Tuesday, March 26, 2013

You Didn't Quite Measure Up


Published:  August 9th, 2012
Measuring Up
By: Nyrae Dawn
ISBN-13:  9781470313235

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?

     Annabel has been uncomfortable with her weight and has despised the way she's been treated because of it for a long time.   But when a humiliating incident with a boy at school makes her feel like she has nothing left to lose, Annabel becomes determined to lose weight and shock everyone at school - so she can be the one doing the rejecting for a change.  Maybe prove to her hypercritical Mother that she is a worthy daughter after all.  Hiring a personal trainer for the summer seemed like a smart idea - until she found out he was a hot guy only a couple years older than her!  Tegan is everything that Annabel could ever want in a boyfriend, so of course he must be too good to be true, right?  Vowing not to trust him, Annabel can only watch helplessly as he breaks through every last one of her defenses.  But Tegan has some serious issues of his own and his guilt over something in the past just might keep them apart from each other.  Can Annabel gain the confidence to love everything about herself, for who she is and not depend on the opinions of others - even Tegan?  And will Tegan finally let go of the past and create a future with Annabel?  Read and find out if love triumphs in the end...
     I have read a few books in the New Adult category so far and this was not my favorite, but from what I've gathered it showcases one of the few semi-healthy relationships in the entire genre (which favors extremely damaged protagonists who tend to inflict serious emotional abuse on each other).  Annabel is definitely NOT the perfect in every way (plus a tortured past) heroine of so many novels.  She's smart, prickly and vulnerable.  Tegan is charming, loyal and has a wonderful sense of humor.  But I didn't enjoy their interactions in the first half of the book, mainly because Annabel had a very bad habit of making the same snap judgments as her tormentors and she treated him like dirt.  As their friendship develops and then becomes something more though, it was very realistic and I appreciated the distinct lack of insta-love.  I honestly love gradual gain of confidence on Annabel's part and the deep relationship between Tegan and his Mom and younger brother.  Overall though, the angst between Annabel and Tegan in their romantic relationship just seemed drawn out and exhausted me as a reader with its repetitiveness after awhile.  Plus, her personal dramas and family issues where about half as interesting to me as Tegan's.  I liked the idea of Annabel better than her actual character which was extremely bland in my opinion.  I wish the book had been mostly about Tegan, instead of mostly about Annabel.  I would have most likely been giving it five stars instead of three.  I do give major props to the author for portraying one of the least fucked up New Adult relationships in the genre as a standard.  Thank you for the respect you've shown to your readers and their thirst for something to break the mold!  Not a bad read, but not quite what I wanted either.

VERDICT:  3/5  Stars

**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**

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