Virginia Shreves Series Review

Title: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things

Author: Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Release Date: June 14th 2005

Number of Pages: 256

Genre: YA, Contemporary

253106Goodreads Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex, especially when she compares herself to her slim, brilliant, picture-perfect family. But that’s before a shocking phone call — and a horrifying allegation — about her rugby-star brother changes everything. With irreverent humour and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine who speaks to every teen who struggles with family expectations, and proves that the most impressive achievement is to be true to yourself.

This book follows the story of Virginia who feels like an outsider in her perfect slim family due to her plus size body and instead of teaching her to love herself as she is they push her into unhealthy dieting. On top of this her world is turned upside down when her older brother Bryon, who she idolises, is accused of date rape. She also has to deal with this on her own as her best friend is spending the school year in a different state.

I really loved Virginia as a character and watching her grow throughout the novel. Her of learning to love yourself and your body is one I feel we need more of in YA and I really wish I had this book when I was younger.

Virginia’s parents really annoyed me throughout this book and no wonder she has such low self esteem when her father who comments all the time that skinny is better and a mother who encourages unhealthy eating habits. I actually liked the relationship she had with her brother as it shows just how unhealthy it is to idolise someone the way she idolises him. I also liked her sister and would have liked to have seen more of her.

I wasn’t a fan of the romance in this book, I didn’t feel it and feel that Virginia story arc didn’t need to include a guy liking her for her to start loving herself.

Overall, this is a great, fast-paced novel that I really enjoyed and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Trigger Warnings – off the page rape, fatphobia, unhealthy eating habits, self harm. 



Title: The Universe is Expanding, and So Am I

Author: Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Release Date: September 6th 2018

Number of Pages: 

Genre: YA, Contemporary

34743888Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Virginia Shreves’ life is finally back on course: she’s accepted who she is inside and out and is rebuilding her relationship with brother Byron, whose date-rape charge shattered everything.

But just as she adjusts to her new normal, her world turns upside down again. Sparks with boyfriend Froggy fade, her best friend bombshells bad news, and then the police arrest Byron. As Virginia struggles to cope, she meets Nate, an artist with his own baggage. The pair vow not to share personal drama. But secrets have a way of coming out, and theirs could ruin everything.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*

This is the squeal to The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things and this review may contain spoilers for the previous book.

At the beginning of this book Virginia finally feels like she is getting her life together, she is finally starting to accept herself as she is and learning how to cope with what her brother did and how it affected the relationship she had with her brother. That is until she breaks up with her boyfriend Foggy, finds out her best friend will not be coming home for the summer and her brother is arrested for date rape. She also meets Nate who she has an instant connection with but their lives are intertwined in ways neither of them could have guessed.

My love for Virginia continued to grow in this book. I like the fact that though she is much more confident in this book she still has her moments of self doubt which I felt was really realistic as the journey to self love isn’t a straight line and everyone has their bad days.

Virginia’s parents annoyed me just as much in this books as the last I don’t feel like they have grown at all throughout the series. I loved seeing more from Virginia’s older sister who is back from her two year long volunteer job with the peace corps, and has brought her girlfriend with her. I loved this representation and that fact that it emphasis the fact that you don’t have to put a label on yourself just because the rest of the world wants to put you in neat little boxes.

The romance in this was ten times better than the previous one. You could see the chemistry between Virginia and Nate and they fit together really well.

Overall, I really loved this book and felt is was a great squeal and gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Trigger warnings – off the page rape, fatphobia



3 thoughts on “Virginia Shreves Series Review

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