I'm, um, LARGE.
Yes, "large" just about covers it,
although to be quite honest,
not many things do -- cover it,
Angelica Cookson Potts, better known as Angel, loves food, both cooking it and eating it, and plans to be a famous chef someday. But she thinks she's just too big -- her mother is a skinny ex-model, her best friends are all smaller than she is, and she feels like a huge, wobbly whale in comparison. In addition to food, Angel also loves Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef) and Adam (who doesn't know she's alive). In order to get Adam's attention, she tries making major Life Changes, including a cabbage-only diet that has...well, explosive results. Through it all her best friends, Minnie, Portia, and Mercedes, are there with her, and when the school fashion show comes around, Angel discovers that her size might not be such a bad thing after all.
Everyone knows an Angel, and readers will laugh out loud at her take on life.
Angel's own recipes are included so that other "foodies" can cook along with her.
The narrator of Whytock's diverting debut novel is a full-figured London 14-year-old with a flair for the dramatic and a penchant for good-humored self-deprecation. Angel describes herself as a "Cinderelephant," "big, walloping whale" and "heffalump." It doesn't help that her three best friends and her mother a chic former model with a fondness for the word "dahling" are reed thin. Angel's frequently funny musings reveal her passion for cooking, for eating and for Adorable Adam, an older boy at school who "rides a huge, throbbing motorbike." She launches a short-lived cabbage diet in hopes of turning Adam's head ("He'll choose to spend every moment with me and I'll cook him divine dinners, and he'll never wave to other girls again"). Alas, at the school Valentine disco, the boy instead asks one of Angel's best friends to dance and the devastated girl ends up in the loo devouring a plate of sausage rolls and reading a cookbook (The Return of the Naked Chef). The author wraps up her spunky novel with a satisfying if not entirely unexpected scenario, as Angel is drafted to model an evening gown in a charity fashion show and wows the crowd. For good measure, the author sprinkles her narrative with eight of Angel's recipes, written in the girl's breezy voice (e.g., "This is a very complicated recipe and I can only manage it if Flossie helps me"). Ages 12-up.