Review: Big Girl Panties: A Novel

Big Girl Panties: A Novel
Big Girl Panties: A Novel by Stephanie Evanovich
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

****CONTAINS SPOILERS, SORT OF*****

The title of this book should have been warning enough but I wanted to read something different than my usual genres. Stephanie Evanovich clearly has the ability to write humorous, sexy romance and I would have give this book 3 stars if it weren’t for the completely offensive characterization of Holly, the main character. After seeing her young husband through a grueling death, Holly is overweight and depressed — understandably so — but she also has a great sense of humor. She sits next to a personal trainer (“an Adonis”) on a plane and he encourages her to contact him to start an exercise plan.

Holly sticks to her exercise plan with astonishing determination, changes her diet, and loses 20 pounds in 4 months! Logan, except for one incident, turns out to be a shallow, world-class jackass but Holly falls for him anyway. He is perfectly satisfied having hot sex with her at any given moment but can’t shake his ideal image of the stick-thin model (which he should realize is an unhealthy weight for most women) and actually considers liposuction for the slight bulge in her tummy that he knows no amount of exercise will eliminate. On the other hand, he notes the usefulness of grabbing that little budge when he wants to move her into adventurous sexual positions. It takes another way-too-many-chapters before he works up the courage to take her out in public and risk ruining his reputation by dating a chubby girl. And, the whole time, she’s perfectly happy scheduling her life around his and is downright astonished that he even gives her the time of day because he’s just so darn perfect. Ugh.

Evanovich tries to show how much Logan grows emotionally but it’s too little-too late, especially since she continues to burden Holly with I’m-not-worthy-to-be-dating-such-a-hot-guy traits. The author throws in some light dominance/submission (mostly spanking) because, like (her aunt?) Janet, Stephanie Evanovich apparently knows how to ride a gravy train, too. If she can figure out how to write a truly strong female character instead, she might have a bright future in this genre. I almost gave up on this novel 3 times but I wanted to see if she could redeem it in the end. Sadly, no.

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