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Big Girl

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In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family. A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is ta In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family. A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and her mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. Both are self-centered, outspoken, and disappointed by their daughter’s looks. When Victoria is six, she sees a photograph of Queen Victoria, and her father has always said she looks just like her. After the birth of Victoria’s perfect younger sister, Gracie, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as “our tester cake.” With Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina got it right. While her parents and sister can eat anything and not gain an ounce, Victoria must watch everything she eats, as well as endure her father’s belittling comments about her body and see her academic achievements go unacknowledged. Ice cream and oversized helpings of all the wrong foods give her comfort, but only briefly. The one thing she knows is that she has to get away from home, and after college in Chicago, she moves to New York City. Landing her dream job as a high school teacher, Victoria loves working with her students and wages war on her weight at the gym. Despite tension with her parents, Victoria remains close to her sister. And though they couldn’t be more different in looks, they love each other unconditionally. But regardless of her accomplishments, Victoria’s parents know just what to say to bring her down. She will always be her father’s “big girl,” and her mother’s constant disapproval is equally unkind. When Grace announces her engagement to a man who is an exact replica of their narcissistic father, Victoria worries about her sister’s future happiness, and with no man of her own, she feels like a failure once again. As the wedding draws near, a chance encounter, an act of stunning betrayal, and a family confrontation lead to a turning point. Behind Victoria is a lifetime of hurt and neglect she has tried to forget, and even ice cream can no longer dull the pain. Ahead is a challenge and a risk: to accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and claim the victories she has fought so hard for and deserves. Big girl or not, she is terrific and discovers that herself.

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In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family. A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is ta In this heartfelt and incisive new novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family. A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body-conscious L.A. Her father, Jim, is tall and slender, and her mother, Christina, is a fine-boned, dark-haired beauty. Both are self-centered, outspoken, and disappointed by their daughter’s looks. When Victoria is six, she sees a photograph of Queen Victoria, and her father has always said she looks just like her. After the birth of Victoria’s perfect younger sister, Gracie, her father liked to refer to his firstborn as “our tester cake.” With Gracie, everyone agreed that Jim and Christina got it right. While her parents and sister can eat anything and not gain an ounce, Victoria must watch everything she eats, as well as endure her father’s belittling comments about her body and see her academic achievements go unacknowledged. Ice cream and oversized helpings of all the wrong foods give her comfort, but only briefly. The one thing she knows is that she has to get away from home, and after college in Chicago, she moves to New York City. Landing her dream job as a high school teacher, Victoria loves working with her students and wages war on her weight at the gym. Despite tension with her parents, Victoria remains close to her sister. And though they couldn’t be more different in looks, they love each other unconditionally. But regardless of her accomplishments, Victoria’s parents know just what to say to bring her down. She will always be her father’s “big girl,” and her mother’s constant disapproval is equally unkind. When Grace announces her engagement to a man who is an exact replica of their narcissistic father, Victoria worries about her sister’s future happiness, and with no man of her own, she feels like a failure once again. As the wedding draws near, a chance encounter, an act of stunning betrayal, and a family confrontation lead to a turning point. Behind Victoria is a lifetime of hurt and neglect she has tried to forget, and even ice cream can no longer dull the pain. Ahead is a challenge and a risk: to accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and claim the victories she has fought so hard for and deserves. Big girl or not, she is terrific and discovers that herself.

30 review for Big Girl

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I was drawn to Danielle Steel’s novel Big Girl because of the premise. I had never read a Danielle Steel book and thought I would give her a test run with this amazing topic. The issue with body-image is prevalent in our society and many women have had to deal with harsh comments if they are not a size 4. Those who are a size 4 have to deal with comments about not having curves. It is a subject that really interests me. It also is a topic that should be very relatable to women. Unfortunately, th I was drawn to Danielle Steel’s novel Big Girl because of the premise. I had never read a Danielle Steel book and thought I would give her a test run with this amazing topic. The issue with body-image is prevalent in our society and many women have had to deal with harsh comments if they are not a size 4. Those who are a size 4 have to deal with comments about not having curves. It is a subject that really interests me. It also is a topic that should be very relatable to women. Unfortunately, this story seriously disappointed me. First of all, I had a problem with the writing style. Ms. Steel wrote this very passively. She tells the story instead of showing it. I kept waiting for the actual story to start. You know that first chapter of some books that gives the background of all the characters? That was this entire book. It was frustrating and probably 75% of the reason I finished it. I just kept waiting for it to begin! By the time I realized it wouldn’t, I decided to just finish that darn thing. The book seemed like Victoria’s memory after she is well into her 60’s. The story was also very redundant. Ms. Steel would remind the reader what happened in the last chapters. The same cruel insults, the same feelings of shame continued throughout the book. Her solace is ice cream. That isn’t creative at all. I felt insulted as a reader. Many women have body-image problems and never touch ice cream. Let’s get some variety and relatability here! Also, this book was not empowering at all! Here is a woman, Victoria, who is trapped by this ideal of perfection by her family and is trying to accept her unique beauty as is. That sounds like a great story! But no, Big Girl seemed to enable this ideal. Her only desire is to lose weight and find a man, which is supported by her friends (whom I loved) and her psychiatrist (whom irritated me. I am a psychology major and the whole psychiatrist character irritated me. On the other hand, I am very happy mental health is being addressed in today’s stories! Ok, off my psychology soap box…). That shouldn’t be her solution. Her solution should be to love herself unconditionally and if a man comes along, great. If not, she should still be okay with herself. Also, she never stands up for herself to her family! After all the growth she goes through, the least she could do is to tell her family that they are cruel. She moves across the country and her family whines that she is gone and she never explains to them that they are the reason she left!? That just didn’t ring true to me. Also, her defining moment (spoiler alert) is a nose job. That is how she comes to accept herself. That seems a bit hypocritical. That leads to my next point: she is upset with her sister for settling down so quickly, but the story never talks about Victoria going out there and looking for a man. –Spoilers ahead-. She finds all this confidence, but still waits for Collin to come to her. That bit irritated me too. The ending is bittersweet and the last scene is great. She has great friends (I loved Harlan!) and Collin is a sweetheart. He was my favorite character. I just wish Victoria had a much bigger backbone in this story and that Danielle Steel could have done this topic justice.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Huda Yahya

