No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter
Published by: Macmillan Children’s Books
Released: 8th August 2019
Page Count: 320 Pages
Rating: 4/5 ★
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
‘It’s not my body that’s holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.
Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.
I am always looking for new books about body positivity so when I got the chance to read No Big Deal I jumped at it! I couldn’t wait to read another novel featuring a plus size character, and well..I was very impressed!
First things first I was instantly pulled in by the opening scene. This particular predicament that Emily, our main character was in is something that I have had happen several times and for some reason it just made me relate to her from the get go. When a book captivates me from the first few pages I know it’s going to be a good one!
The topic of body image is obviously explored a lot in No Big Deal and Emily’s attitude towards being larger is admirable, and something that a lot of young girls and boys could inspire to be like. The fact that Emily loves her body and is comfortable in her skin is just inspirational and I wish I had had her confidence when I was growing up. She’s sassy, she’s bold and she sticks to what she believes in. I found myself relating to her a lot and if I’m being honest she’s probably one of the most relatable characters I have encountered in YA for a long while. Emily is a fabulous role model for people of all shapes and sizes who are having trouble accepting their body.
The plot was something that I’ll admit I struggled with at first. Despite loving Emily as a character I found some of her actions towards her love interest to be very insta-love like. As you may know insta-love is a trope that I don’t like much in YA, but I didn’t let this deter me from enjoying the story as a whole. Whilst reading I also found myself experiencing many emotions. I was laughing one minute, crying the next and then shouting in anger the next. It took me on a journey of ups and downs but it was one that I loved being on. The ending, in my eyes was incredible and I found myself applauding Emily for what she ended up doing. She stuck up for herself and did what she wanted and that is honestly admirable.
No Big Deal was a great feminist read. It brought the topic of body image and body positivity to the forefront of your mind, and it certainly made me think twice about how I feel about my own body. For a debut YA novel it was fabulous and I do hope Bethany continues writing about this topic as it’s one that she is obviously truly passionate about, and that shows in this book.