I was totally surprised by this book. I had no pre-conceived idea about its storyline. It wasn't recommended by anyone. I just saw it, read it, and really enjoyed it.
First Line: We are all Cinderellas, no matter our size.
I have a few personal thoughts and opinions about it, but as for a summary I am going to quote the book jacket...
"NOLA DEVLIN HAS A SECRET IDENTITY. By day she is an overweight, frumpy, and overlooked editor at Sass! (the "celebrity magazine with an edge!"), but by night she slips behind her keyboard and into her alter-ego: Belinda Apple. Belinda is thin, gorgeous, British and the author of a trendy advice column— she is, in effect, the latest Carrie Bradshaw. Not even her two best friends or her self-absorbed sister (who worships Belinda as the "sister she never had") know her secret.
When "Belinda" jots off a column about how easy it is to lose weight, Nola is shocked when her best friends take her own lies to heart and urge her to follow Belinda's weight loss program. Since Nola can't reveal herself as the real Belinda Apple, she bites the bullet and joins her friends in making the "Cinderella Pact" — a last ditch attempt to lose weight (again!) and transform their lives for good.
But as the pounds come off, things don't turn out the way the three friends expect. Their journey of self-discovery leads to the rediscovery of an old love and the unmasking of new problems. Meanwhile, Nola finds herself torn between two different men as she stomps out fires caused by her deception as Belinda Apple and falls in love with the man who just might be her prince — or the rat in coachman's clothing."
That said, I sort of have a love/hate thing going on with the story. Growing up overweight I could really relate to some of the things they had to go through, and some of their thoughts - but certainly not all of them. More than once I wanted to shake them and tell them how stupid they were to feel or act a certain way - ha! How fair is that? But it wasn't like some depressing hard to read story, and really - all things considered it didn't even hit too close to home. It was funny, entertaining and inspiring. Strohmeyer had some seriously quotable lines that were hilarious! Nora's description of elliptical machines and how they are "fun, fun, fun" had me chuckling to myself during my dreaded elliptical routine- okay maybe that part hit close to home!
I was really bummed out by the language. I almost stopped reading it several times. I get frustrated with pointless swearing - I guess I don't get it, but really the F-bomb 3 times, what is the point?
In anticipation of the release of this book back in 2006 a weight-loss support group was formed. I think it's pretty cool that the Cinderella Pact is a 'real' thing!