    بدينة ولكن لـ دانييال ستيل للتحميل باللغة العربية

  3. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Why on earth I'm reading this is beyond me. I hate Danielle Steel. I read my first DS ("The Accident") in sixth grade. And at that point, it was probably appropriate, reading-level -wise (though perhaps not in terms of subject matter). I think I read one more after that before I caught on to the formula and abandoned her in disgust. At any rate, I found this at a rummage sale for a quarter. I'm half done with the book and feel I over-paid. The writing is crap. The characters are one dimensional. Why on earth I'm reading this is beyond me. I hate Danielle Steel. I read my first DS ("The Accident") in sixth grade. And at that point, it was probably appropriate, reading-level -wise (though perhaps not in terms of subject matter). I think I read one more after that before I caught on to the formula and abandoned her in disgust. At any rate, I found this at a rummage sale for a quarter. I'm half done with the book and feel I over-paid. The writing is crap. The characters are one dimensional. Her mother is a Stepford wife. Her dad is cruel. Her sister is beautiful. But fear not! In spite of being "fat" (more on this in a sec!), Victoria, our protagonist, is perfect in every way. She loves her sister. She has a fabulous job, a fabulous apartment, and fabulous friends. She is without fault. You know, except for the fact that she is FAT. And DS won't let you forget it, either. Literally every page, there is some reference to how skinny and perfect her family is and how hideously fat Victoria is. Her parents mock her at every gathering. Her students speak of her weight behind her back. People look and point. So how large is this behemouth? Brace yourself! A 14. (A 12 when she loses 10 lbs.) Now, as a size 14 myself, perhaps I'm biased. I'm under no illusions that I'm thin, and I am well aware that I could stand to lose 25+ pounds. Few people have self-esteem as shitty as mine. Few are as insecure about the size of their ass. And yet I really don't think that I'm SOOO large that people whisper about my size behind my back. Perhaps I am in denial, perhaps I just live in a more generous part of the country (South Dakota), but I still find this incredibly far-fetched. And yet....I continue to read. It's like a horrible, horrible train wreck. I just can't look away. EDIT: I've finished this. It did not get better. If anything, it got worse. After two nights of reading about how fat even a size 10 is, I was left wanting to slit my wrists. I don't think I've ever felt so fat as a result of reading a book. The ending itself was truly awful. There's a "crisis/betrayal" that she devotes about 4 pages to before she entirely glosses over it. Why she bothered with this "plot twist" at all is beyond me. Please, please save yourself a day or two of your life. Even for DS, this is a truly awful book. I didn't even donate it to GoodWill; it went straight to the trash. I don't want to take the chance of passing it on to another unsuspecting reader. If I could give it less than 1 star, I would.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I grew up with Danielle Steel novels, but I have to admit I haven't been reading very many of her current books. When I saw the ad for this book in a magazine, I thought I have to go out and get it as soon as it becomes available. I have to admit that part of what drew me to this book was the cover, but when I read the synopsis on goodreads I thought this book would be too good. Boy was I wrong!!!While this was an enjoyable enough read, it's not something that I would recommend to anyone. I feel I grew up with Danielle Steel novels, but I have to admit I haven't been reading very many of her current books. When I saw the ad for this book in a magazine, I thought I have to go out and get it as soon as it becomes available. I have to admit that part of what drew me to this book was the cover, but when I read the synopsis on goodreads I thought this book would be too good. Boy was I wrong!!!While this was an enjoyable enough read, it's not something that I would recommend to anyone. I feel like Danielle Steel is running out of ideas for books, so she decided to write a book about an overweight woman who has struggled with weight and the pressure from her parents to be perfect her entire life.The book was OK, but I felt like it was a little redundant. How many times will do we have to know that Victoria is the ugly ducking in her too perfect family? I didn't like the fact that her father was constantly throwing putdowns her way and giving her the impression that no matter what, she could never live up to their expectations. I seriously think that Steel needs to continue writing her books about perfect people leading their perfect lives and leave writing these kind of books to the people who can actually relate!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    To be honest, I was automatically drawn to the book because of it's flashy and fun looking cover. I did really enjoy this book though and it was one of those books that I could not put down, which is always a good thing to me when it comes to reading a book. I feel that this book is a book that a lot of women can relate to, we are all sensitive to weight. No matter if we are on the heavy side, skinny side or some where in between. We all have problems with weight and this book really shows a young To be honest, I was automatically drawn to the book because of it's flashy and fun looking cover. I did really enjoy this book though and it was one of those books that I could not put down, which is always a good thing to me when it comes to reading a book. I feel that this book is a book that a lot of women can relate to, we are all sensitive to weight. No matter if we are on the heavy side, skinny side or some where in between. We all have problems with weight and this book really shows a young woman's troubles through her whole life, struggling with being over weight. Her parents obviously don't help matters any and I am sure that a lot of parents don't help their kids that are over weight with these problems either, it's always approached in the wrong way and can give a woman low self esteem. I really would have liked to see her stick up for herself and punch her mom and dad in the face a few times. Would have made for a interesting F you, I am me, independent and a smart woman! Love me for who I am because your my parents and should not care that I am a little over weight. They don't get my vote for best parents choice award. I was in love with Victoria from the start of the book and felt that the author Danielle Steel really could punch you right in the heart with the reality of obesity and what self esteem issues it has on a person. She's always made great books and is one of my favorite authors. I would recommend this book to anyone, the cover is great but the book is better. They should make a movie based on this book, I'd watch it. Anyone know if they do have a movie on this? If so I have not heard of one but please let me know if they do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Horrible. Her prose is nearly unreadable and I have no idea how someone so lacking in the ability to string sentences together could have been so successful. The lesson is that you can never go home again and ironically while this is in fact the message of the book what it means for me is that books/authors that were tolerable as a teenager are no longer readable. The writing style was intensely distracting and prevented any empathy for any of the characters from developing. It was as if I were re Horrible. Her prose is nearly unreadable and I have no idea how someone so lacking in the ability to string sentences together could have been so successful. The lesson is that you can never go home again and ironically while this is in fact the message of the book what it means for me is that books/authors that were tolerable as a teenager are no longer readable. The writing style was intensely distracting and prevented any empathy for any of the characters from developing. It was as if I were reading a book written by a freshman English student or a foreigner who had learned English through textbooks. Each sentence was carefully placed and at first you think that there is some momentous significance or foreshadowing related to what is being said until you realize that EVERY sentence is starkly worded and carefully placed without any special meaning intended. And the repetition! I am shocked that a professional editor even glanced at this. In this case a sentence is just a sentence (and a boring sentence at that) and this is essentially a poorly written essay about a girl's life from birth to the age of 30.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christin

