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Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite
In Just a Few Inches by debut novelist Tara St. Pierre, the author takes a unique path to bring to light the very serious issues of body image, self-esteem and teenage relationships. Our protagonist, Carrie Roberts, is a pretty average teenage girl. But she wants something that a lot of girls her age want. She wants to be just a little bit smaller, so that she can fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day dance. A little bit smaller, so her boyfriend finds her more attractive. A little bit smaller, so she gets noticed by her classmates. She tries dieting and exercising, but these don’t work for her. When she sees an advertisement for weight loss pills that promise fast results, she’s willing to give them a shot. The pills work, all right, but just not in the way she intended. Instead of losing inches around her body, she loses inches from her height. As she grows smaller and smaller, she certainly does attract the attention she craved, just not in the way she imagined. But Carrie finds herself changing in other ways as well. Will she take the lessons she learns from her loss of inches to heart?
Just a Few Inches does a great job of discussing some really serious issues in a creative and entertaining way. By employing the twist of having Carrie lose inches in height instead of weight, we get a real look at the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” And the growth that Carrie undergoes in terms of the development of her inner person instead of worrying only about how she is perceived on the outside is an example for any young woman. Author Tara St. Pierre, in this debut work, shows some true chops in the world of young adult literature, and I would certainly expect to see more from this promising new author in the future.