Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Measuring Up by Nyrae Dawn

To sum it up: 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?

★★★Over-all, I'd give this book 3 ½ stars!★★★

At first, I honestly didn't think this book was going to get a rating above two stars- it wasn't that it was horrible or anything... but it just felt like nothing out of the ordinary, which had me feeling bored and frustrated throughout the first half of the book. But once Tegan and Annabel's relationship started to shine through, the story really took off for me and I couldn't put it down! (That just goes to say, you shouldn't give up on books too soon! ...I may be preaching to the choir here, since I have a personal issue with that problem myself, but had I given up on this story when I had first wanted to, I would have missed out on what turned out to be a pleasant and enjoyable read.)

I have to admit, the heroine Annabel annoyed me many times throughout this novel. I definitely understand where she’s coming from about many things, especially her insecurities about her weight. Especially in today’s society where many girls don’t think they’re perfect unless they’re four-foot-eleven and 86lbs. But Annabel’s insecurities were a bit much for me in the beginning of this novel. There’s insecurity… and then there’s doubting everything you or someone else does or says just for the heck of doubting- which is what she seemed to do on every turn of the page. But I’m happy to say, that she eventually grew on me. I came to realize that her biggest struggle was accepting her weaknesses and just embracing them for who she was. I think just about every girl could identify with her and what she was going through- not only with weight issues, but with her relationship as well. 

Tegan on the other hand… *sigh* …I loved him. He was so darn sweet to Annabel, and the boy had me cracking a million giddy smiles throughout the book. Every tease he gave Annabel… every touch… every motivational encouragement… it was all absolutely swoon-worthy, which shocks me a bit since he was younger than the heroes that I typically fall for. (*whispers* ...And a lot nicer, hehe.) He had an overwhelming sense of responsibility that put a strain on his relationship with Annabel, among other things. (I won’t go into too much detail, because I don’t want to give anything away!)

I have to say, one thing that I really enjoyed about this story was the pace in which Annabel and Tegan’s relationship evolved. It started out as a friendship, making the relationship as a whole more realistic. Not only that, but nothing came easy for these two- inside and outside of the relationship, they both had struggles and challenges to overcome, and their own personal battles to fight. And speaking of obstacles and battles... 
[(spoiler) Don't get me started on how cold I felt Annabel's mother was- the one downside to this story for me, was the fact that their relationship never did get the chance to grow and become stronger. I really felt that I needed to see and feel her mother's forgiveness for her actions towards Annabel, and although we got a brief explanation of why she acts the way she does, I never did get that closure that I felt was needed. (hide spoiler)]

Over-all though, I think Nyrae Dawn did a good job with this story, and I commend her for her character development! (Which is a major must for me.) There were quite a few cheesy lines here and there, and even though nothing about Annabel and Tegan's relationship came easy, the story as a whole did seem a little too "white picket fence" perfect in my opinion. But sometimes that's what comes with the territory when reading YA. If this book seems to be grabbing your attention, I definitely wouldn't hesitate to give it a go- it's well worth the read. :)

Some favorite quotes:

-"Annabel Lee, when are you going to realize there’s not much of anything I wouldn’t do when it comes to you?" ~Tegan

-"...Sure enough, he's looking, cocky little grin in place like he's God's gift to the female eye and he caught me praising the Lord.” ~Annabel ...HA! :) This quote cracked me up!


Maria D. said...

Thanks for the review - this sounds like an interesting story

Alyssa said...

Thanks so much Maria :)


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