Dutton Juvenile (2008)
Reviewed by Hillary Krajewski (age 15) for Reader Views (8/08)
Rosemary Goode is smart, funny, and a nice person. Not to mention the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But no one really cares about all those things, because she’s overweight. Rosemary’s only friends are the chocolate bars she has stashed under her bed. Everyone constantly reminds her of the weight she needs to lose. Like with the treadmill her mother bought her for Christmas, which she’s probably never going to use and the tickets to the weight-loss convention that she got from her aunt. And since her mother runs the best beauty shop in town, blending in with her surroundings is not as easy as she hopes for. So when she finally resolves to lose the weight after hitting an all time high of two-hundred-three pounds after Christmas, she realizes that this is about more then just the extra pounds. And with the help of two unexpected allies from her school, an always happy and popular cheerleader and bluebird, Kay-Kay Reese, and a jock from her study hall, Kyle Cox, she realizes that not all people judge her by her weight and some can see her inner beauty that she has trouble seeing on her own.
“Artichoke’s Heart” had me hooked from the beginning and I couldn’t put it down until I read the very last word. Rosemary’s narration was filled with humor and sarcasm which is sure to make you laugh. It would be very difficult not to sympathize with her. “Artichoke’s Heart” is not just about a girl struggling with her weight, but also about her journey with learning to love herself regardless of the numbers on her scale and accepting that others can love her as well. This is the one book about obesity I didn’t mind reading. Next time you see that overweight girl in you class, you’ll think twice before you judge her. The author really understands how high school life is and the way a teenage girl like Rosemary thinks. Girls between the ages of 12 and 17 would enjoy this book. “Artichoke’s Heart” by Suzanne Supplee will change the way you view overweight people.