In this debut novel, written as a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay, narrator Megan addresses her teacher, reflecting on seeing "the best and the worst in [guys]" and her struggles with a body that "polite people call top-heavy." During the summer before her senior year, Megan attracts the attention of her longtime crush, Jake, who works alongside her at the Pancake Palace, faces both a sexually harassing bully and boss, and grapples with whether or not to have breast-reduction surgery. Megan is likable and funny (she says Jake "smell[s] like temptation and Ivory soap") and Perez focuses on a compelling body-image issue. Megan wears baggy clothes and not only must she listen to warnings from her mother ("Boys Jake's age have only one thing on their minds"), but she, too, worries that that's all Jake wants. Readers will find Megan easy to relate to, but may find some of the book's other elements troublesome. Her pervert boss's affair with a promiscuous co-worker, for instance, reads as stereotypical, and her shopping trip and heart-to-heart with her often-hurtful mother wraps things up a bit too easily. While these elements detract from the novel, Megan's appealing character will draw readers in, and will likely make the audience hope for more from this promising writer. Ages 12-up.
Gr. 7-12. "Most guys don't even see me, they only see my cup size." Megan's big breasts literally get in the way of everything. Even love. Nearly 17, she has been fighting off stares and rude comments for years. Her mother warns her that boys want only one thing from "girls like you," and at the pancake house where she works, her boss tries to grope her. She has always had a crush on Jake, and when he asks her out, she wonders if he is just like everyone else. Megan's first-person narrative demonstrates that Jake is right when he says she is smart, beautiful, and funny, and the teens have great sex (Megan's girlfriend teaches her about birth control), but, of course, none of that means happy ever after. Teens will be drawn to this wry first novel for its rare honesty about body image, romance, and sex and for its subtle message: love can mean confusion and anger as well as bliss.
School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–First-novelist Perez uses the tired formula of journal entries to a teacher to frame this bittersweet story of nearly 17-year-old Megan, a girl with a problem–a double D-sized problem, to be exact. She collects huge, loose shirts to conceal her voluptuous figure and knows 20 different words for "breasts" and can recite them alphabetically. Megan despairs of ever finding a boyfriend who will lock eyes with her instead of focusing on her chest. When the object of her daydreams breaks up with his girlfriend and asks her out, the teen finds it difficult to believe that Jake sees anything above her collarbone, but tentatively agrees to give the relationship a try. It's hard for him to gain her trust, especially when her boss and almost every other male she encounters attempt to grope her, but eventually she lets down her guard enough to become physically involved with him. Other issues, such as Megan's best friend's family situation and a coworker's affair with the above-mentioned boss, are not as well developed, but overall Perez is an author worth watching. The eye-catching cover will ensure heavy circulation.