I had read Jo Edwards' previous book Love Undercover (See February 8) and found similar flaws in her second book, Go Figure. This novel centers on Ryan Burke, a senior with weight issues. It's her senior year and she's still fat, but she's not going to let that hold her back. She's enrolled in a photography class and her best friend Kimberlee is destined to find her a guy. Her previous boyfriend Noah is a hit musician, recently appearing on the cover of Rolling Stones. The bad thing about that, though, is that Ryan only seems to be known as Noah's old girlfriend. While Ryan tries to figure things out in her life, she stressed over the fact that her bff (Best Fat Friend) Chelsea hasn't been the best email buddy. Things start falling apart when she hears from Noah that he's written a song about her (and some other people as he said) only to learn that it's not the most flattering song. And then Chelsea, who'd been in California, returns home 80 pounds lighter. Suddenly Chelsea's popular and Ryan is more lost than ever.
I feel as though the summary of the novel is confusing and lackluster, but yet the story itself was lacking something in terms of plot. It took about 50 pages for the novel to actually pick up a storyline and even then, it wasn't all that exciting. There seemed to be too much internal monologue and background. Plus the reveal of Chelsea was obvious, especially when the girl said she really wasn't comfortable talking about weight anymore. And speaking of weight, the emphasis that Ryan placed on it was annoying. I understand having weight issues but there's a difference between having weight issues and obsessing. Sure Ryan's getting psychiatric help, but it's not doing her any good. And for a girl with so many problems regarding her size, she's got it pretty good. She's got great friends, guys willing to make out with her, and a boyfriend who turned into a rock star. Call me a little cynical, but that's just a little too good to be true. I really didn't find Ryan believable. In fact, I found her annoying. If she's so miserable about her weight, she should have done more to fix it. Sure she said she worked out, but not enough to make a difference and there wasn't really much of a mention of diet. I really just wanted to tell her to shut up and deal or do something about it. Now don't get me started on the ending. In Jo Edwards' first novel, I found the ending a little too cheesy. The same thing happens with this novel. It was just a little too picture perfect. Real life isn't happily ever after but yet this novel made it feel that way and I really didn't feel as though Ryan made any resolution to her main conflict - her weight.
I had high hopes for this novel. At first I thought it might be a little bit of "big girl empowerment," but I didn't see that happening, especially when the whole novel seemed just a little too fictional. I can see showing having a character with weight issues, but to make that the bane of her existence is a little too much to swallow, especially when she fails to come grips with it. This novel was just a little too much cheese for my liking.