Life in the Fat Lane

Life in the Fat Lane

by Cherie Bennett

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THERE'S A PERFECT GIRL at every school, yours included. You know her. Beautiful. Talented. Smart. Great parents. Cool boyfriend. You can’t even hate her, because, of course, she’s so nice.

At Forest Hills High, Lara Ardeche is that girl.

But things can change.

“Skillfully drawn, resulting in a compelling story. . . . An enjoyable and thought-provoking read.”—School
Library Journal

“Readers will be totally caught up in Lara’s struggle to find her true self under all that weight.”—Booklist

An ALA Best Books for Young Adults

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307569219
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 10/07/2009
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 488,679
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Cherie Bennett has written many novels for young people, for TV (Smallville), and is an award-winning playwright. She lives in Los Angeles with her son and her husband, Jeff Gottesfeld, who collaborated with her on A Heart Divided, and their son.

Read an Excerpt

It was three days before Thanksgiving, but I was not filled with the holiday spirit.  I had gained eight more pounds in four weeks from the prednisone, and I now weighed 136 pounds.

I was fat.

Me.  Fat.  All because of a stupid drug for some stupid allergies.  I stopped taking it and my lips and eyes swelled up.  So I took it again, vowing to eat even less.  Prednisone was not going to get the best of me.

It was no use.  I got fatter.

Everyone knew I had gained weight, they just didn't know how much.  Except my mother, who could peg my weight gain to the pound.  She was appalled at how I looked and found it impossible to believe that it was just because of prednisone.  So she watched every bite I put into my mouth.

She also called the allergist and demanded an appointment, which was set for the next day, two days before Thanksgiving.

Dad, away on a long business trip, called often and asked how my weight was.  He talked about willpower and positive thinking.  I told him I'd try harder to lose.

And I did try.  Only it wasn't working.  I was turning into this fat thing.

It was a nightmare.  Most of my clothes no longer fit.  Just today after school I had made a desperate, secret trip to the mall, where I'd used the credit card my grandfather had given me on my last birthday to buy exact copies of many of my clothes, in a larger size.  I hoped against hope that no one would realize they were a size nine/ten instead of a five/six.

And now, as I lay at home in my bed after an hour on the treadmill, two hours of piano, and two more of homework, my stomach growled with emptiness.  Breakfast and lunch had both been diet Coke and lettuce.  For dinner I had eaten a small, skinless chicken breast, three tomato slices, and half a plain baked potato.

Here it was midnight, and I was so hungry.

But no.  I wouldn't eat.  Would not.  Eat.

I padded to my door and opened it.  Mom wasn't home yet from the after-theater dessert party she had catered that evening.  Scott's room was quiet.

I could picture the inside of our refrigerator: fried chicken left over from Scott's dinner.  Half of a coconut cream pie a neighbor had made.  And in the freezer, ice cream.  Chocolate Haagen-Dazs, with nuts.  Behind it, two jumbo-sized frozen Snickers bars.

Before I knew it, my feet were carrying me downstairs, into the kitchen.  My hand was in the refrigerator.  I brought a fried chicken drumstick to my lips, and--

No.  I wouldn't eat it.  Would not.  Willpower.

I put it back and turned to walk out of the kitchen.

And then someone who was not me went back to the freezer and took out both frozen Snickers bars.  That someone ran with them up to her room.

Whoever she was, she didn't even turn on her light to eat.  She just sat there in the dark, like some fat, feral creature of the night, cracking the frozen chocolate off with her teeth, loving the sensation of rich, sweet, comforting chocolate in her mouth, mixing with her saliva, sliding down her throat.

The candy wrappers got stuffed behind her bed.

It wasn't me.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Life in the Fat Lane 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
keep_the_peace_pink More than 1 year ago
The book was fabulous. I would definitly reccommend it to some of my friends because it makes you realize how much being fit and being fat can hurt somebody. Now here's a girl who came from being a beauty pageant to weighing over 200 pounds in less than a year. She was ridiculed and even the people who were the same size as her made fun of her ): Such a lesson-teacher
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book had so much meaning. I loved it sio much! Definitely five stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book while in high school, at the time i was just reading it to read but i re-read it a few weeks ago&its helped be come to terms with my BDD against weight
withlovexjill More than 1 year ago
I randomly picked up this book and bought it, not bothering to read the back cover. I'm so glad I did buy this book, because it's amazing. The author creates a (unlikely) situation but I think it's very creative. I recommend this book!
iMathers More than 1 year ago
don't think its possible what happened but this was a great book
glitter_turtle More than 1 year ago
this book was, in my opinion, silly and unrealistic.
Sylvia Fischer More than 1 year ago
This book is hard at frist but gets better by the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was the best book that i have ever read :] i could NEVER put the book down! it might seem a little boring at some times but i loved itt! :]]]]]
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a good book, however teens should not be so worried if they gain 100 lbs. its not the end of the world. it was a good book, but i am overweight myself, and the story was a little over dramatic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i swear that is all people care about these days. their weight. i think peoples lives today are being completely consumed with the need to be at least a size 6. i mean come on. it is superficial and i really don't see how you can feel superior when you are thin. you are the same person. and if those people you feel superior over think you are superior then they need to get a life too because they are shallow. i think that is all i have to say.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the actual plot wasn't bad but the message is. you know, being five-seven and weighing 136 is so not fat. lara is just being a stereotypical popular fluff-brain. she told molly her BFF that she felt SUPERIOR to her all because she was thinner! i mean, for Christ's sake, what is her problem? lara deserves to become obese to pay the price for her nasty queen bee self-righteous snobby shallow prissy attitude. to the laras of the world, i hope karma kicks you in the butt. and to parents like lara's, go to counseling. people like molly, jett, and scott: forget people like lara, her shallow friends, and her selfish, artificial parents.
heina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's definitely an interesting book in that it embodies the ultimate chunky-girl fantasy: Beautiful Thin Girl Becomes Inexplicably and Irreversibly Fat. That is the problem, however --- the narrative would have been much more compelling had she developed an overeating disorder and had actually gotten fat.
winkinkwriting on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book. Interesting read and the concept is great. Popular prom queen type girl turns into obese outcast. Nice transformation of personality from plastic superficial to introspective, dimensional and self aware.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A "popular" high school student has a metabolic disorder that causes her to gain lots of weight.On the one hand, this is at times a pretty accurate account of what it's like to be a fat woman - the world is against you, people can be nasty and judgmental just because of how you look, and much of life seems off-limits...even if many of the limits are only sociatal pressure.On the other hand, the book emphasizes the "good fat" vs "bad fat" myth, for example that it's "ok" for one person to be fat because you know they have a disorder, and that somehow sets them apart from all the other fatties who obviously just eat too much and sit on their butts all day. It's a difficult prejudice to shake, but it would have been nice to see the characters try a little harder.I was afraid the book would end with the main character losing all the progress she had made, and it nearly did, but overall it wasn't bad. Not recommended to people who are feeling fragile or self-conscious, but potentially recommended to people who don't understand what it's like to be fat in a fat-phobic world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People who were once skinny and are now fat may get shunned because most popular people only like skinny people and if your friends are popular and are your friends because your skinny and pretty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Umm im overweight to but im not shunned by people a lil over dramatic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a real eye opener. Im skinny myself but i feel fat sometimes. This book taught me about friendship, love, family, and apperence. Good book!!! Read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a while ago but do recomend it for anyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Farrouka Dodson More than 1 year ago
you should really read this book its all about standing up for your friends and not judging people on the way they look
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago