The Selective Collective reads 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by K.A. BARSON!
The Selective Collective features 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by K.A. BARSON provided to us by Viking Juvenile for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!
For my part in this Selective Collective post, I was fortunate enough to interview author K.A. Barson about her new book, 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS)!
Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:
Publishing Info: July 11th 2013 by Viking Juvenile
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Viking Juvenile/Penguin Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions
Book Synopsis: Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.
Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up! — From Goodreads.com
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR K.A. BARSON
For my portion of the Selective Collective this month, I got to interview the author of 45 POUNDS, K.A. Barson! This interview was actually tougher than I thought. While I felt 45 POUNDS to still carry a lighter tone and it had several funny moments, there were so many serious topics and issues as well. I did my best to ask some important questions as well as getting a little more insight about the book!
SC: Ann often describes diets as roller coasters which end up sending her on emotional roller coasters as well. Was it hard to write such strong high and low points along Ann’s diet journey as well as her personal life?
KAB: Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I, too, have been on diet/emotional roller coasters my whole life. It’s something I still battle today. I hope I’ve matured some since I was Ann’s age, but the feelings are still very real to me. The hard part was trying to not make it feel real to the reader and not too melodramatic. I hope I succeeded.
SC: I feel like weight is a common issue in many women’s fiction/chick lit books, but isn’t as prevalent in young adult fiction. Was there any specific reason you chose to write this from a teenager’s point of view versus an adult struggling with the same issues?
KAB: I like writing from younger points of view because it’s during those years that we discover who we are and our place in the world. Sure, we continue to grow and develop beyond that (or at least we should), but I seem to relate more to the feelings and experiences of young people for some reason. I think that how they feel and what they have to say is valuable and universal. Every story I imagine has young protagonists.
SC: One thing I thought was really interesting was seeing how the concept of body image not only affected Ann but several people in her family as well. Do you think it’s important for parents to teach their kids about a healthy body image?
KAB: Yes, but I don’t think that’s easy to do, especially when the adults are people with their own body image issues. No matter how hard we try to model healthy habits and positive body image, kids have the ability to see truth. The only way it’ll truly be effective is if we can accept ourselves and each other. That’s tough to do when many of us have lived so many years of self-degradation that it becomes part of us.
SC: Ann goes through some physical changes thanks to her diet, but I think more importantly were her changes in attitude. What do you think is the biggest obstacle she has to overcome?
KAB: The biggest obstacle is how she imagines people see her. A lot of that comes from her misinterpretation of her mother’s words and behavior. Her mother has good intentions, but her own issues. Ann sees herself through that same skewed lens. Once she can let go of perceived expectations and unrealistic diets and do the best she can to be healthy, she gets better results, both physically and emotionally.
SC: Ann’s diet is taken on as a personal struggle, but something she can control, whereas the changes in her friendships were (mostly) beyond her grasp. Do you think these two big changes were connected in any way?
KAB: I think so. Because Ann is an emotional eater, when things out of her control happen, she tends to hide in front of the TV with snacks or in her car in the Mondo Burger drive-thru. Once Ann takes responsibility for the things she can control, she’s able to deal with and process the things she can’t control much better.
SC: I really loved Raynee’s character! I was so glad to see Ann making a new friend to help support her without her even having to ask. Was there a reason you chose to introduce a new friend to Ann as she’s drifting apart from her old best friend versus keeping Cassie as the best friend figure?
KAB: Ann isn’t a social outcast, but she’s lived in her friend Cassie’s shadow. Once Cassie drifts away, Ann kind of has to figure out friendships on her own. Her relationship with Raynee develops as they work together, which is often how friendships grow. It’s organic, and fun, too.
SC: 45 POUNDS is about a serious topic, but there also a sense of lightness that is maintained throughout the entire book. Was it difficult to maintain that balance?
KAB: Sometimes it is hard to keep the balance. I think light humor was needed so the book wasn’t a total downer, but humor can dilute the emotion, too. I wanted the reader to feel the depth of Ann’s feelings, but also be able to come up for air and laugh a little too. Only readers can decide if it worked. I hope so.
A BIG BIG thank you for that wonderful interview! I feel like we got to know the book AND the author better and I think that really helps build a stronger emotional connection to the story as well.
We also have a giveaway! One lucky winner will win a signed copy of 45 POUNDS from author K.A. Barson!!
Sorry, this is for US/Canada entries only. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter! The giveaway will be open for one week.
And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of 45 POUNDS so please go visit their take on the book as well!
|Tee @ YA Crush||Roundtable: Talking about 45 Pounds (More or Less)|
|Candice @ The Grown-Up YA||Dieting Through the Ages|
|Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks||Review: 45 Pounds (More or Less)|
|Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan||45 Pounds: Page to Screen|