Making it Big – Lyndsay Russell

‘A funny, wicked satire on Size Zero, celebrity weight obsessed magazines, the fashion industry, the advertising industry, high society and Hollywood – no area of media fuelled ”body perfection”; bullying remains unscathed! A delicious, page-turning novel that highlights press manipulation, and hits back at the ‘skinny insanity’ currently gripping the western world.’

This book was the first that I read on my new eReader and, despite finding the new, electronic one-page format a little distracting, I was hooked from the first page. Unhappy Sharon Plunkett wishes she could lose some weight and ensnare her long-time crush Simon, but her best (and slim) friend Debbee keeps getting in the way. When Sharon sees an advert for a miracle weight loss cure, she jumps at the chance – and what happens is indeed a miracle. Sharon is transported to a parallel world where big really IS beautiful – the most famous women and models are all at least size 18 and stick-thin size zeros are considered unattractive and are treated with pity.

Making it Big is a charming and entertaining novel that takes a witty, satirical look at today’s society. It does so with pacey dialogue and clever ideas that completely turns the world as we know it on its head. Shaz (her new name) becomes noticed for her figure and is skyrocketed to a fame by a modelling stint. Along the way she dates a series of inappropriate men – crackhead Jaz and self-centred Brett being just two of them – and tries to make peace with the fact that her stepmother, Carolyn, hates her. But when her Dad’s health starts to deteriorate, she finds her weight slipping off – the exact opposite of what she always wanted.

This unputdownable book kept me hooked until the last page. A funny tale with glamorous events and designer labels elaborating its pages, it takes a deeper look at the themes involved and makes the reader consider why we put so much emphasis on weight and link it so heavily to our happiness. I would have liked a slightly different ending – her father’s death isn’t given the gravitas it deserves, and I would have liked to see the unreasonably frosty relationship between Carolyn and Sharon resolved. However, it does confidently shy away from the ‘she woke up from a dream and realised her life was perfect in the first place’ get-out clause, leaving now-slim Sharon in the big-is-beautiful world, making a difference for the skinnies and helping them feel beautiful – something we’re striving to do for bigger figures in today’s society. Refreshing and original.

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2 thoughts on “Making it Big – Lyndsay Russell

  1. keepcalmandreadabook says:

    Hi Lyndsay!

    Thanks so much for your lovely message and compliments – I’m pleased you liked the review. I loved the book so much I’ve been passing it on to my friends – one of them bought it for our holiday together the other day!

    Wishing you the best of luck with everything – especially the LA studio!

    Sarah

  2. Lyndsay Russell says:

    Thanks so much for my unexpected book review. Just came across it. Beautifully concise, and accurate. I’m delighted you liked the ending, as I’ve currently been working on a script in LA, and the final scenes are under pressure to conform! Will be sending a copy of your review over to try and convince otherwise!! Well done too, for your excellent blog. As a writer, much appreciated.

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