Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have by Allen Zadoff is a young adult novel told in Andrew Zansky's perspective. Andrew is fat. (I thought perhaps this book was heading in the whole body image/weight loss direction for the longest time). He is embarassed by how fat he is, yet still continues to eat whatever he likes whenever he wants it. Andrew also has a few other issues - he has met a girl at an event his mom catered that he is interested in. As luck would have it, she is the new girl at Andrew's school. Andrew's parents are also separated, his dad having started a relationship with someone at work. Andrew's weight is a primary focus of this book, yet it is not a typical weight loss book. Instead, Andrew is recruited to play center on the football team, a position that requires girth. Andrew is surprised by his own ability at this position, yet struggles with his identity. As he reflects he begins to realize he has done a lot of things for other people, but nothing for himself. What does Andrew Zansky want? Andrew also begins to look at his friends. Are the football players his real friends, or are the people who befriended him before he joined the team the ones he should continue to be loyal to?
There are a lot of books out there for girls and about girls about body image, but not too many that I have read dealing with a guy's weight issues. While this doesn't resolve itself by making Andrew over, there is some resolution/acceptance that Andrew finds about who he is.
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