I am not normally a fan of Danielle Steel, but when I saw this book I knew I wanted to try it. Well...I can honestly say that I am glad I did. I read this book quickly, and have to admit that my heart really went out to Victoria, the main character. For anyone who has ever dealt with a weight problem, or for anyone that has felt left out, not good enough, or different, this book should strike a cord. To constantly be compared to those around you - to have your flaws brought to the surface at every opportunity. This book showed how cruel this world can sometimes be..even in a family setting. Was it repititous? A little. But, it's a book that lets you get inside the character's head - I could feel her humililation and sense of "being different". I loved this book!!
I have to admit I really liked this book. I felt so bad for Victoria. Her parents were so cruel. I did feel the weight comments were a little overdone and repetitious, but I think it was written that way just to stress to the reader how deep her pain was. One of Danielle Steel's better books!
This was a simple read. I found it very predictable and a little repetative. It could've been about 8 chapters shorter. I wouldn't recommend if you really want to be interested in a book. IF you just feel like reading something, I would choose it.
This book was my first Danielle Steel novel and I was very excited to read something she wrote. My mom has read most of her books and by the time she was my age, she had probably read about 30 of Danielles books. Im fairly certain this isnt your typical novel by the best selling author.
It reminded me of Jennifer Weiner books where typically the main character is overweight and has some self image issues. However, I think the story held its own throughout the book.
Victoria Dawson was a character easy to like and sympathize with. Her father was easy to hate. He never had anything positive to say to her and it was so frustrating that her mother was his puppet who went along with everything he said. Surprisingly, Victoria and her sister had an incredible bond despite the fact they had very different experiences with their parents. Its pretty amazing Victoria didnt grow bitter and hateful toward Gracie, who received nothing but praises from both of her parents.
At first I felt the story was written in a sort of rushed way because there were parts where the story skipped 4 or 5 years ahead. But later I found it worked really well for this novel so you could absorb the highlights and get to know the history of the characters.
I enjoyed reading about Victorias journey to finding who she is and learning how to love herself despite the fact that she had been told her whole life anything but. From leaving the family for college to life in New York where she makes new friends that support her and care for her, its easy to root for Victoria in this book.
Danielle Steel does a wonderful job at creating characters you could love, hate, want to slap, root for, laugh with, and roll your eyes at. I had all of those moments in reading this novel. An easy, laid back read, I am sure this is not the typical Danielle Steel book. And I would definitely be interested in reading more of her books.
I just finished reading this on my ipad and it was pretty good. I really liked the character in the book, I just felt that there needed to be something more. There just was something missing. It was anti-climatic. It kept me reading and interested, but it just was a story about a big girl with parents who were cruel. I kept thinking that perhaps we would discover that she had been switched at birth or something. It just didn't have a cliff hanger. It was a really flat storyline. I mean I was interested, but it was like ok, so that's it? I kept waiting for the big climax and it never came.
First and foremost, I have read every Danielle Steel book and generally plow through them with very efficient speed. She is an awesome writer in my opinion with well developed characters. This was not my favorite of hers but still a quick read overall. Danielle Steel wrote about a "big girl" (size 12-16), blonde with blue eyes who looks very different than her beautiful family (all dark haired with olive skin). The beautiful family would describe Danielle Steel to a T. The women are petite and slim in stature just like her too. Certainly Danielle Steel didn't write from personal experience but did seem to somewhat capture what it must feel like for a girl who doesn't fit in trying to form healthy relationships later. The family relationship seemed a little unrealistic to me (at least I would hope so), but overall I liked the book. Even a book I do not love of hers rates well above most books I read.
Victoria Dawson can't help but feel out of place in her family, especially living in a city as glamorous and body-conscious as Los Angeles. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and Victoria's mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. By comparison, Victoria was a chubby little girl with blonde hair, blue eyes, and rather ordinary looks. Needless to say, both her parents were intensely critical, outspoken, and noticeably disappointed by their daughter's ordinary appearance.
When Victoria was six years old, she saw a picture of Queen Victoria, and her father told her that she looked just like her. After the birth of Victoria's perfect little sister Grace, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as "our little tester cake". With the birth of Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina definitely did something right.
As hard as she tries, Victoria just can't seem to win the battle against her weight: as a young adult, she is still overly plump, and has an awful sweet tooth. While her parents and sister can eat anything they want and not gain an ounce, Victoria must watch everything she eats. She quietly endures her father's belittling comments about her body and watches her various academic achievements go unacknowledged by her family. Ice cream and oversized helpings of all the wrong foods may give Victoria some comfort, but only for a few moments.
The only thing Victoria knows is that she must get away from home, and so, after going to college in Chicago, she moves to New York City. Landing her dream job as a high school teacher, Victoria feels like she has finally found her niche: she absolutely loves working with her students and continues to wage a determined war on her weight at the gym. When Grace announces her engagement to a man who is an exact replica of their father, Victoria worries about her sister's future happiness. However, with no man of her own, Victoria can't help but feel like she is a failure once again.
Returning home to attend Grace's wedding, Victoria finds that not much has changed in her absence. Despite the continued tension with her parents, Victoria and Grace have always been close; and although the sisters could not look more different, they love each other unconditionally. Yet regardless of Victoria's many accomplishments, her parents attitudes toward her still haven't changed: they know just what to say to bring her down. She will always be her father's "big girl," and her mother's constant disapproval is equally as unkind.
Victoria has spent a lifetime trying to forget the numerous little occasions of thoughtlessness and cruelty - the various incidents of hurt and neglect perpetrated on her by her parents. But she has finally reached the point of no return; the point where even ice cream can no longer dull the pain. As the wedding draws near, a chance encounter, a deeply upsetting betrayal, and a family confrontation all lead to an unavoidable turning point for Victoria. She faces a tough challenge as she goes ahead in her life, as well as a difficult personal risk: to accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and eventually to claim the victories she has fought so hard for and deserves.
To be perfectly honest, this story was a little bit of a let down for me. I found it to be slightly repetitive and somewhat disappointing, although it was still a fairly enjoyable story - certainly Danielle Steel's typical writing style. This was fast-paced and easy reading for me, but overall it wasn't her most riveting storyline. I had to give this book a B+!
Listening to this now and will post when I'm finished...This is the first Danielle Steel novel I've ever 'read' and while the writing isn't great, she is a good storyteller and creates engaging characters. I was interested in this because I have a fascination with people who are compulsive about their weight...I've also been a teacher at a private high school, which is the protagonist's profession. If you like light romances, this is for you!