    I read so many reviews about this book, written by Danielle Steele, that when I saw it in the public library, I snapped it up. Danielle Steele has written about 100 novels and I thought this one might be good. I knew it was chick-lit, but hey, it’s summer and I deserve some escape reading! When I finished, all I could do was roll my eyes. I rolled my eyes at the terrible plot, the poorly described characters and that I had lost a few hours of my life on this book. My terrible secret is that I rar I read so many reviews about this book, written by Danielle Steele, that when I saw it in the public library, I snapped it up. Danielle Steele has written about 100 novels and I thought this one might be good. I knew it was chick-lit, but hey, it’s summer and I deserve some escape reading! When I finished, all I could do was roll my eyes. I rolled my eyes at the terrible plot, the poorly described characters and that I had lost a few hours of my life on this book. My terrible secret is that I rarely (maybe 3 times in my whole life) don’t finish a book that I have started. I keep believing that there will be a good part, that this good part is just a few pages away. I figure that if an author took the time to write it, I could at least spend the time reading it. So, I kept chugging through all 323 pages of this book in which Victoria, the “big girl” in a family of slender, beautiful people, has a terrible life because she is 25-30 pounds overweight. Her sister is a model and men fall in love with her, her parents are beautiful (and shallow) – but Victoria is tormented because she’s a little overweight. She’s bright, she has a great job and some great friends, but no one to love. Come on! Really? Steele manages to fit 7 years of Victoria’s life into maybe two paragraphs. I kept thinking that I I was reading the exposition, the stuff she had to get out of the story started so the story could start. But the story never started. I never cared about a single character in the book – and I am someone who can cry at a commercial. What is sad is that this will probably get turned into a movie in which the actress playing Victoria will go up to a size 4 and everyone will think she’s daring for doing so. Big Girl just was a big zero for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kiki

    Normally I enjoy Danielle Steel books, and though I haven't read one of her books in a long time I was looking forward to a nice light entertaining read. This was definitely light, a little too light. It was painful to get through and I felt like I was reading a book written by a robot. It felt like this was a "write by numbers" type of book. X did this, X looked like this. X felt like this. There was barely any emotion in the book at all except for a lot of self pity. While I get that two sibling Normally I enjoy Danielle Steel books, and though I haven't read one of her books in a long time I was looking forward to a nice light entertaining read. This was definitely light, a little too light. It was painful to get through and I felt like I was reading a book written by a robot. It felt like this was a "write by numbers" type of book. X did this, X looked like this. X felt like this. There was barely any emotion in the book at all except for a lot of self pity. While I get that two siblings can remember their childhood completely different, this was to the extreme. I kept saying to myself, why doesn't she just say something to her parents. She was like a puppy that kept getting kicked and kept going back for more. I ended up not liking the main character at all. It wasn't that she was unlikeable overall, it was that she was so flat emotionally. I have to mention about how everything in the book seemed so robotic again. The sentence structure was atrocious and this was one situation where I wish the author used more commas. Ugh.. well at least I got through it, though now i need a nice murder mystery to liven things up a bit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    I haven't read a Danielle Steel novel in about 20 years. A friend read it recently and said it was okay so I thought I'd check it out. It seemed like an interesting story, different from Steel's usual formula. This story had so many possibilities ... it's a topic that most women today deal with. But Steel didn't do a good job with it ... it was very superficial. Victoria's parents were horrible. Her dad was an A-hole and her mother was a wimp. Her dad kept reminding her that men don't like fat gir I haven't read a Danielle Steel novel in about 20 years. A friend read it recently and said it was okay so I thought I'd check it out. It seemed like an interesting story, different from Steel's usual formula. This story had so many possibilities ... it's a topic that most women today deal with. But Steel didn't do a good job with it ... it was very superficial. Victoria's parents were horrible. Her dad was an A-hole and her mother was a wimp. Her dad kept reminding her that men don't like fat girls. At her heaviest, Victoria had 25 pounds she wasn't happy with ... the way her parents went on and on and on, you'd think she was at least 1000 pounds overweight. Her mother kept reminding her that men don't like smart women. The reason her mother and sister went to college was to find a husband. In this day and age, my reaction was "Really??!! Are you serious??!!" What reality is Steel living in? Victoria was surprised that Grace and her boyfriend had gotten engaged without asking their father's permission first. Really??!! Are we back in the 1800s? The writing is very repetitive ... we are constantly reminded over and over and over and over: - Boys don't like fat girls - Boys don't like smart girls - Victoria looked like her ugly fat great grandmother - Victoria was a tester cake and they got the batter right with Grace It wasn't until Victoria was 30 and finally happy with a boyfriend that she could stand up to her dad's rude comments. Up until that point, she took it when her fatherly continually put her down about her weight, her "spinsterhood" and that she was just a lowly teacher. As she got older, Grace became a spoiled bitch to her and Victoria took it. I thought it was too bad that Victoria couldn't stand up to them on her own, even though she'd been seeing a therapist for years. She needed a man to validate her worth. If you are a Danielle Steel fan, you'll probably enjoy it ... I didn't. Blog review: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2011/04...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I did not know there were so many ways to say, "I'm fat, I eat when I am depressed, I battle with my weight, my sister is loved more than me, I look nothing like my family, and my parents make wise cracks about my average looks and weight." Every chapter said the same thing, but was worded differently. After the first three chapters, I got a little bored. I stuck with it though and was definitely happy for Victoria in the end. I must say that reading this book was almost like reading my life on p I did not know there were so many ways to say, "I'm fat, I eat when I am depressed, I battle with my weight, my sister is loved more than me, I look nothing like my family, and my parents make wise cracks about my average looks and weight." Every chapter said the same thing, but was worded differently. After the first three chapters, I got a little bored. I stuck with it though and was definitely happy for Victoria in the end. I must say that reading this book was almost like reading my life on paper. Victoria struggles with her weight and is part of a "perfect" bodied, rich family who lives in L.A. This screams conflict already. Her parents are always putting her down for her average looks and her slight extra cushion around the middle. She is only a size 14! Do you know that I would kill to be that size? Ok, maybe not kill, but it would be nice. To top it all off, Victoria becomes a high school English teacher, not the best choice when your parents are wrapped up in affluence and showing off. Even though I have not had to deal with the overly rich family, the horrible weight jokes from family (we are all Chubby...yes, with a capital C), or the hints that my career is not good enough, I know what it feels like to be stared at and feel different. I can't wear the cute clothes from Vanity or Wet Seal, or can I feel completely comfortable around good looking men, women, or both. I always feel like I don't measure up. However, unlike Victoria, I shrug it off and I don't let it bother to the point she does. Granted if my family took stabs at my weight like hers did, then maybe my perspective would be different. In the end, I was happy that Victoria found someone to love her for who she is and would stand up for her against her parents. Lord knows she wasn't going to do it for herself. The ending of Big Girl was great. I only wish that Steel would have been able to carry that momentum through the whole novel. A good ending does not wash away a bad beginning and middle. I feel like Steel has lost her touch with her past couple of novels. Big Girl almost felt like after she wrote a chapter she succumbed to an awful bout of amnesia and wrote the same thing again, peppered with different vocabulary.

