Big Girl - Danielle Steel

Title : Big Girl
Author : Danielle Steel
First Published : 2010
Publisher : Delacorte Press

I’m one of them. The weirdos and the freaks. My point was that it’s okay to be different, and from now on we’d better be, if we’re going to make something of ourselves. It’s the one thing I learned in school. Different is okay.

Victoria Dawson is the big girl of this story. She always feels like a stranger in her own family. Her parents and her younger sister are tall, thin and good looking meanwhile Victoria is fat and chubby with ordinary looks. Her parents are disappointed with Victoria’s looks and constantly criticize her for that especially because Victoria doesn't look beautiful like them. After her younger sister was born, who turned out to be a beautiful baby girl, her parents told Victoria that as a firstborn, Victoria was only a “tester cake” before they finally succeeded to have a good looking baby in the second chance.
Living with such cruel parents who always look down on her, Victoria grew into an unconfident girl and struggled with her body issue for every single  day in her life. She knows that the only way to get her life is by living far away from her parents. So she moves to New York from L.A and pursues her own dreams without pressure or insult about her appereances from her parents.

Errr, what I want to say after this is kinda surprising because usually I enjoy reading Danielle Steel’s novel. Actually I don’t really like this book. I like the overall story and message, but the way it is narrated is little bit too boring for my style. The long narration created some boring chapter. I almost gave up this book after page 100. And again, because of the long narration, at some point I couldn’t really feel the emotion of the character and I just felt very sleepy. It’s just the matter of personal preferences, but I think this book will be more enjoyable to read if there were more meaningful dialogues inserted.

But those are the only thing I don’t like from this book. The rest of it, it's incredible. I felt sad for Victoria every time something bad came up to her. I really hate their parents every time they brought up stupid body weight issue, or how Victoria would never got a boy friend if she didn’t lose weight, or how she was always wrong in their eyes being compared to Gracie, her younger sister. I really wanted to punch Victoria’s mother in the face when she scolded Victoria when she wanted to catch the bouquet on Gracie’s wedding. Here is what she said to Victoria :

Let them have it, dear, they’re all younger than you are. They’ll all get married one day. You don’t even know if you ever will.

Her parents said bad things to Victoria and I think there’s no kid who deserve to be treated that way. And unfortunately, people like Victoria’s parents do exist! I think people who insult their children should be prohibited from having children in the very first place. But what can we do? We need license to drive, to be a teacher, to fly an air plane, but there is no license to be a good parent
The character building in this book is amazing. Steel can make Victoria character so alive that we can instantly feel sympathy towards Victoria. We will hate everyone she hates and we will fall in love with everyone she loves. 

This book discussed a lot of things about body image issue. But if you want to find a book that empowers people to appreciate and to love themselves for whatever they are, well, you read the wrong book. Our main heroine never loved herself and she clearly never tried to do so. What we will find in this book is a big girl who constantly struggled everyday with her body issue. She always wanted to change her self and she did change her nose in the end of the book. But I think this book is still special because it describes the real situation in this world. It’s hard to love yourself when the whole world says you’re ugly. It’s hard to feel confident when you’re not fit the image and definition of beauty from the society. Victoria’s character portrays the real event we encounter in our life.

And last but not least, this book is actually pretty good.  If you get bored in the middle, just hang in there and keep reading! Some of the great parts of this book apparently appear in the few last chapters.

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