Monday, April 22, 2019

ARC Review: Waisted

About The Book:

  Title:  Waisted 
  Author: Randy Susan Meyers 
  Pub. Date: May 21st, 2019 
  Publisher: Atria Books 
  Pages: 288 
  Genre: Fiction, Women's Fiction 
  Rate: 3/5 stars 

Synopsis :

In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.

Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.

Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.

The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.

The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability...until they decide to take matters into their own hands.


The initial description of Waisted reminded me of Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty which came out last November. If you haven't read that yet, it was basically about nine individuals who decide to go to a 'health and wellness retreat' for separate personal reasons. So, like the description said, Alice and Daphne decide to go to a 'health and wellness retreat' (more or less) for the sake of weight loss, but unlike Nine Perfect Strangers, the women in Waisted who were attending the retreat had to agree to be filmed. Pretty soon, the ladies realize that the retreat, 'Privation', isn't what they thought it was going to be and they start to look for ways out. 

The description of this book is was really drew me in. The health and wellness retreat in Nine Perfect Strangers was really interesting, so I thought I would also be interested in the retreat called 'Privation' in Waisted. Turns out, most of the focus of this book was not with the retreat, but with the lives of the women and what they were dealing with. Alice, with her supportive family but (excuse my language) jackass of a husband and Daphne, with her unsupportive and judgmental family and gem of husband are the main focal points of this novel. 

I would have liked to see more about what really pushed Daphne and Alice to make the decision to leave their families and go to this month-long camp. We get a little bit of a backstory regarding their struggles with weight, but not enough to convince me that these women had no other choices than to go to this camp and leave their lives behind.  As someone who has been struggling with weight since the birth of my son, I really related to Alice's thoughts of "what if my husband doesn't find me attractive anymore". This book really squashed those fears from looking from the outside in. I realize "wow her husband is a jerk" after she gave him the precious gift of a daughter . 

For the first half of the novel, everyone was calling these two ladies variations of fat. At Privation, when they revealed their height and weight, they honestly weren't what I was expecting. How they were being described for the first half of the novel would make anyone think they were pushing maybe 300 pounds. However, in reality, one of the women wasn't even close to 200. Also, at Privation, they make them exercise a crazy, crazy amount that nobody could sustain. Let alone starving and not taking any vitamins, those ladies' bodies would start to shut down (there is no way they could last for like 4 weeks).

Waisted really resonated with me due to the fact that the subject matter hit close to home. I loved that it gave a voice to a lot of things people think about themselves but are just too afraid to say (like being consumed by the weight on the scale day after day). Unfortunately, I feel like the short length of the book really prevented in-depth characters and a thorough plot from coming through. That's why I'd rate this novel a 3/5. What do you think about this topic? Do you think this novel would interest you or are you going to pass on this one? 

Thank you to Atria for providing this book
in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn

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