Title: The Shape of You
Author: Georgia Beers
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Length: 236 Pages
At a Glance: The Shape of You was definitely a nice read that I didn’t feel compelled to finish in one sitting but that I enjoyed coming back to throughout the week.
Reviewed By: Courtney Ellen
Blurb: Personal trainer Rebecca McCall is furious when her coworker is sidelined and she’s forced to teach the “Be Your Best Bride” class. As if being a size two for your wedding photos is all exercise is good for. Could the whole thing get more vain and sexist? The class is full of preening, giggling Bridezillas, but one woman stands out. The one who confesses she’s only there because her fiancée signed her up. Who does that to someone they care about? And why can’t Rebecca take her eyes off her?
Spencer Thompson is a second-guesser. After making the worst mistake of her life, she’s happy to abdicate responsibility and let other people make her decisions for her. She’s always felt a little bit too soft, a little bit too curvy in all the wrong places. Her fiancée apparently agrees because she signed Spencer up for a class at the gym. Terrified by the online profile of the instructor, the epitome of Zero Body Fat, Spencer is relieved to find someone new, and realistic looking, leading the class. Except the instructor seems to hate her and Spencer has no idea why.
When a perfectly innocent post workout smoothie leads to an earth shattering kiss, Rebecca wonders if she’s been wrong all along, and Spencer is challenged to make another decision that could change her life forever.
Review: My personal shape isn’t the best, so I was initially hesitant in how I would respond to Georgia Beers The Shape of You, fearing an overly detailed explanation of exercise bike settings and yoga. Yet, within the first few pages I recognized that that was not going to be the case, as there are multiple references to fitness and a healthy life style but done with restraint so as not to offend those of us who may seldom, if ever, frequent a gym. This was coupled with an easy to follow writing style that gives a good picture of the surroundings as well as the characters throughout the book.
The story is told from the perspectives of Rebecca and Spencer, two characters that are likable and realistic. In some ways underachieving and laid back, Spencer is an excellent representation of those of us who have grown complacent in a relationship. Spencer’s behaviors are articulated in a rational way, not leaving the reader angry at her various life choices; she’s just a “meh” kind of person sometimes, which I think is great in being realistic. Rebecca shares the characteristics of being realistic as well, not as a “meh” person but as someone who has a wide range of emotions and tries to balance being health conscious with mindfulness that not everyone outside of the gym wants to hear about it.
There are some secondary characters that are developed quite well, which are then an excellent vehicle to show that the Spencer and Rebecca are mature women in their lives. My point being, both women have other things going on in their worlds and as women in their mid-30s, it would be unrealistic to think that they do not already have weekend plans, friends to hang out with, or family to be involved with at various times. Yet, there are some secondary characters that seem forced, with limited development, but still serve to provide the context of a world with non-romantic relationships and aspects of the everyday.
I absolutely liked this book, and it was nice in that it’s not entirely about sex romance. There is a resolution that I was not fully satisfied with, as it seemed to me a cop-out way to tie up some loose ends in the book, but, it worked enough so it didn’t tarnish my entire view of the story. The Shape of You was definitely a nice read that I didn’t feel compelled to finish in one sitting but that I enjoyed coming back to throughout the week.
You can buy The Shape of You here:
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