Publication Date: August 2012
Pages: n/a (Kindle)
Source: Received from author for review.
Seventeen-year-old Annabel Conway is tired of the Hillcrest High School elite making her life miserable because she’s not a size two. This summer, she's hiring a personal trainer to help her lose weight.
Annabel doesn’t expect her trainer to be a gorgeous guy around her age. Boys like Tegan are jerks. They pretend to like girls like her so they can make an idiot out of them. Been there, done that. Totally not going there again. She kind of hates him on principal. Blond. Muscular. Funny. It doesn’t help that he knows her measurements!
Soon, Tegan's so much more than that. He’s the boy who teaches her to box when she has a bad day. Who jogs with her and lets her set the pace. Who kisses her until she melts. He makes her feel beautiful regardless of what the scale says. Unlike her mom, he doesn’t expect perfection, and he doesn't try to shield her from the world like her dad and best friend. Tegan likes her the way she is.
But what happens when he’s not there? He can’t always be there… Will Annabel be able to stand on her own and learn that she already measures up? That her worth doesn’t lie in what the world thinks, the scale says, or even what Tegan tells her—but in herself?
A sweet, inspiring story of love and finding one's self, Measuring Up is sure to touch your heart.
Annabel Conway is desperate. Tired of facing the bullies at school, those who taunt her because of her weight, she enrolls at a gym across town from her elite neighborhood. She's hoping to get a female trainer, but she gets Tegan. Tegan who looks like all the boys who've made fun of her. Tegan who is impossibly handsome, and sure to look down on her. Except, he doesn't. Tegan has problems of his own: a family to care for, an education to save for, and a job that he needs. Annabel quickly finds herself caring for Tegan. But will she ever be able to fully trust him, that he can wants her for who she is?
Annabel Conway is a girl many, many readers can identify with. I can't tell you how many times I've felt a bit of disappointment over the stereotypical heroine's physique. Tiny, petite, pixies are what we so often get when we read a story. That doesn't exactly bother me, or put me off a character, but I can't exactly identify with every protagonist that's five feet tall and just "too delicate for words". [Not that I'm bitter ;-) ] So let me just say that I love that author Nyrae Dawn gave us a girl like Annabel. This is a girl in pain, and believe me, I get that. But I felt at first that she spent so much time focused on herself and her weight, that Annabel came off as a bit selfish and shallow.Yes, having a weight problem is a big deal when you're a teen, but she also had much to be grateful for. And that's what Tegan shows her. Annabel quickly learns that Tegan is more than what meets the eye. That just because a guy is gorgeous, it doesn't mean that he's shallow or cruel. He also teaches her a lot about self-acceptance and that no matter what you have against you, others usually deal with far worse. So I love the growth that she experienced, the self-awareness she develops. What I appreciate the very most is, Annabel learns that her life will not hinge on whether she loses the weight or not. Yes, it is very important to be healthy, but she must also learn to love herself, regardless of her size.
Nyrae Dawn is a "character" writer. Her stories place the reader directly into the character's thoughts, and we go through each step of the journey with them. It's not always easy. Much like the internal dialogue we all have, Annabel becomes a bit repetitive. There were times I wanted to tell her to "Wake up!" and that goes for Tegan as well. But I guess the character's flaws, their "realness", is what makes them relatable. If you like Dawn's other books, particularly Freeing Carter, you will most likely enjoy Measuring Up.
"You don't have to thank me for anything. You're...being with you is the first thing I've done for me in a long time. We're a team. When are you going to realize that?" His words are the air I breathe. The fluid that hydrates me. The food that nourishes me. (ebook, 77%)
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