Book Reviews

Sunday Review

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Happy Sunday, everyone. Today I’ll talk about a book I read a while back, but that I really love. N.R. Walker is one of my favorite authors, and Henry is one of the best characters I’ve ever read. Have you read it? What did you think? 🙂

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The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker

After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.

He joins a gym.

Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.

As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.

Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.

I find it hard to write book reviews, I could never be a reviewer or a book blogger. It’s somewhat easier if I didn’t like the book very much, because let’s face it: anybody can rant about stuff they don’t like, right? But when I really and truly loved a book, it’s very difficult.

It’s tough for me to find words that do justice to a wonderful book, nothing feels good enough. How do I convey to others what I loved so much about it, what words do I use to convince them to read it? How do I talk about all the feelings I experienced while reading?

What I can tell you about The Weight of it All, is that I absolutely adored the main characters in this book, especially Henry. I love Henry, I adore Henry, I want Henry to be my best friend and I’m genuinely bummed he’s not real. I love his wit and his sense of humor. I love that he decided he needed to change for himself, and I loved the way he took his passion for cooking and adapted it to his new lifestyle. I like Reed too—what’s not to like? —and the fact that he’s pretty much perfect, but doesn’t care about looks in a potential partner…well, that melted my heart.

I died of happiness over all the Harry Potter references. I have a newfound respect for Bee Gees, and when Reed and Henry went shopping and the twinky Chihuahua tried to pick up Reed and Henry says: “His full pedigree kennel name is Shameless Bottom Needs a Muscle Daddy, but he gets called Chihuahua Boy for short” I laughed so hard my husband came out of the home office and asked what was so funny, and told me he’d had to mute his work call because of my hyena like laughter in the background.

This is a very funny book. But what I like most about it is the complexity. One moment I almost fall out of my couch because I’m laughing so hard, but the next second something happens to make me choke on my laughter and start crying instead. I appreciate the humor so much more, when not everything is fun and games, but has glimpses of realness thrown into it.

One of my favorite movies is The Full Monty from 1997It’s hilarious, with a bunch of regular, unemployed British guys trying to become the next Chippendales to earn some money. But there’s one scene in particular that I love. It’s the big guy of the gang, Dave, who’s nervous about taking his clothes off in public because of his weight. And someone tells him you can loose weight by wrapping yourself in cling film – so this scene I’m thinking about has Dave, sitting half naked eating a candy bar and wrapping himself in plastic to lose a few pounds. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

And The Weight of it All is like that. Funny and heartbreaking, but also heartwarming and uplifting.

I loved it. Read this book, it’s fabulous. Five laughing and five crying stars – that makes ten stars, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.