Bennett, Cherie. Life in the Fat Lane. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1999. Print.
ISBN 13: 9780440220299
Life in the Fat Lane
Written By: Cherie Bennett
Reviewed By: Phoebe Bui
Recommended Audience: Female Highschool students
Lara Ardeche is a Junior in Highschool who seems to have the perfect life. She is beautiful, tall, blonde and popular. On top of all of her popularity, she is a known pageant winner and she is a pianist. She was ‘Daddy’s Princess’, had a wonderful family life, had her own home gym, ate healthy, and had a very wealthy grandfather. Lara thought that nothing would ever change how perfect her life was. In the beginning of the book; Molly Sheridan, Lara’s best friend, asks Lara whether or not she would rather be fat or dead. Molly is everything that Lara isn’t; overweight, isn’t very well put together and has a big mouth. If Lara’s life couldn’t be any better, she had just been nominated Homecoming queen as a Junior; and little after is in a relationship with Jett whom she has a healthy and great relationship with. Lara has a lot to live up to; living up to her mother’s expectations and how important appearance is, staying her father’s ‘perfect’ princess, and keeping her reputation. However, it would only take one sudden illness to ruin her life. Lara had noticed that she had beginning to gain weight suddenly, though she eats healthy and works out regularly. Her mother notices her sudden weight gain and takes her to many doctors for tests and experiments in her diet, she is diagnosed with Axell-Crowne syndrome, a metabolic disorder that causes her to gain extreme amounts of weight. As soon as she starts to gain weight, her relationships with her family, friends, and boyfriend start to crumble.
Though on the outside she seems to have the most perfect family, there are family secrets that had been kept away for years from the world. Lara’s mother has always aimed to be the perfect mother and wife, and to keep her good reputation as both. Her father has always had suspicious business trips, but those business trips were spent with another woman. Her father had been having an affair with a woman, but it was no secret to her mother. Lara’s mother had wanted to keep her family together and was willing to let him have his affair, being afraid of losing her good reputation. Lara’s relationship with Jett had also started to fade away slowly. Lara started to notice that Jett pitied her, and that that was the only reason why he stayed with her. Lara started to hide herself away from the world because of all the hate and negativity she had gotten from the people around her. She secluded herself from going out, stopped going to piano lessons, and would avoid her friends besides Molly. If things couldn’t get worse, Lara and her family are moving to Michigan. In order for her parents to fix their relationship and for her father to stay away from his mistress, her mother decided to move their family away from everyone. Lara would be leaving behind all of her friends and her life that she tried so hard to keep.
Lara feels like she doesn’t fit into her new school at all, and feels like her life is over. She starts to play the piano again, and her piano instructor befriends her. She is introduced to a different group of people, people who are actually like her on the inside, but doesn’t realize it until later on. Lara may not realize it right away, but people who seem to be a lot different from her actually have been through things and are good people, it just takes the time to give someone a chance to realize it.
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