Review: Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

Title: Big Girl Panties

Author: Stephanie Evanovich

Published: William Morrow July 2013

Status: Read from July 08 to 09, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher/Edelweiss}

My Thoughts:

As the niece of Janet Evanovich, I was more than willing to give debut author Stephanie Evanovich the chance to impress me. The premise of this romantic comedy, Big Girl Panties, seemed promising. I much prefer a protagonist with average attributes and I looked forward to Logan shedding his bias to recognise that beauty is more than skin deep.

Sadly, while I think the writing was fine in general, I really struggled with particular elements of the story.

Primarily I was disappointed at the negative messages inherent in the relationship between Holly and Logan. Though the author makes an attempt to frame the issue of Holly’s weight with reference to health rather than attractiveness, it is a half hearted effort. At its core, the story still relies on the stereotype of the fat (and therefore ugly), lonely, jolly girl who, only after losing weight, becomes someone worthy of sexual attention and happiness (and the hot guy).

What had me almost toss the book aside though was the scene (just after the halfway mark) where Logan, with the encouragement of Chase, decides to spank Holly for talking back to him. Spanking is supposed to be a consensual activity within the terms of a loving and trusting relationship for the purpose of sexual arousal, it is not about disciplining a woman for a perceived slight. This scene not only soured me on Logan (and Chase and Amanda’s relationship) but also Holly, as while she slapped him in outrage, minutes later she is ashamed and embarrassed because ‘Logan has done nothing but help her’ and then the scene segues into their first sexual encounter – ugh!

Despite the temptation to put the book aside I kept reading hoping that Evanovich would turn things around somehow. Unfortunately, while Logan may eventually fall in love with the curvy Holly, there is no evidence that he has changed his attitude regarding ‘fat’ and should Holly ever gain back a few pounds I’m not convinced the relationship would survive. Meanwhile, Holly ends up staking her entire happiness on Logan’s acceptance of her and that is never healthy.

While I think Stephanie Evanovich was aiming to present an entertaining romantic comedy, in the final analysis, for me, Big Girl Panties was a disappointment.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue G (@luv2read66)
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 22:45:17

    I was also disappointed in this novel! It just didn’t click for me and there were too many negative messages about her weight. I would have preferred her having a romance with someone else. And all the spanking! Seriously.

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  2. laurelrainsnow
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:28:22

    I had hoped for more from this book…and I’ve read another review in which the reader was disappointed as well. I’m going to cross this one off my list. Thanks!

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  3. 1girl2manybooks
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 10:32:53

    I read the blurb for this and it just really seemed like fat-shaming to me and overly ridiculous slapstick, like what the Plum series has descended into. I decided to wait for the reviews, to see if I was wrong but it looks like this is definitely one I don’t have to worry about reading!

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  4. Christina T
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:17:49

    I was not a fan of this book and I’m relieved to know that I am not the only one. I saw that it received some pretty positive reviews from professional review sources. I recently reviewed a YA book about a girl struggling with her weight and I think it is interesting that this girl gets the attention of this really sweet guy who likes her as she is. Wish there were more books with that kind of message!

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  5. Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 03:45:06

    Yep, definitely not interested in reading this. I don’t normally like to make judgements on a book before having read it, but you’ve given me plenty of reason to give it a miss. Fat shaming – she should be ashamed! (okay really bad pun)

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  6. michele kunz
    Apr 12, 2014 @ 06:47:59

    First without having read the book, which because of the negitivity I plan to do. I just want to say, “Lighten-Up!” Many of us struggle with weight and secretly wouldn’t all of us like to be a swimsuit model, lets call a spade a spade. If this had been real life or it was a book about goals and life’s lessons, I could understand all the bad press, but this is fiction and is meant to be fun and adventurous! Like any other book that has a wild unforeseen plot, this is meant to allow us to dream or escape from the harsh realities of life and just have fun. I really hope that after reading the book I can chime in on the story itself and not some unrealted issues about self esteem. This is after all an adult book and shouldnt reflect on a childs unrealistic or healthy minded goals. This to me sounds more like unresolved issues that these readers took a little to seriously, and forgot that this is not real life; it is purely fiction…

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