Book review

I a Big, So What?! by Shuchi Singh Kalra, Book Review

Hello fellow bookworms, hope you are on the finishing line of your 2016 reading goals. I am almost there, just a couple more reviews to write and post. It has been a good reading year. Now for this book, I am Big, so ‘What?! I have had this book for almost 5 months as the TBR kept getting in the way; but I am glad I’ve read it now and absolutely loved it. Late but there, totally worth the wait 🙂

Read on for what I am talking about.

Book
Title: I am Big, So ‘What?! 

Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra

Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing

Published: June 2016

Format reviewed: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Profession of main character(s): Graphic Designer

City(s) based in: Delhi, Chandigarh – India. 

Story

Is it only in India where people don’t realize that starting a conversation with, “Oh, you’ve put on weight!” is incredibly rude?

Perhaps I should respond with “Oh, you’ve become uglier!” 

so they get the point.

From stores that do not stock clothes my size to unsolicited advice from neighbourhood aunties, my life—quite annoyingly—is ruled by the numbers on the scale. 

What’s the big deal about being big? You may wonder.

Well, quite a lot, actually.

For starters, you get dumped by the only man you’ve ever loved, social situations go from awkward to embarrassing within seconds, and don’t even get me started on the family’s never-ending search for a suitable groom. They just don’t make men my size these days!

Nevertheless, here I am, about to meet Suitor No. 7. Begrudgingly, of course.

Ride along as I navigate the crazy arranged marriage market. And trust me, it’s crazier when you’re more than a little curvy.

My thoughts

Roli Kapoor takes the reader through her life which she lives on her own terms. Roli is a big girl meaning her body weight is more than the rest but that doesn’t define her or more precisely she doesn’t let it rule and ruin her life. 

She wasn’t always this confident about her body and reactions to it by the people around her. Like every teenager she went through the bullying and name calling, fat shaming phase. Then at the doorstep of adulthood she had some good experiences, met a couple of people who taught her that appearances are just that and only important or discouraging if you let them be. It was then that Roli completely accepted herself, was happy and loved herself exactly as she was.

That was the ‘big’ part of the story. But let me tell you how I found Roli’s character and why I find her a heroine which stands for body positivity. 

Roli is a smart, confident girl who takes life in the way which her heart shows. She has that spark about her which isn’t common to everyone, making her stand out and sparkle for the right reasons. She doesn’t let her body weight keep her away from things people say aren’t for fat people. She loves shopping, even though it is difficult for her to find the right clothes, but that doesn’t take away the fun of shopping for her. She loves going out with friends, having a drink and some dancing; she does all that exactly when she wants and doesn’t let anything or anyone guilt or shame her about it.

She chooses a profession in which she is comfortable and doesn’t let her father’s disappointment in it, get to her too much. She is no different emotionally then a girl of society defined weight would be, if anything she is more confident, happy and better at living well. What I loved about this story is Roli’s attitude towards all things, how she faces tough situations and knows to keep smiling and be happy. 

Roli’s story from being a teenager who was fat shamed to her college years and then freelancing to making a new life in a new city; ultimately having a new job, friends and some love in her life is an absolute delight to read. As a person she is nice, she doesn’t cry about her weight or how people react to it all the time, as a romantic heroine she is sweet, knows what she wants and let’s the guy know about it, as a friend she is loyal, supporting and fun to be around and as a daughter, sister she is able, stands true to herself without hurting her parents mostly. She has her goofy moments,  strong moments and stand offs too. 

So, a heroine who is a good balance of sweet, sass, spice and most importantly smart, no nonsense is exactly what you get in I am Big, So ‘What?! It is not a book solely about fighting people who make you feel ashamed about your body weight, it is about living amongst those very people. Living well, being happy and not letting them get to you. Basically, being growing almost immune to their nonsense and may be even having a laugh or four about it at time 😉

I wish we lived in a world where there was no body-fat shaming but that’s a dream for now. So people who think fat people shouldn’t be allowed with you regular people well tough luck. You may know attacking and shaming others as a way to feel good about yourself but if you paid attention Big girls do have a lovely, fun personality. So stop seeing the extra loveliness as a downer and concentrate on the intelligent, fun parts. 

Buy link: Kindle India 

About the author

Bio from author website

Hello there! I am Shuchi Singh Kalra, and I write funny books for a living even though I am a little serious-ish (and may I add, dense) in real life

My latest book, ‘I am Big. So What!?’ is about a spirited plus-sized girl named Roli and her struggles in a society that is obsessed with thinness. The book falls into the humor/chick-lit genre but explores sensitive themes like body shaming and self love

My first book, Done With Men, has been on Amazon bestselling lists since its release in Feb 2014. I’m quite kicked about readers and reviewers comparing my writing to that of Sophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding. I know I am not half as good as these goddesses of chick-lit, but I’ll still let that get to my head

I have been writing professionally since 2005 and have had bylines in prominent publications such as Good Housekeeping, Femina, Home Review, and Parent & Child among many others. I’ve also written blogs, web copy, ebooks and other business-y stuff for clients across the world. If you’d like to hire me and my team for freelance projects, head over to Pixie Dust Writing Studio.

Connect with Shuchi via her Website | Twitter

Reviewed by Bharti

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