Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Makedown by Gitty Daneshvari


Anna Norton used to be fat. Correction: Anna Norton used to be a fat, nerdy, overeater with low self esteem. When she moves from suburban Ohio to Manhattan at age 23, her life does a total 180. With guidance from her boss, an unlikely Fairy Godmother in the form of a chic caterer and excellent cook, Anna loses all the weight and--though still not quite Kate Moss--finally drops her inferiority complex, brushes the crumbs off her skirt, and enters the world of feeling good, looking good, and...finally having sex.

When Anna meets Ben, the man of her dreams (and of every other person's dreams who isn't blind) she almost can't believe she is dating the Ken Doll. Deep down, she is still the chubby nerd who wrote in a diary called Hello Fatty. But not everything is perfect; her hot boyfriend is a huge flirt, and every leggy blond who crosses his path is a threat to Anna. She just can't escape the feeling that Ben is way out of her league and that everyone thinks she is dating up and he's dating down. It gets so bad, she decides she will do anything to make these women go away.

Enter the Makedown. The reverse makeover. As Anna was made up, so will Ben be made down. Where she went from shabby to chic, he will go from prince to frog. Anna will sabotage his hotness for the sake of her own sanity, and to bring this man into more of what she considers her own league. Enter Nair to induce premature balding, Sears catalogs to inspire bad dressing, and secret additions of cream to her cooking and SKOR bars in granola bar wrappers to induce weight gain. Hilarity ensues, but in the end, Anna must find out if Ben's makedown will save their relationship, or end it.

The Makedown is a very interesting book and definitely more than chick lit. I could relate to it in some ways, I could definitely weigh less than I do and I love junk food. I was very interested to see Anna's transformation from a totally socially awkward over-eater to a thin more confident women.

Before I started reading I was unsure where the book would start. Would it start right at the Makedown and hint to the past and Anna's transformation or start before that? Thankfully it starts when Anna is very young and gives snippets of her life until she graduates from college and then the story settles down and proceeds from there. So by the time the actual makedown starts we have a real sense of Anna and her hopes and fears.

I think my favorite part of the book was right up until she started dating her Mr. Wonderful, Ben (I couldn't really see his appeal beyond his physical attractiveness). Then I felt like she became a totally different person (which sometimes does happen to people) and not in a really good way. I admit it was pretty funny to read about how she tried to prevent her boyfriend from flirting and being flirted with but after awhile it did get kind of sad, though Anna did realize her mistake and tried to fix it.

Her banter and relationship with her FG (Fairy Godmother) was great. I was really interested to see how she was going to kick her junk food addiction and lose all her extra weight, some pretty drastic measures had to be taken for it to happen. I thought the book could have done without the Epilogue but besides that I thought it ended how it should have.

I would definitely suggest this book, it's funny, hopeful and a bit out of the ordinary!

The Makedown is released on February 25th.

4/5 Stars
Review copy received from publisher


  1. Hm, one positive review (you), one negative review (someone else)...what to think, what to do...I guess I'll have to try it out myself and see what happens :) Thanks for posting a review - it gives me hope!

  2. Sounds really interesting. I haven't had any real heavy weight issues but I suffered from chronic low self esteem for years. I totally get the feeling that people (I even sometimes felt like my friends were too pretty or cool to be friends with me) are out of your league and are dating or friending "down." I'll have to keep an eye out for this one. :)

  3. It is definitely an intriguing concept...hmmm.

  4. I hated this book - its starnge because all the other reviews I have seen have all been positive - but I just could not get into it.

  5. Not really sure about this one but I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

  6. I tried to read this book, but couldn't get past the first 20 pages or so. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

  7. the epic rat- Yeah it was definitely a quirky read, but in a good way for the most part!

    Amee- I hope you read it and like it! :)

    Lenore- Haha, yes. When I first heard about it, it instantly stuck with me.

    Tina- I guess I ate the first part up and then towards the end it wasn't as great.

    Ladytink_534- :)

    S. Krishna- Ah darn really! That's too bad!


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