  11. 4 out of 5

    A.-C.

    I'm torn between 1 and 2 stars here. It's not that I didn't like the book as such, but seldom have I read something so repetitive, and, quite frankly, annoying. The sentence structure throughout the novel is weak and just about every sentence seems labored. I caught myself wondering if Danielle Steel had actually written this (or somebody stole her name and somehow got this stuff published) several times. I was certainly not impressed. On the other hand it wasn't horrible. But it lacks what this I'm torn between 1 and 2 stars here. It's not that I didn't like the book as such, but seldom have I read something so repetitive, and, quite frankly, annoying. The sentence structure throughout the novel is weak and just about every sentence seems labored. I caught myself wondering if Danielle Steel had actually written this (or somebody stole her name and somehow got this stuff published) several times. I was certainly not impressed. On the other hand it wasn't horrible. But it lacks what this kind of novel is supposed to offer: easy eye and mind candy. It's extremely difficult to get into the book, or get moved in any way. I managed to direct several expletives toward certain sections while reading, mostly due to the relentless repetition and explaining. I found myself wondering if Ms. Steel was paid by the word, or had watched to much television riddled with commercials lately: recap after each break, or possibly each paragraph. Also, the ending seemed very flat and hurried. Rather disappointing, in fact. I wouldn't recommend it. Especially if you are like me and detest leaving any book unfinished.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed

    بعد التجربة الثانية لدانيال ستيل استطيع الاعتراف ان هذه النوعية من الروايات قد لا تعجب البعض لكنها تروق لي كثيرا. قد يكون مظهر الانسان مهم ولكن الي اي مدي يؤثر مظهرك علي حياتك؟ يستطيع ان يجعلك سعيدا او تعيسا. فيكتوريا الفتاة الذكية البدينة التي لم ترقي لآمال والديها من ناحية المظهر،فهي ليست نحيلة ولا رشيقة كوالدتها ولم تأخذ شيء من مظهر والدها الوسيم . يخبرها والدها انها سُميت فيكتوريا لأنها تشبه الملكة فيكتوريا. بعد قدوم الاخت الصغري التي كانت كما تمني والديها يخبر والدها فيكتوريا انها كانت كيك الاخت بعد التجربة الثانية لدانيال ستيل استطيع الاعتراف ان هذه النوعية من الروايات قد لا تعجب البعض لكنها تروق لي كثيرا. قد يكون مظهر الانسان مهم ولكن الي اي مدي يؤثر مظهرك علي حياتك؟ يستطيع ان يجعلك سعيدا او تعيسا. فيكتوريا الفتاة الذكية البدينة التي لم ترقي لآمال والديها من ناحية المظهر،فهي ليست نحيلة ولا رشيقة كوالدتها ولم تأخذ شيء من مظهر والدها الوسيم . يخبرها والدها انها سُميت فيكتوريا لأنها تشبه الملكة فيكتوريا. بعد قدوم الاخت الصغري التي كانت كما تمني والديها يخبر والدها فيكتوريا انها كانت كيك الاختبار. تشك انها ابنتهم بالتبني لأنها لا تشبههم. كيف يمكن مواجهة هذه الضغوطات؟وهل بستطيع الانسان ان يجعل نفسه سعيدا مهما كان مظهره ؟ قد تستطيع بضع كلمات تحطيم انسان ولكن هل تستطيع بضع كلمات اخري اعادته للحياة؟ هل عليك فقط ان تكون نفسك ام عليك محاولة ارضاء من حولك؟ دراما اجتماعية راقية واسلوب سلس. رواية مميزة تستحق القراءة.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Brooke

    A friend recommended this book, because I'm interested in the topic of people losing weight. What a disappointment to find out that this bestselling novel is horribly, criminally flawed! First, the author commits the cardinal sin of telling, not showing, all the way through the book, from the beginning to the end. One example: the main character Victoria goes and gets therapy for her deep seated anxiety. Apart from a few lines of dialogue between her and the therapist, the entire episode is narr A friend recommended this book, because I'm interested in the topic of people losing weight. What a disappointment to find out that this bestselling novel is horribly, criminally flawed! First, the author commits the cardinal sin of telling, not showing, all the way through the book, from the beginning to the end. One example: the main character Victoria goes and gets therapy for her deep seated anxiety. Apart from a few lines of dialogue between her and the therapist, the entire episode is narrated. And after this first all-important session with her therapist, all the sessions over the next six months are summarized in an author-omniscient sentence or two. Wait a minute, what happens between the therapist and Victoria in those difficult and tormented sessions? How does Victoria's attitude toward her problems change? Weren't these things of any interest? This is boring! I'm angry! Another thing that disappointed me was the lack of shattering glass. All the way through the book I was dying to have Victoria confront her parents. I wanted her to throw something. I wanted to see the windows shattering. I wasted my time. It never happens. So what am I reading this book for? I was thinking all the way through. Where is the story? The author leaves out the story entirely, because the story would have been the fireworks that occurred when Victoria stood up to her parents. I want to watch how they react when she tells them to their face how evil they are. I want to see her character unfold and see what great stuff she's made of. But I'm in the wrong book. The confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist never happens. Equally annoying in this book is the constant repetition of themes, key words and events, as if the reader can't keep more than a few details straight. I find it hard to believe that Danielle Steel actually wrote this book. Where was the editor whose job it was to make sure there would be some meaty confrontational stuff and some fireworks in the book? These are mysteries.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Llerena

    Usually when a child is first born, the parents are nothing more than appreciative and grateful for their newest creation that have brought into this world. Well, that wasn’t the case for girls such as Victoria (protagonist). The second Victoria came out of her mother’s woom, that same instant all her parents desired to do was rewind everything in their life from the second she was born to the night she was conceived. Victoria had the most stunning blue eyes and flawless blonde ringlets but, the Usually when a child is first born, the parents are nothing more than appreciative and grateful for their newest creation that have brought into this world. Well, that wasn’t the case for girls such as Victoria (protagonist). The second Victoria came out of her mother’s woom, that same instant all her parents desired to do was rewind everything in their life from the second she was born to the night she was conceived. Victoria had the most stunning blue eyes and flawless blonde ringlets but, the only flaw that really seemed to take interest in her parents was that she was on the chunkier side and didn’t even look one thing like her parents. Growing up in a judgmental town such like L.A. That meant bad things coming her way, and it just so happened that’s how life did appear to be for her. She lives all her life being critiqued on how she didn’t come out like the spitting image of her rich, beautiful, high class parents (antagonists). What is even worse is that her own family degrades her for it the most, so awful in which her dad only refers to their first born child as, “our tester cake”. Then, fate falls upon their family, and they have another child. Grace isn’t a disappointment at all, Victoria’s parents absolutely adore her and do everything for her. She is the child that will make them look good and the child they can brag about, unlike Victoria. Gracie was exquisite as a newborn and was even in baby commercials before she could walk. She looked exactly like both of her parent’s, dark haired with dark eyes. Victoria was so grateful that Gracie had come into her family; she loved Gracie to death, but as Grace became everything. Victoria had no other choice but to fall deeper behind Gracie’s shadow during which she wants nothing more than to get away and move miles and miles away from her parents and city the first opportunity she got. That being, the year college came around instead of staying close to home Victoria went states away far to the east in Illinois. Northwestern University becomes her new home for the next four years, she got the most exceptional grades, took time for herself, had a little freedom to do what she wanted, free from being criticized, a relationship that failed with a guy that began to grow on her and more college experiences. More than anything she missed her baby sister, so occasionally she would go and visit her family again and as always her sister and mother maintained their perfect figure all their life, while weight was a never ending battle for Victoria even throughout college. When she would comeback Victoria would inform her parents of her incredible academic achievements, but all they ever had to say was, “You’ve gained weight”, or “Do you have a boyfriend yet?” Nothing else seemed to matter to their narcissistic brains but to embarrass their baby girl with such belittling comments. She knew that she would always feel like a failure to them both on every level for as long as she lived. Then, the moment Victoria had waited for. She has been given the chance to become her dream job, a high school teacher at a very high class private school in New York. She is insanely amazing at her job, and all her students crave her teaching style and absolutely love her. Even at that, her parents still don’t approve of what she is making of her life. Regardless of her extreme accomplishments they always seem to know exactly what to say to bring their own daughter down. But someone very crucial in Victoria’s life, her sister Grace (protagonist) pays no attention to her parent’s comments about her older sister. She progressively is always there for her sister, helping her fight her battles of self esteem and her weight issues that keep coming back no matter how hard she tries when she is away( man vs. self) and encourage her along her side and loves her unconditionally no matter what people thought about her throughout the family. As grace grows up even more and as she goes through college. A few years later, she announces to the family that she is engaged and in Victoria’s eyes. A man exactly like her father, Victoria wants to make sure her sister is making the right choice for herself and not just to please her parents. The wedding creeps closer and the family finally stumbles upon betrayal and some family confrontation which leads to so very critical issues. Still stands the neglected, charmed, intelligent girl, with no man of her own with a self esteem that has been severely damaged by her family. Not even sweets can cure her pain no more like they used too. She faces great challenges, and moments of risk but somehow within herself maybe Victoria will learn to just be grateful for the things she has done even if special people like her parents aren’t. Can she learn to be accepting of herself even if the others around her cant. Will she find somebody that will love her for who she truly is and make her feel proud of the person she has become? I extremely recommend this book, it is heartfelt, emotional and fiction that comes along with a great memo. That you shouldn’t love someone more than another or treat others differently because of how beautiful and skinny they are, but care for them because of the heart and mind they carry within themselves. To add on to that, this book can also teach parents that you should love a child unconditionally no matter how they come out the day they are born. They are your own and always will be, so it’s important to make them feel that way too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen Chase

    I picked this up as only one of two choices at Wal-Mart before I headed out of town. Usually Danielle Steel is a good bet; however, except for the fact that I have to finish every book I start, I would have quit on this one after the first CD. This book was terribly shallow, I didn't connect with any of the characters and the writing style was not what I expected. Victoria is constantly put down by her parents, especially after her perfect younger sister is born. But it is all about looks, size a I picked this up as only one of two choices at Wal-Mart before I headed out of town. Usually Danielle Steel is a good bet; however, except for the fact that I have to finish every book I start, I would have quit on this one after the first CD. This book was terribly shallow, I didn't connect with any of the characters and the writing style was not what I expected. Victoria is constantly put down by her parents, especially after her perfect younger sister is born. But it is all about looks, size and weight. The parents were completely unbelievable. But Victoria never got any backbone until she met the perfect guy. Sorry, but I would have wanted to cheer for her if she had been able to face her parents on her own without the perfect guy. Plus, why would Collin really want to be with Victoria, when she clearly didn't think that much of herself. As for the writing style, there were long passages of descriptions of the story, almost instead of the story itself. This is what it was like: Victoria unlocked her door, and entered the building. She pushed the elevator button and waiting for it to arrive. Victoria stepped inside and pressed the button for the third floor. Blah, blah, blah, who cares?? The elevator ride is nothing to the story. I do not recommend this book - what a disappointment from Dannielle Steel and what a waste of my time in the car!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fallon

