I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Muffin Top by Avery Flynn
Series: The Hartigans #2
Published by Entangled: Amara on October 29, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Entangled Publishing
The only thing about me that’s a size zero is the filter on my mouth. I’ve got a big personality, a big rack, and a big number on the scale. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
But when some random guy suggests I might not be eating alone if I’d ordered a salad instead of a hamburger I’m shocked silent, which is a feat, trust me.
That brings us to one sexy fireman named Frankie Hartigan. He’s hot. He’s funny… And he’s just apologized for being late for our “date” then glared at the fat-shaming jerk. Next thing I know, he’s sitting down and ordering himself dinner.
I have no problem telling him I don’t need a pity date… unless of course it’s to my high school reunion next week. Oops where did that last bit come from? And what do I do now that he’s said yes?!
Because this is no make-over story, and I think Frankie is using me for something. I just have to figure out what…
I love Avery Flynn. I love almost everything I’ve read from her. This one just didn’t quite land for me. I mean; I obviously liked it – I’m still giving it 3.5 stars. But she’s usually an automatic 4 or 5 from me.
My biggest problem with this book was Lucy. I wanted to like her. In fact, I started off loving her. When the asshole walked up to her table at the bar and proceeded to fat-shame her about her meal, she informed him that she actually just wanted a Mountain Dew and a burger. She stopped short of actually telling him to fuck off, which, frankly, I would have enjoyed. But as the book went on, she became less badass and more insecure and defensive.
Which…. look. She’s plus-size. I get it. But it’s mentioned repeatedly that she’s a size 20. She won’t fly to Missouri because of how “people like me are treated on a plane”. But she’s a size twenty. Currently, the average size for a woman in the US is a size 16. So she’s a bit above that. I could understand if she’d said something about how awful the constantly-shrinking seat sizes are or how she’s never allowed an armrest or something, but I don’t think, at a 20, she’s prohibitively large for flying. (For a harrowing account of what it’s like to fly as someone who is, check out this thread from @yrfatfriend)
I know women who are size 20. Not a single one of them is this defensive or this constantly on-guard. Frankie can’t say good morning without Lucy assuming it’s out of pity or out of some sort of veiled comment about her weight. As attracted to her as he was, I was surprised he hung in there as long as he did. It had to be disheartening to have every single word out of his mouth doubted and second-guessed.
And Frankie. He was just so adorably clueless. The first time they make out, Lucy wants to keep going but Frankie wants to wait until they can have sex properly, not on her father’s couch. Of course, instead of believing what he says, she assumes it’s because he’s rejecting her, she gets defensive, shuts down and walks away. Frankie, adorable clueless guy that he is thinks he’ll just deal with it tomorrow. Which… sweetie, no. Don’t let her sit and stew on that all night. Go fix it now. He did that kind of stuff often. It was starting to annoy me, until I realized that he just didn’t know how deeply this insecurity of hers went. Which I get. Lucy was all over the place. She claims to him that she’s a “curious, sex-positive, grown-ass woman”, and she tells us through her POV that she’s fine with her size and happy with her body, but then she’s constantly putting herself down, and lashing out at people before they give her a reason to. Of course Frankie couldn’t figure her out. I could barely figure her out, and I was in her head for half of the book.
It sounds like I hated this book, and I didn’t. As usual, I loved Avery Flynn’s writing, and I loved the side cast of characters. I’m excited to read more in this series. But when the book blurb says “The only thing about me that’s a size zero is the filter on my mouth. I’ve got a big personality, a big rack, and a big number on the scale. And I’m perfectly fine with that.”, then I would expect the heroine to actually be perfectly fine with all of that, and she wasn’t. I was expecting Lucy to have to deal with all of the bullshit that goes along with being a plus-size woman in 2018, but I wasn’t expecting the constant self-loathing.