Tuesday, June 2, 2015

#REVIEW AND #GIVEAWAY The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses! Enter by 6-19!

For the audience that made Commencement a New York Timesbestseller comes a novel about women making their way in the world.

 Self-doubting Ruth is coddled by her immigrant mother, who uses food to soothe and control. Defiant Francesca believes her heavy frame shames her Park Avenue society mother and, to provoke her, consumes everything in sight. Lonely Opal longs to be included in her glamorous mother’s dinner dates—until a disturbing encounter forever changes her desires. Finally, Setsu, a promising violinist, staves off conflict with her jealous brother by allowing him to take the choicest morsels from her plate—and from her future. College brings the four young women together as suitemates, where their stories and appetites collide. Here they make a pact to maintain their friendships into adulthood, but each must first find strength and her own way in the world.
Women's Fiction 
Debut Novel
Reader's Guide Included in the back for discussion
405 pages
Release Date: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

This book starts with a reunion of four girls who went to college together having a reunion eleven years after they have graduated, keeping in touch, as promised, back in college, but not in person until the end, finally, in celebration of one of the girl's expected new life is born. 
This is one book all women should read! It helps us to see we are not alone in our journey through life as some of us can be so hard on ourselves with many things, especially about our weight/issues with food that have unknowingly rolled over into other areas of our lives as well. 
These issues start and become ingrained on us as young girls, and the remarks our mothers throw at us at home, especially in this book I found it was the mother’s who had a good hand in starting/causing issues with the girls. It started young, too, most in the single digit ages. We are reminded about our weight as teenagers constantly, by our mothers and by our classmates in High School. What exactly about? Weight. Weigh as teens, weight as women. Just weight that make food such an issue. The female sex becomes obsessed with weight/food our entire lives. Whatever age we are, it is weight versus food which seems to be our forever issue we battle with from childhood until the day we die, as these characters in The Appetites of Girls have show us over and over.
In this book there are three parts. The first part is when the girls were younger and addressed each of their lives individually. We meet and follow these girls who turn into teens and then young adults until they meet in Part Two as suitemates at Brown University, an Ivy League college and become the best of friends, through ups and downs and other issues, namely food and how it affects their lives. In Part Three, as women, they continue their relationships with each other even if they don’t see each other as often, but blossom on their own individually again, despite some tough issues most all of them fight to get through.
The girls are Ruth, Francesca, Opal, and Setsu. We meet them earlier, each individually as young girls at varying ages as I referred to above, but it is the timing when we meet these girls that is so important and makes such a lasting impression on the rest of our lives. I can say this from experience, too. It is when we/they first realize or start to have an issue with our/their body image as weight and food issues really pop up and they learn to overcome and compensate for this through other area in their lives, and sometimes it spills over into those areas.
What I found the most profound was these girls' mother’s were ALL at the heart of these issues, and almost always seem to be the ones to blame, even into the future. For extremely shy asian Setsu who couldn’t speak up if she tried, (We just had to give her time to grow into herself before she found her voice, as the other three girls/women do, too!) her newly adopted twelve year old Violinist, asian brother, Toru, would eat all of her food directly off of her plate. Not being able to speak up for herself yet, she just allowed him to have at her entire plate. I wondered why she even tried to put food on it? Why didn’t their trepadacious mother (for fear of upsetting her newly adopted son, Toru, perhaps he would no longer be happy living with them and want to leave and return to where he was adopted from? I don’t know?) to not notice the weight difference between the two siblings? She knew Toru had a voracious appetite, but Setsu was hungry! You never saw her eat, nor did you see food on her plate because Toru would knowingly plant a suggestion in her head that she was not going to eat what was on her plate and he ate it for her, ‘ALL’ of her food. Yes, the mother knew Toru had a huge appetite, but how could she not notice how tiny Setsu was? Pencil thin arms, one of the other girls from college noted. Or that she was shrinking as Toru was growing outward? Oh! That part made me so mad! Later in college, if someone had a bag of candy or ANY food, she would take one piece. One! (Although, then again maybe this was a good thing as she definitely never had a problem with portion control unlike some of us at one time or another!) I felt the sorriest for her, even all through the book as her issues with food spilled over into her personal life, too.
As demonstrated in this book, we women are the hardest on ourselves. We judge ourselves and each other, even with every twist and turn in life we take every so harshly upon ourselves. We seem to be far worse with this than the opposite sex is - why do you think men don’t wear girdles of ANY kind? They don’t generally care! LOL!
Again, this is a book all women need to read. It touches every aspect of our own lives as it does in these characters’ lives. I will say this is a book you need to dedicate some time to read as it's not one you want to rush through, nor can you rush through as there are four different women to keep track of, and you don't want to mistakenly be reading about one girl and have it be another. This book took me a little extra time to read through than most, but was most enjoyable! These are the types of women's fiction books I thoroughly enjoy!
I would like to thank Penguin Group, Berkley, NAL, and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book in exchange to write a review of my own opinion.

About this author

Pamela Moses grew up in New Jersey. She attended Brown University and received a master's in English from Georgetown. After graduating, she moved to Manhattan to teach English at a girls' school. She now lives outside of New York City with her husband and two children. THE APPETITES OF GIRLS is her first novel.

The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses
ebook: $10.99
print:   $12.00

I have '1' print copy of this book to go to ONE NEW HOME! If YOU would like to own this book, then follow the directions below! Easy-peasy!
Leave a comment with you name and email address below! Scramble that email address up, for instance, like this: laurieisreading at gmail dot com so those robots don't come along and grab them up! The winner will be chosen on June 19th using Random.org and announced in my weekly Sunday column of the #NYTimes Top 20 #Bestsellers plus Blog Updates on June 21st! Good luck!
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  1. A very helpful review thank you. I like the sound of this.

    Mary Preston

  2. This sounds fab definitely been added to the TBR list. I love anything where the relationships are complex as I find other people's relationship generally fascinating.

    Emma - emskibeach(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Sounds fascinating. It amazes me how mothers can treat their daughters with the idea of 'helping" them.
    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Meredith!
      Thanks for coming by and entering this Giveaway for The Appetites of Girls!
      I agree with you! I can still hear some of the negative things my own mother would say to me about food, and unfortunately, it sticks with us the rest of our lives! It's like a little voice that goes off in your head as you go to reach for the food! It NEVER goes away no matter how hard you try to not let it influence you!! Ugh!!
      Thanks again for coming by!
      Good luck!

  6. This book sounds really good.
    bekki1820cb at gmail dot com


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