There are three things Opl never expected to do during the eighth grade.
1. Start a vendetta against celebrity chef Alfie Adam, the “Nude Food Dude”
2. Take yoga classes with her grandpa
3 .Become a famous blogger
But after a year of shrinking down her personality to compensate for the fact that her body’s getting bigger, Opl thinks it’s about time to start speaking up again. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone actually starts to listen…
nice mix of issues presented in a way that is engaging and not preachy, with messages that will ling
Opal is 13, with several challenges in her life: her father ‘went away’ two years ago, she can’t wear skinny jeans, her brother is forever dressing up in women’s clothes and her grandfather has moved in, making a crowded space even more so. Add to that, Opal’s favorite snack, chocolate, may just be the next forbidden item as she just got back from the doctor’s office with a warning about being pre-diabetic, and a list of foods and changes she needs to make. Life just isn’t fair.
Deeper in, we see Opal dealing with the struggles of making healthy choices and her retreat to emotional eating to stuff down her grief. For her father isn’t ‘away’, he died, and she’s at a loss of how to grieve. While her mother shows some wonderful characteristics: supportive as to food choices available in the house, benignly allowing her brother to express himself in less than traditional ways, suggesting that Opal use a blog to get her feelings out and sort through them, her mother’s fear for her daughter is shown in words and comments that are harsh and sharp, snarky moments that shame Opal, even though it is very clear that her intentions are to help.
Dear Opl is born, and Opal finds a small following with people who are looking to her for advice and help, even as her best friend and she have some serious issues. Struggling with change, growing up, learning to make choices that are healthy and even recognizing the underlying issues behind her own emotional eating choices are highlights of this story. Solidly presenting the issues from Opal’s perspective, and seeing the changes in her behavior and personality as the changes she needs to make become choices for her healthier and happier life, rather than a punishment.
A nice mix of issues presented in a way that is engaging and not preachy, with messages that will linger long after the last page is read.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.