Title: Artichoke's Heart
Author: Suzanne Supplee
Pages: 224 p.s (Hardcover)
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Rating: * * * */5
Artichoke's Heart is about a teenager named Rosemary Goode. Rosemary is smart and funny and loyal, as well as the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But only one thing matters to anyone about her, including Rosemary herself: her weight.
Her terribly annoying aunt is constantly pushing her to lose weight. Her "wonderful" Christmas present? A $700 treadmill, and tickets to Healing the Fat Girl Within. That's showing some love, Aunty Mary, but I'd prefer a laptop. And her mom doesn't help either. She just stands there and agrees when Mary rips Rosy apart, plus she's sick ,which adds stress to Rosemary.
So Rosemary decides to lose weight. She starts drinking these diet shakes, and only eating gum besides those. She runs on her treadmill.
Then she meets Kay Kay Reese. Kay Kay is thin, beautiful, and perfect for the mean Bluebirds (the Bluebirds are like the equivalent of the Pink Ladies. Only they don't smoke and drop out to go to beauty school and... um, never mind. They're just like that in the sense of being pretty and popular and mean to all others). So why does Kay-Kay talk to Rosemary? That's what gets Kay banished from the Bluebird table. Rosemary is a prime target of theirs. In fact, they're the reason the book involves artichoke at all... long story. So they start to eat lunch together, and eventually they're friends.
And she meets Kyle, who is "delightfully huge." She likes Kyle- and even better, he seems to like her back!
I really only got this book because of the awesome cover. What's not appealing about chocolate and pink curlicue lettering? Nothing, I tell you. I had a deep hatred for Mary so that's what made this book less enjoyable.
UPDATE: This book has been nominated for the 2009 Cybil YA book awards! Three cheers for Suzanne Supplee and Rosemary, too!