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The Makedown

The Makedown

4.3 6
by Gitty Daneshvari

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Anna Norton used to be fat. Correction: Anna Norton used to be a fat, nerdy, overeater with low self esteem. When she moves from suburban Ohio to Manhattan at age 23, her life does a total 180. With guidance from her boss, an unlikely Fairy Godmother in the form of a chic caterer and excellent cook, Anna loses all the weight and--though still not quite Kate


Anna Norton used to be fat. Correction: Anna Norton used to be a fat, nerdy, overeater with low self esteem. When she moves from suburban Ohio to Manhattan at age 23, her life does a total 180. With guidance from her boss, an unlikely Fairy Godmother in the form of a chic caterer and excellent cook, Anna loses all the weight and--though still not quite Kate Moss--finally drops her inferiority complex, brushes the crumbs off her skirt, and enters the world of feeling good, looking good, and...finally having sex.

When Anna meets Ben, the man of her dreams (and of every other person's dreams who isn't blind) she almost can't believe she is dating the Ken Doll. Deep down, she is still the chubby nerd who wrote in a diary called Hello Fatty. But not everything is perfect; her hot boyfriend is a huge flirt, and every leggy blond who crosses his path is a threat to Anna. She just can't escape the feeling that Ben is way out of her league and that everyone thinks she is dating up and he's dating down. It gets so bad, she decides she will do anything to make these women go away.

Enter the Makedown. The reverse makeover. As Anna was made up, so will Ben be made down. Where she went from shabby to chic, he will go from prince to frog. Anna will sabotage his hotness for the sake of her own sanity, and to bring this man into more of what she considers her own league. Enter Nair to induce premature balding, Sears catalogs to inspire bad dressing, and secret additions of cream to her cooking and SKOR bars in granola bar wrappers to induce weight gain. Hilarity ensues, but in the end, Anna must find out if Ben's makedown will save their relationship, or end it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Anna Norton, the nasty star of screenwriter Daneshvari's unfortunate novel, was at the bottom of the social totem pole growing up. Fat, slovenly, covered in acne, she was constantly abused by her peers. As an adult, she escapes to New York and gets the Cinderella treatment from her emotionally abusive, control freak boss. With her brand-new beauty, she snags herself a hot boyfriend, but is paralyzed with fear that he will see her inner fatty and leave her. So she embarks on a secret campaign to transform Ben into a slovenly wreck. But it remains a mystery why Ben, or anyone else, would stick around. As Anna's shallow torment of the man she purports to love drags on, the watching-a-car-wreck pleasures rapidly diminish. It's like a really bad Mean Girls, executed without the insight or humor. (Feb.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Channeling Fay Weldon's classic The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, this debut novel concerns an ugly girl's transformation and its menacing consequences. The opening pages of Anna Norton's saga will have the reader gasping (not quite in sympathy) at her sad, dysfunctional life. From childhood to college, Anna has been ostracized and alone, a social misfit in search of a fairy godmother. None exist in Ohio, so she is left as is: fat, with cystic acne, black stretch pants, dandruff and dried food in the corners of her mouth. After graduating with a degree in molecular biology, she moves to New York, where she finds her FG (fairy godmother) in the form of Janice, a successful caterer who hires Anna as an assistant. FG Janice sends Anna walking all over the city in search of obscure ingredients; takes her to the Gap, so that Anna can start dressing in simple, elegant black; and ensures that all of Anna's neighborhood takeaway establishments refuse to serve her food. Thanks to diet, exercise and a trip to the dermatologist, Anna is, if not suddenly Audrey Hepburn, at least an attractive, healthy young woman, stylishly attired. As karmic reward, she meets Ben Reynolds and is dumbstruck by his astounding male beauty. Ben, bored by shallow models, falls for Anna, and her life becomes perfect-except for all those women flirting with Ben every moment of the day. Eaten up by 22 years of insecurities, Anna embarks on The Makedown, in which Ben will become a little less desirable and remain with Anna forever. She dresses him in flannel, puts Nair in his shampoo, convinces him that a Skor bar is a new health snack, cancels his gym membership and has him grow a shaggy beard. In the process, Ben's ego isdestroyed and it is up to Ann to reverse the makedown, even if it ends their relationship. Though a bit inconsistent, Daneshvari has great comic timing. She's an author to watch. Author events in Los Angeles

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
File size:
472 KB

Meet the Author

Gitty Daneshvari is a former Director of Development with Contrafilms in Hollywood. She is the author of SCHOOL OF FEAR, an upcoming YA project for Little Brown for Young Readers, soon to be a major motion picture for Warner Bros. She lives in LA.

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Makedown 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ReviewYourBook.com More than 1 year ago
Anna comes from a completely dysfunctional family. Her father leaves the family for his secretary. Her mother is addicted to QVC. Her brother is a masturbation addict. What is Anna's vice? Eating. She is morbidly obese. Then, she meets a former fatty (her description, not mine). This woman turns Anna's life around. Anna ends up looking good in the end, but inside, she is still a fatty. She lands a hot boyfriend, but she is always scared to lose him to another girl-someone prettier. She comes up with the idea of The Makedown. I did not think her plan was feasible, not even in fiction. I was so wrong. My sides hurt. This book made me laugh out loud so many times, that I ache. This is pure mindless chick lit. The humor is bliss.
Brenda_Garcia More than 1 year ago
I thought the story was good, it was entertaining. I read it in 2 days because I wanted to know how it was going to end. (spoiler alert) I was dissapointed about the ending, I really thought Ben would forgive Anna. I did not like the fact that they met one last time and Ben was with "cofee slut #1". I really thought that Ben liked her and would end up forgiving her, so the fact that he didn't made me sad. After finishing it I felt kind of deppresed.
Slessman More than 1 year ago
THE MAKEDOWN Gitty Daneshvari Grand Central Publishing ISBN: 978-0-446-69988-4 $13.99- Paperback 322 pages Reviewer: Annie Slessman I am sitting in my favorite chair reading an advance copy of THE MAKEDOWN by Gitty Daneshvari when I start a silent laugh. The silent laugh then gets louder and louder until my husband says, "What?" I then start to tell him what I am reading and why I am laughing when I laugh so hard in the telling that I am now wiping my eyes. Yes, this book is that funny at times. A story about a young woman who spent her childhood and her early adult years as a "nerd" with a bad complexion, greasy hair, overweight and a brilliant mind. She moves to New York where her new boss, who was once a "nerd" herself, decides to help Anna, our main character. With her bosses coaching, Anna becomes the woman she has always wanted to be. At this point in the story, she meets Ben, the man of her dreams. He would be considered a hotty by most and she can't believe he is interested in her. They become an item and Anna's insecurity blossoms. She decides the only way to assure herself that Ben will always be hers is to make-him-down. The definition of Makedown is the lessening of external beauty and innate confidence as a means of leveling the playing field. She puts a three point system into play and the results are hilarious. In a time when things are so stressful, financial insecurity runs rampant there is little to laugh at these days. This book will supply the laugh we all need and then some. Gitty Daneshvari can change careers any day as a comedian. If you want entertainment that will make you laugh, wonder at the ingenuity of the human mind - buy this book. I warn you though - make sure you have time to read it in one sitting...otherwise, you will be miserable until you can find time to finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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cheryl silverman More than 1 year ago
Scould i get it?????