Artichoke’s Heart Review.

Artichoke's HeartBook: Artichoke’s Heart.

Written By: Suzanne Supplee.

Pages: 276.

Synopsis: It’s not so easy being Rosemary Goode and tipping the scales at almost two hundred pounds? especially when your mother runs the most successful (and gossipiest!) beauty shop in town. After a spectacularly disastrous Christmas break when the scale reaches an all-time high?Rosemary realizes that things need to change. (A certain basketball player, Kyle Cox, might have something to do with it.) So begins a powerful year of transformation and a journey toward self-discovery that surprisingly has little to do with the physical, and more to do with an honest look at how Rosemary feels about herself.

My Thoughts: I don’t really understand what the author’s message was. I went into this story thinking that this would be the story of a girl with weight struggles who finds a way to love and accept herself, and her body, all while growing and making changes on the inside and out. I mean it even says on the book “so begins a powerful year of transformation and self-discovery that surprisingly has little to do with the physical, and more to do with an honest look at how Rosemary (the main character) feels about herself.” I call bullshit. That is the biggest misrepresentation of a book that I have ever read.

Most of the story consists of Rosemary in triggering bouts of self loathing. The first few chapters were spent setting Rose up as a “fat slob” who did nothing but eat, watch TV and talk down to herself. It didn’t stop there, even her own mother and aunt joined in on the fun, driving home the point that she just was not good enough. That because she wasn’t the perfect size two, it was just IMPOSSIBLE that she possessed any redeeming qualities that might attract anyone, not a friend and certainly not the opposite sex. I was disgusted by her family’s behavior. Now I have seen some pretty awful relatives and I have read many stories with relatives even worse than that, but her family takes the cake (and doesn’t it, you know, because they have so much self control.)

Yes, Rose ended up losing some weight, but by what means? Did she hop on that treadmill her mother bought her for Christmas (come on ma’am..)? NOPE. First, she literally POISONED  herself to lose the 10 pounds she had gained over winter break. Second, she began starving herself, only consuming slim fast type shakes for months which made her nauseous to the point where she felt ill all of the time. Correct me if I am wrong… But that is call and Eating Disorder right? Oh wait, she’s fat so it just a plain ole diet. On top of that, she didn’t even want to lose weight for health reasons, she does it because of the negative pressure from the women who raised her and of course it just wouldn’t be a weight loss story, if there wasn’t a boy to impress. You know, If this book were about a skinny person, everyone would be up in arms about how lightly someone could take self harm (because yes, the reasons and way she treated her body is considered self harm.) Books are suppose to inspire you to do something positive or give your hope or something but all this book does is inspire you to hate yourself.

I mean there were some good points too, which came few and far between: Her mother eventually stepped up and told her sister to back off of her daughter (which she really should have done years ago, but no one’s perfect). Even though Kyle was… simple, he was very sweet and he did let her know that he thought she was fine just the way she was. And then there was Kay-Kay aka the Queen Bee (in the making) with a heart of gold- who was someone who seemed genuinely interested in getting to know Rose and didn’t judge her based off of looks alone. She was the only person who noticed that Rose wasn’t taking care of herself and encouraged her to eat healthily and exercise, rather than wasting her money on those stupid drinks which were making her sick.

As a plus sized women, I do know that we are treated differently in society, and a lot of times people are just down right mean. But in this story, it was really over done. Rose made is seem as if the WHOLE entire town thought she and the other “fat” characters were vile creatures who needed to either starve themselves or live in hiding for the rest of eternity. Seriously, she made a point to note that EVERYONE viewed her as nothing more than a disgusting hog classmates, customers at her mother’s salon and teachers alike. I feel like the author was projecting her own opinion that you will never find love or friendship if you are fat and if for some reason you do, you should be shocked and surprised and feel lucky that anyone would pay you any attention. Like, where is she getting this from? If she was a fat person growing up and this is how she felt personally, I get it I mean you can’t really tell someone that their own experiences were wrong… but something tells me that this is not the case.