    This was my original choice for my Psychology/English paper. Barnes and Noble said it was out of stock in the store, so I ordered it online. I went shopping for a back up book in the meantime and found Wintergirls. I’m so glad I did. I found my favorite author, a favorite book, and a life-changing story. Wintergirls made me want to get better. Big Girl triggered me like crazy. I was so excited to read this. Danielle Steele was supposed to be so fabulous, and I loved the idea of an entire novel ad This was my original choice for my Psychology/English paper. Barnes and Noble said it was out of stock in the store, so I ordered it online. I went shopping for a back up book in the meantime and found Wintergirls. I’m so glad I did. I found my favorite author, a favorite book, and a life-changing story. Wintergirls made me want to get better. Big Girl triggered me like crazy. I was so excited to read this. Danielle Steele was supposed to be so fabulous, and I loved the idea of an entire novel addressing body image issues and how people’s comments can affect a woman’s self-esteem. The back of the book promised that Victoria would finally confront her incredibly selfish, verbally and emotionally abusive parents. It never happened. The book was very redundant. I wanted to slap Steele for allowing the beautiful, intelligent, Victoria be a doormat for her parents. The book triggered me because the parents were ALWAYS pointing out what she was doing wrong, calling her fat, and pointing out what THEY didn’t like about her body. Please DON’T read it, especially if you’re a curvy girl with an eating disorder like me. Fallon

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cristi

    I read every book that Danielle Steel writes; however, I'm beginning to wonder why I waste my time and money! Big Girl, like most of her recent novels, is extremely repetitive with little to no character development. She tries to fill up 300+ pages with only 100 pages of plot. She repeats herself so many times that I found myself saying out loud "I get it! Her dad is cruel, her mother is weak, her sister is spoiled, and she thinks she's fat. Please don't tell me again!" There is no climax and th I read every book that Danielle Steel writes; however, I'm beginning to wonder why I waste my time and money! Big Girl, like most of her recent novels, is extremely repetitive with little to no character development. She tries to fill up 300+ pages with only 100 pages of plot. She repeats herself so many times that I found myself saying out loud "I get it! Her dad is cruel, her mother is weak, her sister is spoiled, and she thinks she's fat. Please don't tell me again!" There is no climax and the story ends with no resolution. Her publisher must keep printing her books because she's "Danielle Steel", but I really must question their judgment of quality work. Plus, her editor and agent must not read her books anymore! I have to think that Danielle Steel fans will eventually stop buying her books if she doesn't step up her game soon. You can only throw your money away on nonsense so many times!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ginger Voight

