In May we discussed The Boy Next Door, and in June we discussed Queen of Babble as part of our Meg Cabot Read-Along leading up to the publication of Size 12 and Ready to Rock, on sale next Tuesday, 7/10. Today, the Read-Along continues with our discussion of Size 12 is Not Fat, the first book in Meg Cabot's beloved Heather Wells series!
Heather Wells Rocks!
Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two -- and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.
The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen -- not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives -- even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!
But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong . . .
Questions for Discussion
1. Heather Wells is one of Meg Cabot's most beloved heroines, and after reading the book, I can definitely see why. I found her to be so refreshing and relatable. What did you like about Heather? How did you find her different from the heroines in Meg's other books?
2. Meg Cabot wrote yesterday in a column for the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog that she was taught that princesses are expected "to go to college, stand up for the things they believed in, and support the people they rule, never letting the bad guys win." While Heather isn't a princess, how do you think she represents these qualities?
3. Heather has gained weight since she stopped recording music, and body image is a recurring theme of the book. How does Heather disprove the notion that heroines can't be a size 12?
4. Do you think Cooper likes Heather? Do you think Heather thinks he likes her? I was struck by how differently Heather saw herself versus how others viewed her.
5. Size 12 is Not Fat is a great mystery at heart. Without giving away any spoilers, did you have any initial suspicions about who was behind the Fischer Hall murders, and were you surprised when you found out who it was?
6. What would you like to see next for Heather? Get back together with Jordan or go after Cooper? Keep working at Fischer Hall? Get her degree? Resume her singing career?
For now, I can't get enough of the book trailer for Size 12 and Ready to Rock. Sugar Rush, baby!
It's MEG-nificent! The Meg Cabot Read-Along:
July 10th: Size 12 and Ready to Rock goes on sale
July 31st: Size 12 and Ready to Rock discussion on Book Club Girl and Book Club Girl on Air show with Meg Cabot at 7pm ET
Follow the Read-Along on Twitter at the hashtag #megreadalong, and become a fan of Meg Cabot and Heather Wells on Facebook.