Never Mind My Thigh Gap by Bronte Huskinson and Sarah Newton
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
“One ordinary girl, one extraordinary moment”
There are three things everyone notices about Alice.
- Her super-hot rugby boyfriend.
- Her sophisticated, totally gorgeous best friend.
- Her very noticeable 38-inch long legs.
Alice is tall — just under six feet to be exact — but her self-esteem couldn’t be smaller. When her relationship starts wavering, Alice’s perfectly beautiful best friend somehow convinces her to join a modelling completion, “for a confidence boost.” But Alice is just a normal girl; she loves ice cream too much, has an unhealthy addiction to American TV and lusts after the elusive thigh gap. She can’t even walk in heels, let alone in a bikini, but she finds herself joining Runway Models anyway.
The finale is only a few months away.
Will Alice catwalk her way to self-confidence or fail, proving everyone right?
People can surprise you
I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Shannon A. Thompson, Sarah Newton and Bronte Huskinson!
When I had received this book I had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a pretty okay book. This book mainly follows Alice, a girl dealing with major body image issues as she struggles with high school drama, friendship and love.
Even though this book was a little too cliche at some points it was nice to root for the protagonist and yell at her when she made bad decisions (I’m I the only one who does that?) Overall, this was generally a good book, even though it got a little too Mean Girls for my liking at some points but that’s okay, because reading about Alice’s struggles made her character development even better.
One thing I really liked about this book was how relatable it was to me (as a teenage girl – struggling with confidence issues), I mean everyone has confidence issues sometimes and this book’s main “message” is to learning to be confident in yourself. Another thing I truly loved about this book was the ending because that was when I related to Alice the most.
One thing that really bothered me was how even though I know the story was about Alice discovering her confidence, I was left to guess at some of the other underlying issues that were brought out and then neglected (I’m trying not to spoil too much so I’ll leave it at that.)
Overall it’s a funny, short read that puts into perspective the fact that if you have insecurities you’re not the only person with them and so it’s okay to have them but not let them rule your life (if that even remotely made sense!)
The authors (Sarah Newton and Bronte Huskinson) were nice enough to answer a few of my questions for this post:
Q: You (Sarah Newton) and your daughter (Bronte Huskinson) wrote this book but the story was based on your daughters’ experiences?
A: Sarah: The story is loosely based on her experience and I was side-by-side with her for most of it, so we both knew the story inside out. I was the mother crying, watching her at the final catwalk. We were clear before we wrote the story where it was going. Bronte and I are very close and seem to have a telepathic understanding and if she didn’t like or agree with what I had written she took it out!
Q: Has your daughter always aspired to be a writer?
A: Sarah: Always; as a young child she would be sat inside, scribbling with a paper and pen while her friends were all out playing in the sunshine. She was always writing or reading and proudly declared at a family dinner when she was 13 that she was going to be a writer.
Bronte: I have known I wanted to be a writer since I was 13 and started writing my first novel. Obviously I had no concept on how to structure story and it ended up being never ending and has long been lost. But I have always loved making stories in my head, it wasn’t until my early teens that I found my love of making them into words.
Q: Will you and Bronte write anything else together?
A: Sarah: Yes, we are currently working on two more novels, both very different from each other and very different from Never Mind my Thigh Gap. We are hoping the next one will be out in the Summer, but books seem to take their own merry time, don’t they?
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book together?
A: Sarah: On a personal level, it was how much we didn’t know! Now I know why most people don’t write novels, it is so very hard. I had written non-fiction in the past but nothing prepared me for this. It was a rocky road.
What I learnt about us working together is how easy it was; most people assume it would be difficult, but that has not been the case. Our strengths complement each other; we each make the others work better and writing this novel has brought us together as a creative team.
Bronte: We found or strengths and our weaknesses when we were writing together. Working with my mum taught me to play to my strengths and how to work on my weaknesses.
Q: Was it hard to write a book about body image?
A: Sarah: It was, because we were coming at it from the angle of a girl who on the surface looked like she shouldn’t have any issues, but inside was plagued with insecurity. As a naturally slim person, Bronte was often ridiculed for being too skinny so the feelings were real. What we also wanted to show was that body image isn’t necessarily a thing that is in your face; it is one of those everyday teen insecurities that add up to make someone feel unworthy.
Bronte: It was a very personal book for me, but I never found it hard to write about. Body image is something that most girls have issues over and I felt that this book needed to be written. I wanted to help girls who suffer from self confidence issues onto the road to loving themselves.
Q: What do you hope readers will come away with after reading your book?
A: Sarah: I think Bronte says this very well in the beginning of the book; she says that like Alice, we hope that one day you will see that you’re amazing inside and out. We wanted to write about a normal teenager who was insecure and a bit of a pushover, because if she could do what she did then maybe the reader who sympathizes with her could too. We just want ordinary, shy, possibly introverted girls to know that they are capable of great things too.
Bronte: I hope that readers will connect with Alice’s story and understand that body image comes in all shapes and sizes. I would like to think that this book will at least help girls on the road to thinking anything is possible.
Q: Lastly, any advice to other new authors like Bronte?
A: Sarah: Other than the obvious, which is just write and don’t worry about what others think, my advice would be to find someone who you can talk to about your writing. Find someone who will give you honest and sometimes critical advice and support in making what you write better. I often see young people who write and show it to their friend’s, parents etc., who know little about what makes a good story and they just say, “Yeah, it’s great”. While this might boost your ego, it’s no real help. You need critical, honest feedback, so find someone who can help you with that.
Bronte: Keep going. Keep going even when people tell you that writing novels isn’t in a ‘real’ job. Do what you love!
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