Sunday, December 1, 2013

ARC Review: Picture Me By: Lori Weber

Title: Picture Me
Author: Lori Weber
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Shelves: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Recommended for Fans Of: Laurie Halse Anderson, Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: James Lorimer & Co.
Format: e-arc from Netgalley

Synopsis: At thirteen years old and extremely overweight, Krista reaches her breaking point when she realizes that not even a teacher can stop the torture inflicted on her by fellow classmates. Trying to cope with the death of her father, and the shaky foundations of her family, Tessa is Krista's best friend, and her only hope. Neglected by her mother and abused by her boyfriend, Chelsea's got a heart full of sin and a goal to shatter everything Krista has left. Although they may not know it, these three teens are thrown together in this cruel world of hate, judgement and devastation. 

Review: I've read many other reviews of Picture Me where the reviewer says that they were expecting more from this story. I didn't have any high expectations. Weight and obesity is a very difficult subject to write and it takes a truly talented writer to pull it off. Picture Me fell a little short. Although Lori Weber had a great storyline and a (mostly) good plot, with well developed characters, I didn't find myself liking this book very much, and for various reasons.

The characters, although well developed, were quite frankly, horrible. Besides Tessa, who was actually a great protagonist, Krista and Chelsea just bothered me a lot. Chelsea is your average mean girl, but the things she did were inexcusable. The author writes about how Chelsea is neglected at home and needs to feel love, which she finds in her "boyfriend." An emotionally absent mother does not give a person any right to rough up a  CHILD and scare the crap out of her. It is absolutely unacceptable. Chelsea was so vapid and vain, especially around her much older boyfriend. It was like she had no brains, and by the age of 13, I believe every girl should know have at least an ounce of common sense.

Other characters that gave me a headache were the mothers. I mentioned that I like Tessa the best, and I also felt she had the best home life. However, she also had a neglectful mother, although not as bad as Krista and Chelsea's mothers. Tessa's mom let her walk to the grocery store by herself, and ride the bus back home alone. At thirteen years old, I find this extremely dangerous, no matter what kind of town they live in. Krista's mother was horrible. She was a nurse, and yet, could not see the danger of her own daughter deteriorating before her eyes. It was so painful to read about this mother, so blind to what was right in front of her eyes. The same goes for Chelsea's mother, who didn't once make an appearance or even have one line of dialogue in this book. It's such a shame to see grown-ups like this,

Krista goes through something really tragic in Picture Me, both emotionally and physically. The one thing that I did like about Picture Me was how Lori Weber kind of accused the bystanders and the "innocent" people of being anything but innocent. We even see the unveiling of a teacher's true opinions on this heavy subject come to light, and it is truly shameful to think that there could be people like this in today's society. It's really tragic how bystanders can just stand there and let their cruel words wash away any light in a little girl.

The ending sucked. Sorry for the unproper language, but it was horrible. Krista seemed to go from almost dead to bright, bubbly Barbie doll in the matter of what? Hours, minutes? Chelsea's story leaves a lot unknown and the only one who seems truly happy is Tessa. The one character who didn't really have that many problems to begin with. *sigh* If there is a sequel to Picture Me, I honestly can't say if I will have any motivation to read it.

Conclusion: I had many issues with Picture Me, that is true. I have to be honest and say I wouldn't really recommend it. But there were some things that truly touched me and will stick with me. Although minimal at best, a small element of friendship and fierce loyalty does show up and is the saving grace for this book.



  1. Yeah, not much to say about this other than I think I will pass. Issue books are good books, and I think they are needed, but the execution has to be almost perfect for it to pay off. Sounds like this one just.... doesn't. Sigh...

  2. It's really too bad this didn't work for you. But it happens. I actually hadn't heard of this book yet, but now I'm not that eager to seek it out.