Book Reviews

Review: Nice Girls Endure By Chris Struyk-Bonn

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Published: August 1st 2016 by Switch Press


Source: E-ARC via Netgalley


Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Coming of Age


Synopsis: Chelsea Duvay is so many things. 


She’s an avid musical lover, she is a gifted singer, and she has the most perfect, beautiful feet. But no one ever notices that. All they notice is Chelsea s weight. Daily, Chelsea endures endless comments about her appearance from well-meaning adults and cruel classmates. So she keeps to herself and just tries to make it through. 

Don’t make waves. Don’t draw attention. That’s how life is for Chelsea until a special class project pushes the energetic and incessantly social Melody into Chelsea’s world. As their unlikely friendship grows, Chelsea emerges from her isolated existence, and she begins to find the confidence to enjoy life. 

But bullies are bullies, and they remain as vicious as ever. One terrible encounter threatens to destroy everything Chelsea has worked so hard to achieve. Readers will be captivated by Chelsea s journey as she discovers the courage to declare her own beauty and self-worth, no matter what others might think. 

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Spoiler Free Review:

This book was exactly what I needed. It covered important topics while also being a very quick and easy read. I really enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting to and it was also very inspiring as well. 

 

The writing style was very simplistic and could be at times, a little juvenile. There were times where I felt like the book could be a middle grade book. I think part of it has to do with the main character. In the beginning, she was very insecure and it was pretty clear in the writing. However,I did really love the short chapters. 

 

This book brought up some really important topics. Fat shaming and bullying were huge themes in this book. Additionally, the response to the bullying was especially powerful and something I never read about in a book. The story is shows a lot of body positivity and learning to feel good in your own skin. There’s a mental illness aspect as well. Chelsea suffers from severe social anxiety. Being someone who also has social anxiety, I really related to a few of her experiences.  The whole story line was meant to be inspiring for people who struggle with similar kinds of bullying and it really did excel at it.


The main character, Chelsea can be different from your typical young adult female protagonist. She’s a gifted singer and loves to sing along to musicals. She could come off as pretty annoying, but it was mostly part of her character development. I loved how if not anything else, she loved her feet. Chelsea would constantly mention her beautiful feet and how much she adores them. I was also happy to see she has two parents, both of which are supportive. Her mother was definitely not understanding in the beginning, but she went through some character development as well. It was nice to see two parents actually supporting their daughter.


Instead of meeting a boy, as several young adult novels go, Chelsea befriends a girl in one of her classes. Melody was a very lively and spunky character. She reminded me of Blue Sargent from The Raven Cycle. I really did enjoy their friendship and how it took sometime for Chelsea to trust her. The friendship was a slow burn and there was lot of room for growth. 


All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It had some great messages and it’s always nice to read a book that follows someone who is bullied and oppressed for her weight. For those who are unaware, it really sheds light onto the situation. 

Rating: 3.25/5

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