A little while ago the lovely Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and I launched Let’s Talk YA. You can check out the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth books I’ve previously recommended, all of which are incredible UKYA books that I think need to be shouted about more. Today, I’m discussing the absolutely amazing No Big Deal by Bethany Rutter.
‘It’s not my body that’s holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.’
Meet Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. Everything changes. At first he seems perfect. But as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in.
With her mum trying new fad diets every week, and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.
A warm, funny inspiring debut YA novel from Bethany Rutter: influencer, editor and a fierce UK voice in the debate around body positivity.
Why I Love It:
I was so excited to read another body positive, empowering YA contemporary and No Big Deal did not disappoint.
I loved how Emily isn’t defined by her relationship with her body and instead it’s the world around her that tries to force her into that box. She is sassy, funny and strong, but also going through her own journey of self-discovery, showing those darker moments of insecurity that we all face. The speech she has near the end of the book moved me close to tears, as I just wish everyone could hear it and learn to love themselves, particularly some of my close friends.
Similarly her friendships were just brilliant, with a clear level of support, but also allowing them to be complex and develop, as most teenage friendships are. They all felt like three-dimensional and authentic characters, which obviously made me fall even more in love with this book. The casual diversity was such a great added bonus as well.
I was pulled into the story straight away by Emily’s brilliant narrative voice and Rutter’s relatable writing. At times, I worried that the plot arc was going to be too predictable, but I really loved the ending and the way Rutter challenges the tropes of contemporary YA.
No Big Deal is a fantastic, feminist take on contemporary with a brilliant message of self-love and body positivity that everyone should read.
Have you read No Big Deal? What did you think?
As always, please check out Emma’s blog for her recommendation and we will be talking on Twitter, so please get involved and use the hashtag #LetsTalkYA.