Just a Few Inches is a young adult book about Carrie, a senior in high school who is dying to fit into the dress she bought for the Valentine’s Day dance. Diet and exercise haven’t helped, so she turns to diet pills that promise she’ll lose inches in just a short period of time. Desperate to make that happen by the following week for the dance, she takes more than the recommended dose, with disastrous consequences. Carrie has started shrinking, and no one knows how to stop it.
I have to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, because I feel like the premise could be hit or miss depending on how it’s executed, but I ended up loving the book. When I started reading the it, I imagined it would fall into the fantasy category, and while I suppose it technically still COULD because it’s unlikely that someone would shrink so much in real life, it didn’t read like a fantasy book, and I loved that. The author included scientific and medical rationale as to why this could be happening, and had Carrie and her family consistently working with doctors to try and stop or reverse the shrinking.
The major over-arching theme here is related to body image and self esteem, which I think is a ridiculously important thing to be talking to young adults about. I think it’s something that almost everyone can relate to in one form or another. If I’m being completely honest, I’m in my late 20’s and I still have issues with body image. Whether you think you’re too big or too small, everyone worries about something. As Carrie begins shrinking, she comes to the realization that she’d do anything to go back in time and stop herself from taking the diet pills. At 5’8 and 135lbs, she didn’t need them anyway, and now as she continues to get smaller and smaller, she can handle live a normal life. Was it worth it?
I think the book has a great message, while not preaching it. The author did a great job at balancing the positive body image theme with the rest of the plot. Carrie was an incredibly likable character, and while I didn’t always love her friends because they sometimes reacted in ways I didn’t like, I think they reacted exactly as most 18 year olds would react in that situation.
Overall, I loved the book and thought the themes were important ones to think about and discuss. I’d like to thank the author, Tana St. Pierre, for providing me a copy of Just a Few Inches in exchange for an honest review.