Kristan Higgins comes to the blog today with something a bit different- a story of three friends who met at “fat camp” and their lives since they met. Please read on for my review of
Good Luck with That
From the more than snarky title – since everyone understands the “that” adds a level of ‘you can’t do it” to the sentence, Higgins puts us into the lives of these three friends: Georgia, Marley, and Emerson. Told in 3 perspectives, the girls met and bonded at camp, after years of weight issues and the not so subtle put-downs of friends, family and society. But the loss of Emerson from this trio, brings up huge piles of guilt in their disconnect over the years since camp, as well as a set of challenges made from a ‘what to do when we’re thin” list composed in their teens.
There is Georgia – brainy, beautiful and beaten down by her plastic surgery addicted mother, and brother with huge personality defects, to Emerson, shy and withdrawn, who finds a boyfriend after years of alone, only to see him control her with food and isolation, to Marley, one half of a set of twins, her sister failed to thrive and died at four, leaving Marley alone and ‘making up’ for the loss. These women have issues, sure, and the never-ending interior monologues about their weight, and how being thinner will change everything, allowing them to find boyfriends, success at work, more friends, etc… that is the battle they face every day: apologizing for being who they are, and wanting the same things as everyone else in the world.
Surprisingly upbeat, despite the serious and often heartbreaking issues, these are characters that you want to have as friends, cheering on their successes, every little step should see them more confident, more in charge. Yet, with issues so deeply rooted, the task to not listen to the voices of discouragement, the judgy looks and shaming from other women, and the constant barrage of “ideal” thrown at us every day in media, they are all simply trying to survive and thrive, moving forward despite the fears, shame and failures. Marley and Georgia are wonderful characters, and they have issues that in a broader sense, speak to us all. Acceptance, being ‘good” enough, ignoring and stuffing down the ‘difficult topics’ with family to ‘get along’, even second guessing (and going through everything in your closet) before a date or gathering. We ALL do that. Those voices that question, nag, discourage or even demean us, FROM us, are often reflections of what we’ve heard (or felt) at different points. The trick, I think, is to use those to fuel forward motion and to discuss and unearth those difficult topics, before it takes the loss of a friend to set you on the path.
Oh there are plenty of people who will bemoan this book and find it’s not ‘positive’ imagery to all sizes, making much of the near-constant rewind of the voices in Marley’s and Georgia’s heads. Or take offense to Emerson’s diary entries and her “OE” persona, as she reveals her own struggles. It’s not a jab – it’s actually quite clever: almost brutally honest in the scenes and secrets revealed, all of the ‘deepest darks” that we hear only in our own heads when feeling particularly down or discouraged: perhaps even on constant refrain, as these three had. It’s connections and similarities that bind us all, and with Marley, Georgia and Emerson, Higgins has given us three new friends who perhaps are more like us than different, at least in terms of hopes, dreams and wishes.
Title: Good Luck with That
Author: Kristan Higgins
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Food / Recipes, Humor elements
Published by: Berkley
Published on: 7 August, 2018
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 15 Hours: 21 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever 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.
For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it's coming to terms with the survivor's guilt she's carried around since her twin sister's death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it's about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother's and brother's ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.
But 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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: