Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: WORTH THE WEIGHT by Eileen Palma

“Children are so FAT today. Isn’t there some way we can make money off that?” –Agnes from The Simpsons

Well, that’s exactly what Jack is hoping to do with his invention—extra large seats for heavier children. Did he not see the issue with that?

Kate Richards was the official spokesperson for KidFit, a T.V. talk show against childhood obesity. Technically, she was also banking on the little fatties. She is considered Jack’s nemesis, but the two can’t help but feel an instant attraction to each other. The two had a great, effervescent chemistry that was often youthful and klutzy. Their whole interlude read like a high school episode with two love-obsessed teenagers. Still, the moments when they talked and connected felt genuine, albeit a little sappy sometimes. But you figure that with all the things that they both have to deal with in their lives (Jack looking after his niece while her dad is in Afghanistan and Kate rushing to pay off some bookie to save her father), it was a comfort to know that they could confide and be there for each other.

Of course, no romance can stay perfect without a little conflict messing things up. In this case, Jack wasn’t honest about who he was—owner of the fat carriage company she’s been publicly bashing—before getting tangled up in the sheets with the woman. It’s like two people with opposing political views. How can anyone make that work? I guess it’s easy when all they could think about was sex. I must say some scenes were a little lascivious.

But political views have a way of creating war. Suddenly, both sides are firing at each other amidst the chaos of the sleazy paparazzi. I must say that the media turning up the heat and shaking things up made the plot more interesting. What better way to turn their world upside down? Will the pair be able to figure a way out of this mess? Can they save their careers or risk losing everything for love?

Sprinkled with light-hearted humor, Worth the Weight is a sweet, contemporary romance that paralleled similarities to the book/movie Must Love Dogs. Even with the zany dating advice from the eccentric group of characters, it was ultimately the dogs that hooked these two up. Also, Kate reminded me a great deal of Diane Lane with her awkward sensitivity and shyness. To be perfectly honest, I only saw the movie once (never read the book) and thought that it was an okay story, and Worth the Weight felt like a rehash of the same story but with a media-frenzy twist. In fact, that little twist made it better. It was interesting to see the nutty side of fabricated headlines, flashing cameras, and emergency PR work. I was actually curious to see how it would turn out (even though I had a good guess.)

So if you love dogs and quirky romances, this is the book for you.

My rating: 3.5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sandra,

    Will you please consider reviewing my new novel DON’T FORGET ME, BRO, to be published later this year by Stephen F. Austin State University Press?

    DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families. (See synopsis below.)

    My award-winning debut novel THE NIGHT I FREED JOHN BROWN (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009) won The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and was one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY. For more info:

    In addition I've published a collection of short stories, UGLY TO START WITH (West Virginia University Press) Here’s a link to some information about my collection:

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including The Iowa Review, North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    My email is

    Thank you very much.


    John Michael Cummings

    P.S. Could you kindly give me a reply back to let me know you received this email?

    Synopsis of DON’T FORGET ME, BRO

    DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental illness, and alienated families. The book opens with the main character, forty-two-year-old Mark Barr, who has returned home from New York to West Virginia after eleven years for his older brother Steve’s funeral. Steve, having died of a heart attack at forty-five, was mentally ill most of his adult life, though Mark has always questioned what was "mentally ill" and what was the result of their father’s verbal and physical abuse during their childhood.

    The book unfolds into an odyssey for Mark to discover love for his brother posthumously in a loveless family.

    DON’T FORGET ME, BRO is a portrait of an oldest brother’s supposed mental illness and unfulfilled life, as well as a redeeming tale of a youngest brother’s alienation from his family and his guilt for abandoning them.

    - end -