Title: Also Known as Lard Butt
Author: Ann Herrick
Published Date: June 4th 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
***THIS BOOK WAS PROVIDED TO NERD GIRL IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Laura finds out that, Ricky, the boy who created her horrible nickname, “Lard Butt,” has moved back into town—and immediately schemes to keep him quiet. After all, she can’t let her new swim teammates, especially drool-worthy Noah, hear the horrible name! No way!
She’s determined to put a million years between grade school and junior high—even in the face of a father who drives an éclair, a would-be-movie-star mother who suddenly moves back home, and a past that comes back to haunt her with the dreaded nickname.
Although Laura’s embarrassed about how she looks in a swimsuit, she tries to stay true to her vow to take risks. She even lets Maria talk her into going to the school dance, where she braves negotiating a truce for a quarreling couple.
New friendships form, Laura’s mother starts getting too domesticated for Laura’s comfort, and hints of romance start to develop—or do they?
Laura (AKA Lard Butt) and her best friend, Maria, are looking for a fresh start in high school They are going to embrace life and take risks that will lead them on a fabulous journey through their freshman year.
The characters are well-developed and likable. Adult readers will clearly identify the stereotypes each character represents. Savvy teens will see the similarities in their own experiences at school. Maria and Laura are best friends and, to some degree, opposites. Their family and financial situations are very different. Consequently, their self-image, confidence and view of their world are very different as well. The popular kids, Halley and Noah, are gods and goddesses to be adored and emulated. Scrawny Rick, is on the fringe due to his lack of social skills and means. Mr. Lopes, the Spanish teacher, is a stand-out secondary character.
The plot is steadily paced. For adult readers, there aren’t too many surprises, however, teens with limited social and world experiences may find the plot twists eye-opening. Laura is thrown one “horrifying” situation after another as she tackles high school life, stepping out of her comfort zone, and dealing with her quirky, less than idyllic family.
Also Known as Lard Butt is a feel-good read. It has some great messages for YA readers: try new things, persevere, empathy and acceptance. I found the best message was that whether you’re the most popular or the biggest geek, almost everyone suffers from self-doubt and insecurity at times. Additionally, Ms. Herrick is hard hitting on the issue of body image through Laura’s battle with self-esteem and her body.
“My build is my build. I was not overweight.”
Ann Herrick’s latest YA novella touches on body image, popularity and differing socio-economic status and how each impacts the our acceptance of ourselves and others. Also Known as Lard Butt is representative of a typical high school experience. This quick read will leave you feeling good and hoping for the best.
***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
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