My dad once told me of a movie he started watching about a WWII veteran presumed dead coming back into town to find his wife about to marry another man; the wife was beside herself and bemoaned her situation to her best friend “I know you always had a crush on (dead soldier), but surely you understand my impossible position,” whereupon my father turned off the TV as that one sentence rendered the rest of the movie irrelevant.
I picked up this book, about two friends who met at a weight loss camp mourning the loss of a third to obesity-related death, and their quest to honor her memory by doing everything on the list they composed as teenagers about what they would do if they lost the weight, and probably should have noped right out once I realized how every single challenge would go – certainly the one who’s losing weight due to an ulcer won’t ever realize she’s being unhealthy! Certainly her perfect ex-husband who is a total man mary-sue (pet peeve: nationalities aren’t character traits. The author either went to Spain once or read a wikipedia article and called it a night) won’t get back with her! But I was willing to see where this would go.
Exactly where you think it would.
At one point, I thought the book was going to surprise me as the character who got thinner and met with her law school crush goes on a date with him despite his not remembering her – I thought maybe the author was going to have him actually remember her and be awkward about it, or say that he didn’t want to bring it up due to embarrassment of his own past – but nope, he just didn’t remember her. And then she yells at him for it (narcissistic much?) and then the restaurant claps for her.
Nope. I’m out.
I don’t mind wish fulfillment, but this was utterly lacking in subtlety. Empowerment this hollow is essentially worthless. Pass.