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Annabel has always been sure of two things. Her best friend Em accepts her for who she is and her mom doesn't. All her mom sees is the 30 pounds she needs to lose. Annabel doesn't meet the perfect expectations that every other aspect of her mom's life does. She lives with it but when something happens the last day of her junior year, Annabel is determined to make a change. She wants to prove to her mom and the perfect people at her private school that she is something more than the 30 extra pounds that they see. Hiding at the gym across town, she hires a personal trainer to help her lose the weight. What she wasn't counting on was Tegan being that trainer. Afraid the gorgeous gym boy will judge her like everyone else, she's shocked when he doesn't. Instead, he always says the right thing to help her fight her personal demons and seems to like her as she is. But when Tegan can't be there, will Annabel learn that she has always measured up in ways that are far more important than what the scales say?
4 stars - It's not always weight but every girl defines herself in some negative way and every girl should learn the lesson that Annabel does in Measuring Up.
I must start with Tegan. I love him. Nyrae just has a way with making guys that I fall for. Tegan is no exception. Blond hair and blue eyes, Tegan is a gorgeous gym boy. He has a little ego too but mostly what I love about him is his love for his family. He's devoted to his younger brother and his mom. He would do anything for them. It's so sad that his brother was hurt but it defined Tegan and made him such a great guy. We learn about him slowly through Annabel's POV. His little mysteries come out over the course of the book and I really wish I could have been in his head. There is one period of time especially that I would have loved to hear his thoughts. Near the end of the story, he makes a change in his thinking and I really wish I understand how that happened. We get what he tells Annabel but I so wanted more from him.
Annabel is that girl that has let her weight define her. She struggles with it and her mother makes things worse with her comments. I wanted to punch her mom in the mouth a couple of times. Totally shocked that she didn't get what she was doing. I felt bad for Annabel too. She tries very hard to not let it bother her but it kills her inside. The combination of her mom and the creep Billy from school, her self worth is terrible. I've seen this with students before. The sadness is hard to watch and you wish you could do anything to ease their pain. That's how it felt reading about Annabel.
Truly, Nyrae is a character author. She creates the best characters. I love that this book dealt with the pain of what others say to us. I think every teenage girl could benefit from reading this book. Annabel can make changes to improve her weight but really what she needed most was to believe who she was inside regardless of what the scales say.
The story was sweet and I was cheering for both Tegan and Annabel. It was a fast read and I could have easily finished it in one sitting but ended up giving in to sleep.
If you enjoy contemporary YA, then this is a good read.