100 Books in 2011 Review: Size 14 is not Fat Either

Size 14 is not Fat Either is the second Heather Wells mystery by Meg Cabot. Heather is an ex-popstar trying to start a new life working at a college in exchange for free tuition. Students keep dying, the police are useless, Heather stumbles around investigating but not and inadvertently getting into danger. Of course, she has the obligatory complicated private life – a popstar ex-boyfriend whose private detective brother is her landlord and a student with a crush. And her Dad turns up to live with her after spending 20 years in jail.

The size 14 (18UK) is a reference to the fact that Heather is a little overweight. I found it quite difficult to work out whether this was size positive or not. It starts with Heather getting some off-hand negative comments from a barista she fancies which sparks some self-hating inner monologue. Overall, Heather is a competent woman struggling to adapt to a radically new life against the pressure of friends and family. She has come from an incredibly image conscious industry and one could argue that her self-talk could be a lot worse.

Writing-wise, it’s good. It’s not stand-out spectacular, but it’s good. Dialogue is effective and Cabot creates rounded, well-drawn characters. Even the bit-part characters get a bit of personality. The plot works out in a convincing satisfying way, although the motives of the killers seem somewhat light for the gruesome murder committed. However, this is chick-lit and it’s supposed to be an easy read. Cabot has a light, assured touch suitable for the genre. If you’re looking for something fun and relaxing, you could do worse.

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