Review: Big Boned by Jo Watson

Big Boned by Jo Watson

Meet Lori Palmer, the newest addition to Bay Water High in Capetown, where all of the students radiate Lori’s idea of what it means to be beautiful: athletic, shiny hair and thin. She is an artist and is able to find beauty in everything around her – except herself. Lori has always struggled with accepting her body and loving the skin she’s in. After being maliciously bullied, Lori suffers from panic attacks and attends therapy to heal from the trauma her bullies have instilled in her.

She misses her life back in Johannesburg where everything seemed easier. She was in her element at art school when she had daily adventures with her two best friends and her parents were still together.

Now, her life has been turned upside down and nothing is the same. While her mother is too busy building a realty empire and reinventing herself, Lori is fulfilling the motherly role for her nine-year-old autistic brother, Zac. While picking him up from school one day, she meets Jake Jones-Evans, the water polo star athlete at BWH all the girls drool over. Their friendship slowly develops over playdates for Zac and Jake’s younger sister, Lisa. Through a series of miscommunicated text messages, nights spent at together at parties, and stargazing, their connection grows into something Lori never thought she deserved (or thought was possible).

As she begins to find her footing in her new town, Lori begins finding her voice as well. She starts a movement through her artwork, which gains the attention of the media, her community, and her mother. Lori grows into who she was meant to be all along.

“Big Boned” is an incredible journey we all go through at one point or another: learning to love who we are, finding our voices, embracing our hobbies, and learning to stand up for ourselves.

Watson gracefully represents neurodivergence, mental health, sexual orientation, race, and body diversity with a meaningful, yet not overwhelming approach.

Thank you to NetGalley and Wattpad Books for this ARC!

TWs: alcoholism, anxiety, panic attacks, bullying, divorce, fat shaming, infidelity, mental health, neurodivergence, underage drinking



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