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Overview

The perfect romantic makeover story about an every-girl whose dream comes true . . .

Beatrice Wilson is our lovable Cinderella, who just got dumped by her very first boyfriend and put on twenty-five pounds. But then she's discovered as a plus model. In the eyes of pop culture, Bee is Jessica Alba and then some! Now she must vanquish skinny rivals, fend off sleazy photogs, and banish jealous frenemies in her rise to superstardom. All the while, she's torn between her first love ...

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Overview

The perfect romantic makeover story about an every-girl whose dream comes true . . .

Beatrice Wilson is our lovable Cinderella, who just got dumped by her very first boyfriend and put on twenty-five pounds. But then she's discovered as a plus model. In the eyes of pop culture, Bee is Jessica Alba and then some! Now she must vanquish skinny rivals, fend off sleazy photogs, and banish jealous frenemies in her rise to superstardom. All the while, she's torn between her first love and the surprisingly sincere up-and-coming rapper she tutors in calculus. But what's better than finding your prince charming? Finally learning to love yourself!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jody Little
Seventeen-year-old, Bee thinks her life is going great. She is a freshman at Columbia University studying pre-med, and she has a handsome, human rights-advocate boyfriend, Brian, whom she is convinced she will marry. Bee's life begins to unravel when Brian suddenly dumps her. She gains weight and becomes obsessed with winning him back, even though her friend Chela, tells Bee that Brian is not worth it. When Bee is approached by a modeling agent and asked to come to an audition for plus-size models, Chela urges Bee to go. To Bee's surprise, she gets a modeling job and suddenly her life becomes filled with photo shoots, hairdressers and stylists and travel to luxurious locations. Bee is convinced her new life as a plus-size "Supe" is the exact thing she needs to win back Brian. Bee soon discovers, however, that the life of a model isn't easy. She struggles to juggle photo shoots with her college classes. She has to deal with jealous and catty super models, and she begins to turn away from her friends Chela and rapper Kevin. When Brian comes back into her life, Bee is thrilled, but it doesn't last long. Brian joins her on her photo shoots. He interferes with the photographers and even wrecks one of the cars. Bee realizes that Brian isn't the right person for her after all. Through all the ups and downs of Bee's modeling life, she recognizes one true thing—that she must appreciate every wonderful moment that has been given to her in the last year. Fans of young adult chick-lit will adore sassy Bee, relate to her insecurities and cheer for her victories. Reviewer: Jody Little
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Bee Wilson graduated high school a year early and attends Columbia University as a premed student. After her fashionably socially conscious boyfriend, Brian, dumps her, the teen drowns her sorrows in muffins, fancy New York brunches, and take-out Chinese. With an extra 25 pounds on a once-size-12 body, Bee is "discovered" and asked to audition for a Prada fashion campaign. Before she knows it, she rockets to the A-list as a "supe" (supermodel). Bee attempts to retain her status on the dean's list, craves the chance to get Brian back, and faces down a catty competitor. Still, at only 17, she has trouble balancing her relationship with her best friend, a potential romance with an up-and-coming rapper, and her reputation with fans. Plus offers fluff with heart, as Bee is something of a brainiac Cinderella who is taken by surprise that her looks can get her places that her smarts can't. Readers have little opportunity to get to know her before she is catapulted to fame but it is clear that she matures throughout the novel. While she must stare down critics of her weight, it is not the main focus of the story, which is a relief. The book has the same tone as Mary Hogan's Pretty Face (HarperTeen, 2008), as the protagonist loves herself and wants to be healthy. Contemporary music and fashion-label references will date this title, but it is still a first purchase.-Sarah Krygier, Fairfield Civic Center Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
This frothy fashion fancy keeps the pages turning despite much implausibility. Seventeen-year-old premed Columbia freshman Bee becomes a plus-size supermodel overnight when an agent spots her in a trendy cafe. Despite international travel and glamorous modeling shoots, Bee pines for her heartless ex-boyfriend. Sensible readers will roll their eyes at her clueless desire for the obvious cad, while activism-inclined readers may chafe at Chambers's use of environmentalism and Amnesty International for character mockery. Racial stereotypes ("angry Latina mode"; "gypsies" with crystal balls) and a distinction between plus-size models and truly fat people whose "sweat smells bad" make the text almost as unpleasant as Bee is self-centered. Passe diction ("youtube.com" rather than simply "youtube") and sloppy copyediting distract. By attempting both wish-fulfillment (instant modeling success for this supposed everygirl) and realism (hard interpersonal lessons and ever-more-necessary dieting tips), the narrative tries to have its cake and eat it too. Still, Bee's rollicking, name-brand-laden story is fizzy and funny, dissolving like cotton candy but enjoyable along the way. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595141651
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/5/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Veronica Chambers is the author of Mama's Girl, an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She has written and edited for many publications, including Glamour, Vogue and O, the Oprah Magazine. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Plus: An interesting plot, but a few aspects were lacking

