Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins

Berkley, 2018


Kristan Higgins and her latest, Good Luck with That, was brought to my attention when Sarah MacLean shared this piece on Twitter. She’s a new-to-me author…but good grief. This book comes into my life during a really vulnerable body-image phase for me as I am eight months postpartum and feeling reeeeeeally shitty about how little progress I’ve made with regards to getting my body even in the neighborhood of where I’d like it to be…

This is a book about three fat friends. Don’t get mad at me. That’s how they describe themselves. Emerson, Marley and Georgia actually met at a weight-loss camp as a teenagers. As the book begins though, tragically, Emerson is dying. But before she passes away she begs her friends to promise her that they will conquer a special list they’d made together as teenagers. Things We’ll Do When We’re Skinny. And so begins an emotional journey for Marley and Georgia toward self-acceptance and true love.

Forewarning, whatever your relationship with your body and self-image, this book is going to pick at scabs and force you to examine your own wounds and body-insecurities. And I hate that for us. I hate that a story about women trying to stop hating their bodies is such a universally relatable female experience. As the mother of two girls, I agonize over this and I want to do everything in my power to fortify them against this bull shit. And this is why Kristan’s book is so powerful.

Marley and Georgia are not exactly on the same page with their “fatness” as the story begins. There is a very poignant scene where Marley, having a come to Jesus moment, strips and stands naked in front of a mirror and OWNS her body for the first time in her life. I loved it so much.

This was my body, and it worked. I could waste time wishing to be small. I could get surgery. I could starve myself and never eat the foods I love again. That wasn’t what I called living.” 

But Georgia is not remotely in that space yet. Despite the fact that she’s been losing weight for months and is smaller than she’s ever been she still hates her body. Even if Marley had shared her big moment with Georgia I doubt it would have made a difference. Because Georgia’s perception of herself is completely distorted. Besides, according to Georgia, Marley is the good kind of fat.  Didn’t you know there’s a pretty way to be fat and an ugly, hopeless way? Sigh. It’s so awful, but I get it. I knew exactly what Georgia was talking about. The kind of thoughts slithering through Georgia’s head slither through mine too. Kristan totally NAILS the ugly truth about how we talk to ourselves and it’s terrible.

“…she’d always had a waist and a great boobs. She could get away with zaftig and Rubenesque. Not me. I’d always been fat-fat, like a troll, like an egg. There was no romantic way for how I was shaped.”

BUT! Don’t despair. By the end of this book I predict you will feel lifted up and inspired to treat yourself with more kindness and demand what you deserve from life. If you’re anything like me then you’re probably going to cry. Good Luck with That is a life affirming story on so many levels. Friendship. Romantic love. Self-love. The romance element didn’t disappoint but I would absolutely recommend this to readers who don’t typically read romance.

I will definitely be reading more from Kristan Higgins.

Would you like to see better representation of “plus-size” women in romance?