It’s been awhile since the Bookish Ladies read and reviewed the same book. Today Jennifer and Melinda share their very different feelings on Kristan Higgins’ Good Luck with That.
Jennifer’s thoughts ~
Higgins is a relatively new author to me and has brought humor and emotion to each book I’ve read. Good Luck with That is no exception, capturing my heart from the beginning.
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults. As Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.
Let’s go ahead and talk about the elephant in the room. There is a good deal of controversary surrounding this book, which I heard about half way through my reading. Higgins tackles weight and image in Good Luck with That. If you’ve struggled with your weight and how you look, raise your hand. I imagine there are lots of hands raised out there. I get where those that are upset are coming from, but I thought what Higgins wrote was real life. Are you telling me you’ve never silently (or maybe even out loud) judged a larger person? If we’re being honest, we’ve all done it. Doesn’t make it right because most times we don’t know anything about that person’s life.
For me, this book was not about fat shaming and what the characters looked like on the outside but who they were on the inside. Each character struggles with being put down because of their weight. It’s not an easy journey for either Georgia or Marley, but the beauty of the story comes when they can put that aside. Yes, Higgins speaks a lot about their weight, but it’s central to the story and the growth of the characters throughout. What they were trying to do for Emerson was beautiful and there were some funny and heart felt moments along the way.
I really enjoyed this book. Please don’t let the negativity surrounding it stop you from reading it. Read each word yourself and let them make you a better person. And if you read every word and hate this book, then you’re entitled to your opinion. This review is mine.
Thank you Berkley Publishing/Penguin Random House for the advanced copy, which I won via a Goodreads giveaway.
Melinda’s thoughts ~
While I can appreciate Jen’s perspective as she read it, I had the exact opposite reaction to this book. I’ve spent the majority of my life obese so I am particularly sensitive to portrayals of plus size women in media and in books especially. I’ve read almost all of Kristan Higgins books and was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I was pretty crushed by what I read. In full disclosure – I did not read the entire book so I was not planning to write a review but I wanted to provide a counterpoint to Jen. I’m not saying I’ve never judged someone bigger than me – I’m saying that I’ve been judged my entire life for being that bigger person and this book brought every single one of those horrible feelings to life in an awful way.
I didn’t finish because I was frankly too upset. This book made me feel ashamed of myself and of my body and I’ve worked too hard to *not* feel that way so I had to delete it completely. Marley and Georgie have such a sense of self loathing and such hatred towards anything related to fat and project that outward and it virtually leaped off the page at me. This is their reaction at seeing their friend in the hospital:
Hard to recognize amid the tubes and wires and the second chin so big it rested on her chest…and God, the mountains, the acres of flesh….
I felt like Emerson was just used as a plot device and not an actual person to be missed and cared about at all. And this particular plot device was not treated so well, she was treated like a fat piece of garbage only taken out to motivate others to lose weight. I feel incredibly strongly that this book is triggering for so many who struggle with self image and with eating disorders. I was very disappointed with this book and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Reviewers: Jennifer & Melinda
Title: Good Luck with That
Author: Kristan Higgins
Release Date: August 7, 2018