Book Review: Artichoke's Heart

Artichoke's Heart
Published By: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: June 2008
Page Count: 276
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

Rosemary Goode reminds me so much of myself in high school. Instead of dealing with her issues, she consoles herself with food and eventually finds herself at a super unhealthy weight. Her mother and aunt are constantly pressuring her to get the weight off, but Rosemary digs in her heels anytime they start pestering her. Eventually she realizes how much she is harming herself and decides it is time to start making lifestyle changes that will help improve her health.

I loved that this novel portrayed the life of an overweight teen in an accurate light. Rosemary's thoughts and emotions could have been pulled out of my head as a teen. Her constant obsession over food and losing weight put a lot of strain on her emotional well being and her relationships. I did like seeing how she made healthy lifestyle changes and made these changes for herself. She had to take the initiative on her own. Rosemary's growth as a character throughout the course of this one is inspiring. She goes from being a shy wallflower to a girl who is happy and confident. Along the way she is also able to gain some friends who love her for who she is and not what number pops up on the scale.

This one also calls attention to the issue of bullying. Rosemary is constantly dodging the verbal barbs of The Bluebirds, a group of popular girls who rule her high school. They seem to go out of their way to try to make Rosemary's day miserable. I have never understood people who behave this way. Don't they know that if you're that ugly on the inside it doesn't really matter how pretty you are on the outside?

This is a cute, contemporary read that anyone who has ever struggled with their weight will be sure to enjoy. It's hard not to be charmed by Rosemary and the other colorful characters. Inspiration, hope, and a small dose of romance lurks within these pages. I also loved all the southern culture aspects and the humor. The summary nailed it - there are so many Steel Magnolias moments in this one - I loved seeing those sort of relationships play out.

One Last Gripe: Aunt Mary's attitude often irked me

My Favorite Thing About The Book: The characters

First Sentence: Mother spent $700 on a treadmill "from Santa" that I will never use.

Favorite Character: Rosemary, but Kyle is a close second

Least Favorite Character: Misty Winters

Blubber meets Steel Magnolias in this funny and honest story about body image and family.

Rosemary Goode is smart and funny and loyal and the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But only one thing seems to matter to anyone, including Rosemary: her weight. And when your mom runs the most successful (and gossipy) beauty shop in town, it can be hard to keep a low profile. Rosemary resolves to lose the weight, but her journey turns out to be about everything but the scale. Her life-changing, waist-shrinking year is captured with brutal honesty and humor, topped with an extralarge helping of Southern charm. A truly uncommon novel about an increasingly common problem.


  1. I was attracted with the book cover. But this book sounds like a good one. I definitely have to check it out.

    1. I really loved Rosemary! I am so glad you're interested in reading her story.

  2. Great review! This sounds like a great contemporary. Considering the fact that i'm dealing with a few weight issues right now,I should probably try this one out.

    - Ellie @ The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. This was a really fun contemporary with such a great message. Not only does it do an excellent job of putting you into the head of someone struggling with weight and body image, but there are also some bullying moments. I think a book like this would be powerful for lots of YA readers.

  3. Great review. I don't think this is my kind of book though.

    1. Thank you! Not every book can speak to every person, but I appreciate you taking the time to read the review and leave a comment.


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