    I thought that I'd review this one in a different format from my typical reviews. I had a lot of digesting to do after this one, and while I could rant about the topic of "plus-size" models, I really want my review to focus on the book.

    What I liked: I liked how the book handled the issue of self-confidence. It gave me the impression that women shouldn't apologize for being plus-size, and that all women should embrace the bodies they have. Bee was given an exercise routine, which I thought also had a nice message (you don't need to be super-thin, but you should develop healthy habits). I liked Bee, to a point, and I loved Chela, Bee's closest friend. Chela became an important support for Bee, and encouraged her to get out of her comfort zone.

    What I didn't like: Brian, and some of Bee's choices involving him. He was a horrible jerk, and I wish that Bee had realized what a disrespectful guy he was before he started to get in the way of her job. I also didn't like that Bee started bailing on her friends for her modeling pals. I'm a firm believer of being able to split time between friends. The story was also fairly predictable once Bee was recruited to model. This was a bit of a bummer for me, because I had enjoyed the first portion of the book. Finally, there was a scene in the book where a character gets drugged, and there aren't really any serious consequences for this. While this obviously happens in reality, I really wanted that character to find a way to get some retribution.

    Overall, it was a decent read. There were a few things that bothered me over the course of the book, but Bee remained a fairly likable character.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good fun

    At only 17 years old, Beatrice Wilson is exactly where she wants to be: a student at a respected Ivy League college taking a full load and dating Brian, the boy of her dreams. Or, at least she was until Brian dumps her without warning and Bee is left stunned and depressed. Twenty-five pounds and one broken heart later, Bee is still determined to find a way to get Brian back when a modeling agency executive signs her as the newest, hottest plus-sized model. Although she's thrilled at first, the former egg-head turned fashionista quickly realizes that modeling encompasses a lot more than just standing around, taking pictures. Surprise! Bee's agent expects her to be dressed and ready for 5:00 AM shoots, follow a strict diet, work out twice daily and maintain her grades at school. But with encouragement from her best friend Chela and an up-and-coming rapper, Bee is determined to do the best she can -- even in the face of psychotic models and boys who just want to a ride on her fame.

    "Plus" is a lighthearted, fun novel with a real winner in the voice of Bee Wilson. She's young and funny and most of her account was simply an entertaining read. As someone who will confess to being sucked in (repeatedly) by episodes of America's Next Top Model, Bee's meteoric rise to superstardom was eye-opening and immensely gratifying. Who doesn't love a good Cinderella story? At times however, I found myself wanting to shake some sense into Bee because I could not understand why she persisted in chasing the horrible Brian. The guy treated her like dirt, broke her heart and then proceeded to use her repeatedly. I did not understand the attraction. Nor did I feel like Bee was always the best friend to Chela -- who had repeatedly rescued Bee -- but felt like she saw her as a 'fall-back friend.' And maybe it's the realist in me, but I couldn't see Bee (as a minor) jet-setting off to all these exotic locales without at least one of her parents along for the ride. If they had been, I'm thinking some of the tight spots Bee finds herself in would not have occurred. But that doesn't make for the best reading, does it?

    What Veronica Chambers really excels at is broadcasting her message, loud and proud, that you have to learn to love yourself as a person first -- outside and in. It was immensely refreshing to encounter a plus-sized protagonist who is beautiful and smart and ready to tackle any challenge set before her. At each new obstacle Bee encountered, I found myself rooting for this funny young woman, hoping she'd be able to make things work. Overall, "Plus" is a light yet entertaining summer read with lots of heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by hoopsielv for TeensReadToo.com

    Bee's life is nearly perfect. She's having a great year in college with her boyfriend, Brian. Then he dumps her and it feels like her world is coming to an end.

