Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot
Now this is a perfect holiday read! Heather Wells, residence hall worker and part-time sleuth is back for a second instalment (the first being Size 12 Is Not Fat) in which she has gained weight (hence the title), is trying to build bridges with her estranged father, still hasn’t managed to make Cooper (oh Cooper!) fall for her and finds herself investigating another, darker murder. To top it all off, she’s going to have to take a maths course before they let her enrol at the university.
The novel is written in Cabot’s usual, bubbly, girly, easy-to-read style. This time, Heather is less outraged with the branding of the ‘average American woman’ as ‘fat’ and is more annoyed that everyone keeps telling her to keep her nose out of the latest grisly murder in the Death Dorm, because there’s no way she wants to go after someone who likes decapitating cheerleaders, but she finds that she can’t help herself. The crime in this novel is much darker and requires even more bravery on Heather’s part; she walks in on a grisly stabbing and eventually uncovers a very dark and dangerous fraternity circle. This time, too, the killer is not someone who Heather knows at the start of the book, which removed some of the fun, I felt, but it was probably just as well- how many killers can the staff of one dormitory (sorry Heather, I mean residence hall) have?
As well as the crime, there is also some romance. At times I thought that Cooper liked Heather but at other times I almost wanted her to get back with her shallow but loveable ex, Jordan, who skis across New York during a snow storm to see her (even if he is drunk when he does it). Heather also manages to attract the attention of a college student, who she promises she’ll go on a date with in two years’ time, once he’s graduated.
What really makes this book, however, is the loveable protagonist. Even when everyone asks her to keep her nose out and laughs at her, she is undeterred. She is brave, kind-hearted and funny, even if she does have an overly large soft spot for dove bars (or galaxy bars, as they’re called in the good ol’ UK). The introduction of her father also made for some comic moments- especially when Heather walks in on him doing the downward facing dog!
Whilst Size 14 Is Not Far Either isn’t going to be winning the Pulitzer Prize anytime soon, it’s a great holiday read, perfect for taking your mind off of the discomfort of sun beds! I read it in a day as it’s so easy to read and it was a welcome refreshment after reading The Poisonwood Bible, I can tell you!
Have YOU read any of the Heather Wells mysteries? Please let me know in a comment!