The absolute worst part of the story is that it just… ended. Like fell off a cliff. Absolutely nothing was resolved. Which leads me to believe that this book was pointless, none of the hard hitting questions were answered. Did Rose make her goal weight? Was her mother’s Cancer in remission? Would Kyle still love her? Would she and Kay-Kay continue to be friends? Did Drew and Richard stay together? Did Miss Bertha get to see her family more? Did the Bluebirds migrate? And most importantly, did Aunt Mary find a boyfriend?

The only reason I gave it one star is because I couldn’t give it zero. The only reason I gave it a second star is because little miss Kay-Kay deserved a gold star of her own. A word from the wise, save your money and stay away from this book… even if it’s free, stay away from this book.

Cheers!
⭐ ⭐
giovanna

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6 thoughts on “Artichoke’s Heart Review.

  1. Thank you for putting into words so eloquently all the reasons this book sat uncomfortably with me. I feel like the author’s “message” is one that is potentially harmful for a teen to read, particularly one who is overweight and struggling with her own self-image and confidence. I gave it two out of five stars, only for the somewhat charming setting and the decently-drawn characters. I agree that if Rosemary had been a thin character treating her body the way she does, people wouldn’t hesitate to call it an eating disorder.

    1. Wow, thank you! Its sad to say this but, I’m happy to see that I am not the only person who felt this way, while I was writing this review I actually felt bad about what I was saying but I had to go with the way I felt about it. This book is incredibly damaging and since reading it, I try to steer people away from it, because of the scattered message it sends. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, I appreciate your feedback. 🙂

  2. Personal question here: Have you ever seriously struggled with your weight (been more than 30 pounds overweight)? Obviously, everyone has different experiences, but as someone who was at every single weight mentioned in the boom at some point in high school and college, this book emotionally resonated with me on so many levels. I didn’t think the author was projecting her disdain for fat people; I thought she was highly accurately portraying the disdain you feel from everyone else when you are fat. Sure, it was a little overdone–none of the characterization in this book is subtle–but it was honest.

    I also didn’t think that the author was necessarily promoting Rosie’s actions–in fact, I thought it was pretty clear that they were unhealthy, but I would definitely stop short of calling it an eating disorder. I read Pounds Away as diet shakes like Slimfast; she wasn’t starving herself, just not making great nutritional choices. Plus, even though she had a lot of fear about going back to solid food, she would eat normal foods on several occasions–like when she was out with Kyle, or eating in the cafeteria. People with eating disorders don’t typically enjoy a few slices of pizza with their boyfriend and then smoothly go back to their normal eating habits.

    1. To answer your question, yes, I have personally struggled with my weight (that includes being 30+ pounds overweight.) so if what you are getting at is that I wouldn’t understand, you should probably take a seat. I am glad that you found a book that you really enjoyed and accurately represented how you feel about yourself, but that certainly is not the case for everyone and that includes me and a few of the other commenters. I am assuming that your assumption comes from the fact that I stated that the author seems like she is projecting her feelings about fat people into the story… Well, I stick by that statement because if she, herself, has never been overweight (you know, more than 30 pounds overweight) I would like to know where she is getting all of the nasty self deprecating comments from. If she has never experienced that herself, I do find it suspect that she is oh so accurately able to express what being fat is like. If she has, then I am wrong and I apologize and as I said before, I cannot tell other people that their experiences are incorrect. My point is, I am tired of people writing from points of views that they have never experienced or never will experience whether that be race, sexuality, WEIGHT. Whatever the case may be… Stay in your lane.

      To address the whole eating disorder situation… Yes, that is an eating disorder. Deliberately poisoning yourself to lose weight is not healthy from a mental or physical point of view no matter how you try to twist it. Have you ever met someone with an eating disorder? My sister has an eating disorder and even though it isn’t something that I am experiencing directly, I do know what one looks like. Drinking ONLY weight loss shakes IS starving yourself. Eating a meal and then going back to your “normal” eating habits (your words not mine) is an eating disorder called bulimia.

      Bulimia: an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.

      So yes, eating a few slices of pizza on a date and then going back to your “normal” eating habits which just so happens to be starving yourself (or fasting) is considered to be bulimia.

      Now, I have a personal question for you: Did you even read the entire review? I feel like you just read a bit of it and just went off on your rant. You are totally entitled to your opinion, but your comment literally left me scratching my head.

      Anyway, thanks for opening up the conversation.

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