Tuesday 20 January 2015

Review ~ The Curvy Girls Club by Michele Gorman.

Title: The Curvy Girls Club.
Author: Michele Gorman.
Publisher: Avon.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Publication Date: January 15, 2015.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Can the curvy girls have their cake and eat it?

Meet best friends Pixie, Ellie, Katie and Jane. Fed up with always struggling to lose weight, they start a social club where size doesn’t matter. Soon it’s the most popular place to be – having fun instead of counting carbs. And the girls suddenly find their lives changing in ways they never imagined.

But outside the club, things aren’t as rosy, as they struggle with the ups and downs of everyday life.

In this funny, heart-warming read about normal women learning to love themselves, the curvy girls soon realise that no matter what life throws at them, together, anything is possible . . .

The first thing that stood out for me in The Curvy Girls Club was the writing style, which I loved. Michele Gorman’s writing was smooth and very easy to read, which is why I found this book so engaging and finished it in less than a day. The writing was warm-hearted and covered a subject which is discussed a lot in society these days – weight and how your appearance takes impact on your life. The novel revolves around Katie, Pixie, Ellie and Jane, four overweight women who bonded at Slimming Zone but then chose to create something a little less depressing and a lot more fun, The Curvy Girls Club. The author’s outlook on the theme of this book felt very realistic as a lot of the issues in self-esteem and self-confidence are very true to the way a lot of women feel. Having hang-ups about the way you look is not pleasant and so the idea for the friends to come up with a club to embrace who you are and just have a pure good time was hopeful and refreshing. However, I found elements of this story to be quite surprising and whilst that’s normally a good sign, I find myself with mixed feelings.

Our four leading women each have strong personalities and the communication between them was bold, lively and funny. This novel started on such a high note – it was very uplifting – as although we’re introduced to some of the problems the larger lady faces in life, the characters approach it in high spirits, like nobody’s allowed to stop them having a good time. I thought this attitude was really positive and just nice to read, even though that optimism was of course going to face some obstacles throughout the course of the book. Each character had a lot to give and though it is mostly told through Katie’s perspective, I felt like we knew a great deal about the other women too. My personal favourite was Ellie, who felt a bit more grounded than some of the others and maybe a bit more supportive and loyal too. My assumption of this book was that these characters were going to tell society to sod off with their cruel judgments and though they’d face ups and downs, their friendship would shine and a lot of fun was to be had. I don’t normally come into a book expecting too much but I loved the impression I had of how this book was going to turn out. So when things looked to be working out a little differently, at times I didn’t feel all that happy with it…

Katie, Pixie, Ellie and Jane’s friendship did not seem to grow much at all – instead, they argued amongst themselves, showed signs of jealousy and had some quite irrational changes in personality. I was torn here because The Curvy Girls Club was so entertaining. I really didn’t tire of it for a second and I was invested in each of the characters and interested in how things were going to work out. But I couldn’t help but feel just a little self-conscious. Though I’m overweight, I don’t diet and I generally don’t care about the way I’m perceived because of my weight but this book brings a million different things to worry about in the way you look. If, as I’d expected, the women had been faultlessly supportive of each other and their weight, then I’m sure I would have just smiled along with them as they showed society that how much you weigh is so bloody unimportant. Instead, at times I was left thinking, if my friends speak about me like that, what does everyone else say about me…

I can’t really fault this book for its outlook on the way women feel about themselves and within themselves but I suppose I was kind of hoping for a book surging with hope and positivity and after a bright start, that’s not how it felt. I’m thinking maybe other people will take it differently to me and not really have a complaint to make. I don’t want this review to look negative, because I honestly enjoyed reading the story. There were a few giggles and some of the scenarios the characters found themselves in made for amusing reading. Characters like Rob I loved, along with the author’s handling of some quite serious issues faced by the other characters and I liked the ending too. There was always a lot happening in the characters’ lives and I found myself looking forward to what was to come next, but kind of hoping it was going to be something a bit happier too. There was an important message to The Curvy Girls Club which I’m really pleased the author chose to write about because a lot of books shy away from ‘imperfect’ looking characters. This book was thoroughly thought-provoking and I’m left with the simple notion stated on the cover in my mind… Imagine a world where looks don’t matter…

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK


  1. You always know so well how to say what you mean, that's wonderful. xx

    1. You don't see the amount of time I spend writing reviews so I make some kind of sense! Thank you xx

  2. I wish I had the attitude looks don't matter but I'm more obese than curvy. I'm looking forward to reading this.

  3. I like the sound of this book, being on the curvy side myself! Thanks for reviewing it.

    Have you read Swans Are Fat Too by Michelle Granas? I just finished it. It's a lovely contemporary tale set in Warsaw and also includes the message that looks and weight aren't the most important things in life.
    My review is the third on this page: http://stephjb.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/canvey-island-by-james-runcie-innocence.html

    1. And thanks for reading it!

      I haven't, will definitely check it out though. Your review makes it sound great :)


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