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    Review of SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT by Meg Cabot (see her website)


    Avon Trade, January 2006

    Heather Wells went from being a pop star with a fiance and a fortune to practically nothing. When Heather lost her recording contract, her mother stole her money and headed to Argentina with Heather's manager and Heather's fiance switched to a hotter star (after first letting Heather catch him with his pants down). Now she's working as assistant dorm (make that residence hall) director at New York College, and living with her ex-fiance's brother. That is, unfortunately for Heather, she's living in his spare apartment. Because Heather has fallen for sexy detective Cooper Cartwright.

    Heather's life isn't perfect--people make fun of her size 12 figure--which she insists is average, not fat, and tell her how much better the former assistant director (the one caught stealing) was. But things really go downhill when one of the students in the dorm dies in a freak accident while "elevator surfing." At least that's what the police believe. Heather is certain that it wasn't an accident at all. Girls, she believes, do not elevator surf. Still, who would possibly kill a young freshman girl? And as the detective handling the investigation reminds Heather, criminals don't tend to be smart and capable of hiding all the evidence. Worse, Cooper suspects she is trying to use the accident to get some of the public attention she's missed since she lost her singing career.

    Author Meg Cabot (see more BooksForABuckcom reviews of mysteries by Cabot) makes her debut into the mystery genre with a charming story. Heather Wells is ditzy enough to be sympathetic, fat enough not to be perfect, emotionally confused (she still chats on the phone to her mother despite her mother's stealing all her money), and obsessively in love with her roommate. But people really are dying. Blond or not, Heather really is the only one who notices that this doesn't makes sense. Not only do girls not elevator surf, they also don't do it right after they had their first college boyfriend--which is what happened.

    Cabot delivers a fun assortment of secondary characters (the women--the men, unfortunately, are fairly generic), with Heather's boss, perfect Rachel, the cafeteria attendant who calls all of the students movie stars (in honor of the long-ago filming of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle episode on campus), and ever-psychoanalysing Sarah.

    Fans of the imperfect protagonist will be happy to learn that Heather doesn't suddenly get skinny, but she does go after the truth--even when doing so just might get her killed. Size 12 might not be fat, but it is a fun and sassy mystery.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 5/20/06

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