    Yeah, I'm calling it on page 197. Let me preface this review by saying that I grew up on Danielle Steel, who wrote some of my favorite books of all time (Full Circle, Family Album, Palomino.) I have loved many of her books, where I got to live vicariously through her glamorous characters throughout many different exciting and angst-ridden experiences. Looks like I'm going to have to dig out those old copies and re-read them because the things I used to love about her writing were clearly left in Yeah, I'm calling it on page 197. Let me preface this review by saying that I grew up on Danielle Steel, who wrote some of my favorite books of all time (Full Circle, Family Album, Palomino.) I have loved many of her books, where I got to live vicariously through her glamorous characters throughout many different exciting and angst-ridden experiences. Looks like I'm going to have to dig out those old copies and re-read them because the things I used to love about her writing were clearly left in the rear view mirror for "Big Girl." Honestly it felt like the story was phoned in to sell some books, tapping into a specific niche gaining ground in the publishing world. Romance readers no longer buy into the BS that you have to be a perfect size 4 to find love. There's room for all shapes and sizes, which opens up a lot of opportunities for storytellers who are ready to embrace the imperfect. Clearly this was a struggle for Danielle Steel, proving the old adage "write what you know" remains as true as ever. Not every writer is meant to write every book, and that was absolutely the case here. (Following are minor spoilers and a major rant.) Ms. Steel dramatically veers away from her fabulously beautiful and slender heroine prototype. Instead she introduces us to Victoria, a girl hated from BIRTH (prior to any weight issues,) for not being pretty enough. You read that right. A newborn baby girl was derided for not... being pretty... enough. Welcome to the world of "Big Girl." Steel goes on to tell this tale in a glossy overview, rather than active voice. All those famous tales of angst (Zoya, for instance) were merely an echo in "Big Girl." Instead, what she used to do in one chapter (overview catching the reader up to speed on the story she's trying to tell,) she did almost exclusively throughout the book. This level of "glossing over" is clearly sleight of hand, in which she's attempting to tell a story without any real confidence in the subject matter, hence the "phoned in" feeling I got as a reader. Worse, the "telling" of the story, rather than the "showing," was painfully redundant. We get hit with the same message again and again. Her parents were a-holes, they verbally and emotionally abused her as "jokes" or "helpful" advice, so naturally she finds her comfort in emotional overeating, which makes the situation worse. Only we didn't really get to see how her decisions impacted the world around her, or in fact molded her character, which they absolutely would have. Steel glossed over Victoria's childhood for the first three chapters, which was a huge misstep. Why tell this part of the story unless it was to demonstrate what motivates her and what challenges her? There has to be SOMETHING more than just being teased by a jerk of a father. One lone voice, even from a parent, wouldn't have been enough to do the trick. How did the world around her drill this mindset home, forever cementing it in her psyche? Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of this, despite the fertile ground to toil. I can only guess it is because DS doesn't understand one fundamental truth: being "big" affects every single aspect of your life, not just your love life. The reason it affects your love life is because it so seriously undermines everything else, courtesy of the message that society reinforces (and this book demonstrates page after page after page, though probably not in the way DS intended it.) Anyone who was ever fat in high school knows that it never gets any worse than those four years of hell where you are most harshly judged for "standing out." But instead of being the butt of jokes for superficial boys, the nasty target of girl bullying by pretty, popular girls, the vomit-inducing dilemma of PE requirements and prom, all we ever got to see was how crappy her parents treated her. There were no outcast friends, no nasty frenemies, all we got, again and again, was the family dynamic where her perfect parents favored her perfect sister and treated her like crap because she was big. It is almost as if you removed her folks entirely, she'd have it made. Their approval was set up as a major driving force, but how did this change her, really? How did this motivate her? What was in these first, formative years to *drive* the plot forward, to give our heroine something to fight for, or an enemy to defeat? By page 197, I really couldn't tell you what her motivation is, or what her goals are. What she wanted she usually got, and she didn't have to change or suffer for any of it. If she pined over anything, even her parents' approval, it wasn't clearly defined. Instead she seemed perfectly willing to meander along in her life as a passive footnote, casually and as superficially as the author herself as she weaves the tale. Not only did Victoria have a pretty peaceful high school experience, she went on to graduate Northwestern and nab her dream job teaching at a prestigious private school in Manhattan, AND land an apartment within walking distance, all right out of the gate without any real obstacle. Everything comes easily for Victoria, including her relationship with the sister she probably should have resented. There was one glaring exception for the audience, however. This romance novel has precious little romance. Here's where Danielle Steel fails the "Rubenesque" romance genre she attempted to conquer, a place where authors like Jennifer Weiner and Jasinda Wilder have already carved specific niches. Thin writers who attempt to "understand" the specific journey of a plus-sized woman buy into certain stereotypes, which aren't necessarily a common experience for all women of size. They get the low self-esteem, they can even empathize to some degree how that low self-esteem came to be. But they assume, incorrectly, that big girls are dating ingenues who are clueless, dateless and completely without game. They assume, incorrectly, that we're SOL finding a man willing to overlook our big sin of being... well, big. By no surprise, this is where this non-story falls apart. The way it was told, one of two things would motivate Victoria's behavior and her choices. She either believes what she has been told, or she doesn't. As such she would have either imploded in self-destruction or exploded in self-exploration, just to prove them right or wrong. If she believes she's more than what her parents see, then she would find confidence (or rebellion) to branch out with other relationships, including men. Anecdotally speaking, she would have probably gone for older men to get the approval that was glaringly missing from her dad. This desire to prove her parents wrong would make her much more proactive in her life to claim what her parents had long denied she could have, just like her career and her schooling. (And dating in college, up to and including losing her virginity, would have reinforced this.) If she DOES believe what her parents have told her, then she would never have had the confidence to chase after her defiant dream to do what her father said she couldn't/shouldn't do. Her self-loathing would have devolved into self-destructive behavior up to and including promiscuity. But instead, she faced more doubt over a guy asking her out on a date than she did applying to an exclusive private school fresh out of college. The confidence it takes to pick up and move across the country to one of the biggest cities in the world translates to every area, just like the passivity of accepting her father's treatment would likewise cripple her existence. Someone who has that arrow in her quiver is perfectly able to go on a first date with a guy without it devolving into a "does he like me, or LIKE like me?" adolescent dilemma. This was, in fact, where I gave up on this particular book. I had zero confidence that the author could weave a realistic *and respectful* tale of romance. Instead, Ms. Steel represented her plus-size heroine as an emotional adolescent when it came to men. The first man to show her some interest in NYC has her telling anyone that could possibly listen how this guy couldn't POSSIBLY ask her on a date because she's fat, in conversations that could have been lifted out of any high school lunch room. This, after almost zero high school angst, graduating a top university AND landing her dream job with little to no drama, and having a healthy, positive relationship with her younger sister. She should have had SOME measure of confidence, but the world Danielle Steel set up for her doesn't reinforce that. Even her gay friends, which have always been my most supportive group despite my size, had something negative to say about her size. Page 153/154 "I'm the odd man out in my family too," she admitted. "They're all thin people with brown eyes and dark hair. I'm the family freak. My father always gives me a hard time about my weight. My mother leaves clippings on my desk about new diets." "That's mean," Harlan said sadly, although he had noticed the things and the quantities she ate when she was tired or depressed. He thought she had a pretty face and great legs, despite the generous middle. But in spite of it, she was a good-looking woman. *** (emphasis mine) This inner dialogue comes from her FRIEND, a gay man, which means the only message repeating, loud and clear, is that being big is a flaw one must overlook to love her. Thanks to the complete LACK of positive relationships in her life, aside from her sister, this message is hammered home every single time DS misses the chance to couple her with a man who is actually straight. If her heroine had been slender, she'd have been married twice and widowed once by page 197. But poor Victoria? Not so much. In fact, of the two "boys" she dated after the gay guy, we were informed IN A PARAGRAPH that she "lost her virginity" to one, but DS doesn't quite tell us if this guy was handsome, ordinary, or an alien from Mars. We know nothing at all, as if it wasn't a significant event. Hello?? This was the first time a man validated a young woman with low-self esteem through sexual attention. THIS. WOULD BE. HUGE. And if it wasn't huge... then some guy asking for her email to ask her out wouldn't be. All it boils down to is this: Steel doesn't understand her own heroine. She almost seems to view her as pathetic as her parents do, and for the same reasons. She gives her no real strength to speak of, despite her many accomplishments. Only Victoria is not pathetic. She's not even really "fat." In a Danielle Steel Universe, where women survived the turbulent 60s, rape, abuse, almost every modern war and the Titanic sinking, Victoria's main problem to overcome? The fact she's just a bit bigger than her "perfect" family, gaining and losing the same 20 or so pounds over and over again. ::facepalm:: Had Steel plumbed the depths a little more in Victoria's high school and college years, some of these major flaws could have been fixed because Victoria HERSELF would have been fixed. She remains a victim, and weak, for most of the narrative. Ms. Steel may feel that being big in a slender-loving world is a tragic plot for her heroine to overcome, but that only skims the surface of what plus-size women experience in a lifetime, especially when it comes to romance. Yes, there is a lot of criticism, but it isn't ONLY criticism. And yes, many men are not sexually attracted to "big girls" but a good many *are.* It really doesn't take a lot of work to find them. I managed a long list of supportive friends and attentive lovers and I was way bigger than Victoria. So I find it highly implausible that, by the age of 23, Victoria hadn't found one legitimate relationship to challenge the damage her parents did to her, especially since she had the balls to move across the country all by her lonesome to chase a forbidden dream. Yet, thanks to the infernal glossing over of all these experiences, we never got to see ANY of that. There were roughly 20K people at Northwestern alone to challenge this false assumption, yet there were no teachers, no friends, no boyfriends... no one "normal" could see her or did see her for what she really was, to show her that her family's disapproval was misplaced. Not one significant relationship emerged from this glossed over era in our heroine's life, especially in the area of sexual growth. Which indicates that Steel either doesn't think big girls deserve romance or doesn't know how to write it because she doesn't think the same rules apply. (Hint: They do.) Victoria crosses paths with thousands upon thousands of people, in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City, but Steel reinforces this same tired stereotype that being big equals being alone by keeping her - wait for it - ALONE. This indicates to me one glaring, unforgivable conclusion: Danielle Steel HERSELF believed fat to be Victoria's fatal flaw, making her own romance heroine "undateable" and "un-romanceable" for a good chunk of her story. As a "big" girl, I found this disrespectful and condescending. If you are looking to read a story about a plus-size heroine, I would definitely recommend you look elsewhere. There are plenty of writers who understand these experiences, have lived these experiences, and can write - realistically - about what it is like to find love and acceptance no matter what size you happen to be. For Ms. Steel, it was a complete miss.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    Ok so here's the story... I have been a huge fan of Danielle Steel since I can remember. She was my favorite author as a pre-teen and a teenager. I have soooo many favorites by her such as "Daddy" One of the most heart warming books and yes it made me cry. I believe Alan Thicke played in it when it was made into a movie..."No greater Love" "Jewels" all great books… However; Big Girl didn't impress me much at ALL! I was actually disappointed, because I predicted the book from the start. She made V Ok so here's the story... I have been a huge fan of Danielle Steel since I can remember. She was my favorite author as a pre-teen and a teenager. I have soooo many favorites by her such as "Daddy" One of the most heart warming books and yes it made me cry. I believe Alan Thicke played in it when it was made into a movie..."No greater Love" "Jewels" all great books… However; Big Girl didn't impress me much at ALL! I was actually disappointed, because I predicted the book from the start. She made Victoria into such a victim throughout the whole book, that whenever I read about her in another scene, I already knew. So Victoria was born to two college sweethearts. Her father is such an A**... Because his daughter was born with blond hair and blue eyes and didn't look like them, he always made fun of his daughter and basically told her in such little words that she was ugly, also flat out told her that she was fat and no one would want her because of it. Then her mom was a spineless skinny woman that believed her husband was never wrong and had the same feelings towards her daughter that her husband had as well. Now she was given a sister Grace at around age 7 or 8. Her sister was born looking just like her parents and Victoria didn't look like either of her parents. Grace got all the good looks, perfect parents and even better sister. She was the apple of their eyes. Victoria graduated from college with her bachelor’s degree, immediately started working at the best private school in NYC. But nothing she ever did was good enough for her parents. It didn't matter to Victoria that she had friends that loved her and supported her. Even as she found a hot guy who was interested in her for whom she was. He didn't see the "poor big girl." He was someone positive in her life. But the way Danielle finished the book, she didn't give you much but to imagine what happens to them in the long run. Basically this book made me feel like "oh poor fat rich girl" no one loves her. I just didn't feel drawn to the story, the characters, nothing. Only thing I felt was that the father was an A** and the mother was a spineless woman... lol I honestly feel disappointed in this book. Her older books are soo good. I feel like my time was wasted on this one. Sorry Danielle, but this is only an opinion of a "poor big girl."