    She's got to find a way to get him back and becomes obsessed about it. Then she meets Chela, who once used to date "Lyin' Brian." She convinces Bee that he's not worth it and the two become fast friends. Bee is enjoying life again and realizing that while she still misses Brian, she will be okay.

    Bee is launched into the world of modeling when she is "discovered" by an agent. The plus-size realm is competitive, and Bee becomes an instant enemy with Savannah Hughes, who is at the top of all the campaigns. Bee is whisked to far away places, wearing amazing clothes, and attending premieres and award events. Even Brian comes crawling back to her!

    Can Bee juggle it all - her dream of being a pediatrician, a modeling career, plus her boyfriend and friends? Not to mention Savannah, who insists on knocking her down whenever possible?

    This was a terrific novel that moves very quickly. I didn't want to put it down!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    finally a story about plus size models

    First page got me rooting for our heroine already. Her name is Beatrice but all her friends and family call her Bee. She is 5 foot 8 inches tall, 17 year old pre-med at Columbia (yes, absolute brain child. Her father is a scientist and her mother is an economist) and "had" a perfect boyfriend - Brian. Until he dumped her claiming she's so immature for his 19 year old male bravado. Seriously! wait till you read what a jerk he is. Anyway... Bee then started eating her emotions. She gained 25 lbs. from too much Chinese take out, Indian food delivery, Pizza, Ice Cream, etc... Then one day while waiting for her best friend Consuela (Chela), who by the way insist that they become friends after she found out that they dated the same Lying Brian. An agent spotted her eating at Dean de Luca, her name is Leslie from Chesterfield Modeling Agency and said she resemble a super model named Suzanne Hughes and that she is looking for a plus size model. With a little push from Chela she went and got the modeling contract that changed her life.

    It is such a relief not to read anything about a model who either possess the perfect figure, young, rich and absolutely beautiful but so emotionally distraught and/or a complete primadonna. Or a model who keeps her figure by means of self induced regurgitation. I've been looking to read something like Bee for a while now. It was really interesting reading how a plus size model can make it big on present day society. I love how she made a difference even though skinny models / people in this book tried to put her down. Sure she did the gig so she can win her ex-boyfriend back. That was my only problem with Bee. I wanted to shake her, tell her to open her eyes and stop being so naive, but I guess first love makes us do some crazy and pathetic things. And at the end everything worked fine. I can also see why the people in her world admired her right away, she is really the prefect role model. Comfortable with her weight, a dean's lister even with her insane bookings, and she's down to earth. One thing's for sure Bee will never get fired like real life super model Filippa Hamilton because someone think she was too fat to wear their designer line.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Amazing book

    I personally absoultly love this book!!! Ive reread it more than a few times because its absoultly amazing!

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  • Posted September 9, 2012

    this is an amazing book. I saw it at my schools book fair and wa

    this is an amazing book. I saw it at my schools book fair and wasn't sure about it but one i started reading i couldn't stop >_<

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    i read this book my self i thought the book was great because it

    i read this book my self i thought the book was great because it is about a 17 year flat chested girl who is dateing the man of dreams i also like the part when she do for her 19 year old boyfriend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Plus

    I thought this book was good. I am 11 so at parts it was a little bit inappropriate but other than that it was good.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    A good light read...

    I decided to read this book because the author was coming to my school and I thought I should read a piece of her work before she came. This was a good book and I enjoyed it. It is by no means my favorite book but it was a nice break from all the Twilight, Pretty Little Liars, and Lying Games books I have been reading. The book deals with self image and has a little humor mixed in.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    good book

    i thought this book was interesting and enjoyable

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Plus is awesome!

    Bee Wilson is a 17 yr. old freshman at an Ivy League school. After a bad breakup with her boyfriend, Brian, she gets discovered a coffee shop to be a model. With all the work this means she doesn't have much time to hang with her new friend,Chuela or tutor the hot, future rap star, Kevin. Soon after she gets discovered she becomes super famous named the next Savannah Hudges. Well, Savannah Hudges doesn't like this and before you know it savannah Hudges is out to get her. But Bee has other things to worry about like her self-esteem problems and her decresing grades. Also, she has to figure is fame going to her head, especially since she keeps blowing off her friends. In the end will bee get it all: the good grades, the boy, the fame,and her friends.I guess you'll have to figure it out. Plus is a great book. It keeps you guessing until the very end.This book is great for people whole fashion and drama.

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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