the way she is: a perfect size twelve. When her boss announces that she’s taking an early retirement, Delilah finds herself pitted against her rival, the statuesque Margo Hart, for one of the most coveted promotions in television. As the office politics are heating up, Delilah jumps at the opportunity for a long weekend at her friend’s family estate in the Catskills, only to have Margo make a surprise appearance and start stirring up trouble. Armed only with a pink polka dot bikini and her sometimes overactive imagination, Delilah must balance her budding romance (with a man who just might be otherwise committed) and a sudden meltdown at the office. As one disaster follows another, it takes all of Delilah’s charm, ingenuity, and spirit to come out on top."

First line: "The studio lights are too hot; they're melting the f***ing meringue!"

My thoughts:
The book description is correct, Delilah is endearing - she's funny, smart, talented, and driven, but doesn't take herself or life too seriously (most of the time). I could relate to her habit of "self-conversating." The lavish Trawler estate where the Fourth of July party is held sounded like a truly awesome place to visit, complete with its own private beach and mini-golf course. And the party guests, including a tone-deaf uncle who forces people to sing and an enthuasiastic inventor father who invented the little round thing that goes in the middle of delivery pizzas, add some extra entertaintment. There are some really funny parts, especially towards the end at the big party. But in this comedy of errors, there are a quite a few really obvious misunderstandings that I figured out long before Delilah did. Which is part of the genre, I know, but I did want to shout them out to her, like a kid in a pantomime audience.

And I have to say that the whole size 12 thing bothered me. It does help to establish Delilah's character -deep down she's still bothered by being fat little "Delilah Donut" as a kid and she has the challenge of working in a field where women are expected to be stick insects. But to me, as someone who truly is fat, it seemed like Gold was trying so hard to portray a cute, happy, well-adjusted "heavy" girl that she ended up drawing attention to the fact that even an average size is seen as fat by our society and that's just the way it is. Delilah's weight is mentioned to her, in various degrees of insultingness, by at least 3 people in the space of one weekend. I, truly fat girl with her share of mean comments, haven't even had that happen in that short a space of time. I can see evil, plastic-surgeried Margo using it to attack her, but not random strangers. I had the same feeling about Meg Cabot's similarly titled Size 12 is not Fat - it ruins good intentions by turning it into a protesting too much situation.

But, really, it was enjoyable - a light, quick, chick lit read with a neat heroine. And given the setting, it would be a good beach read, preferably over the July 4th long weekend.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Size 12 is not fat but it sounds like an entertaining book.