Manhattan It Girl Riley Swain is no pudgy wallflower. She's brash, bold, fashionable, and yes, fabulous. Riley has no qualms about kissing her best friend's crush, or bribing her dad's lawyer. But this spring break, Riley's dad and wicked stepmother are shipping her off to New Horizons, a two-week fat camp in upstate New York. And it's miserable: like military school without carbs. But then Riley gets to know adorable Eric, who sees beyond Riley's tough exterior. Soon, Riley might just realize that maybe it's not her shape that will change at New Horizons. . . but her heart.
Sixteen year old Riley Swain has an "attitude" that amuses her peers and irritates the adults around her. She is at war with her soon-to-be step-mother, who, Riley believes, has conspired to have her sent away to a fat camp in upstate New York over spring break. Riley lies to all her friends, including her best friend "D" (short for Michael D. Hammond III) about why she isn't coming along on the class trip. She's been in love with "D" forever until she kissed him the night before she left and now she's not so sure. And then Riley meets her verbal jousting equal in Eric, the son of the fat camp director, and he's kind of cute in a strange punk sort of way, so now she's really confused! The story is not deep on plot but introduces a likable character who comes to some new realizations about herself and her most important relationships. Riley's narrative is humorously punctuated by facsimiles of correspondence with her father's attorney, a regional head of the FDA, and a representative of the CIA, as well as her e-mail exchanges with THEBIGUN17. This might be a particularly appropriate recommendation for teens with body image/weight concerns. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.