Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 10, 2013
In this hilariously blunt novel about a girl who weighs ­almost 200 pounds, Artichoke's Heart is delicious fun. From the first chapter you get a taste of Rosemary's razor-sharp tongue as it sasses the world around her and challenges her mother. Suzanne Supplee makes Rosemary a very sensitive character beneath her cool attitude. Adding a bit of spice with some heated romance (girl-meets-boy, love at first sight) young teens will really connect with this book. It's an emotional joyride of ups, downs, and shed pounds.

Rosemary is a force to be reckoned with; she just doesn't realize it yet. Her story unfolds when she walks into a store to see diet shakes. In fear, she abruptly deletes the thought of buying them but already the seeds of change appear. Rosemary changes greatly over the course of her weight loss. Her character becomes more loving of herself and opens her eyes to others' kindness. To help Rosemary connect to the ­audience, Supplee uses simple language and the plot is easy to follow.

Essentially, dialogue comprises most of the book. Sometimes books with a lot of dialogue can be dull and the plots can be hard to follow. This book's dialogue, however, tells you all you need to know.

The narration of Rosemary is hysterical, yet it reminds you of society's cruelty as Rosemary's weight makes her hate herself. The narration makes the reader feel Rosemary's pressure to lose weight. As you read on, questions appear about your own take on life: are you like the characters in the book? This book may just change readers' thoughts about the world.

The length and focus of the book greatly complement each other in a style that is laid-back, in a kick-up-your-feet-on-the-sofa kind of way. Fair warning though – the depiction of a believable, real-life teenager are rare, but it's still a brilliant read. With each page you'll find Rosemary in some pretty hilarious situations, making the book thoroughly entertaining.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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