  20. 5 out of 5

    shuurei

    I find the book very realistic. Sometimes society dictates that everything has something to do with the figure. You don't get the job because the employer find you not pleasing, you don't get a boyfriend because being fat is associated with being ugly or your parents' comments most of the time adds insult to the injury. Nobody can understand Victoria if the reader herself is experiencing the same thing. I admit that it was annoying to read Victoria promising to lose weight then breaks it by eati I find the book very realistic. Sometimes society dictates that everything has something to do with the figure. You don't get the job because the employer find you not pleasing, you don't get a boyfriend because being fat is associated with being ugly or your parents' comments most of the time adds insult to the injury. Nobody can understand Victoria if the reader herself is experiencing the same thing. I admit that it was annoying to read Victoria promising to lose weight then breaks it by eating more and gaining more than she shed off - that's her way of venting her depression. She tried her best to please her parents by doing excellent at school and trying out ridiculous weight lose teas or whatever means she could possibly do just to shed off some pounds. I completely understand the frustration of putting too much effort and yet it remained unrecognized furthermore ridiculed by my own father. I can't understand such parents exist. Frankly, they should be blamed for their daughter's low self-esteem. I find Victoria a strong woman who led a meaningful life. And she was able to find a man who loves her for who she is. This is my first time reading ms. Stelle's book and I liked the way she portrayed the heroine. Many people who will the book might learned that beauty is from within. :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Little

    Life is full of ups and downs. Abuse comes in many forms. Physical abuse and emotional abuse are much too common in this world. There are a number of loving individuals out there who hold deep secrets that have left scar tissue in their heart and soul. Sometimes people don't realize what an impact snide, rude, insulting comments leave on a person. In this book you will meet a number of people who have (without knowing) deomoralized a young lady who has nothing but kindness in her heart. Her youn Life is full of ups and downs. Abuse comes in many forms. Physical abuse and emotional abuse are much too common in this world. There are a number of loving individuals out there who hold deep secrets that have left scar tissue in their heart and soul. Sometimes people don't realize what an impact snide, rude, insulting comments leave on a person. In this book you will meet a number of people who have (without knowing) deomoralized a young lady who has nothing but kindness in her heart. Her younger sister is seven years her junior and steals their parents heart! Victoria does not take this out on her new baby sister. She loves her and will become more of a parent than her own were for her. This is unlike any other book by this author, although many reviews have given her poor ratings on this title, I believe it is uplifting and a change of pace. Spice is the variety of life, it is what makes the world go around. We cannot all be the same. With that I will say that you will learn from this book. Be careful what you say and how you say it. You very well could be doing more harm than good. You will find out that you are not alone and there is "a lid for every pot". An easy read and very entertaining, especially if you can relate to any of the characters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Min Li Li

    Yazarı ilk kez okudum.Kalemi basit olsada kendisini okutturuyor.Devam edeceğim okumaya. :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Sheila

    My first Danielle Steel ever and I want to love this book so bad but.. Victoria's life is not miserable but nor happy either. She always feel left out, alone and unloved because her looks is different than her mom, dad and her little sister, Grace. She's chubby while all of her family are slim, she has blond hair while the rest is dark and not to mention her parents treat her also differently. Victoria grow up to be a mature woman and in that moment, she struggle about her looks, her heart and h My first Danielle Steel ever and I want to love this book so bad but.. Victoria's life is not miserable but nor happy either. She always feel left out, alone and unloved because her looks is different than her mom, dad and her little sister, Grace. She's chubby while all of her family are slim, she has blond hair while the rest is dark and not to mention her parents treat her also differently. Victoria grow up to be a mature woman and in that moment, she struggle about her looks, her heart and her future. This book is good, to be honest. I enjoyed the plot, I liked how kind Victoria toward her little sister despite everything that happened to her. But I'm disappointed. Seriously disappointed. Victoria, to me, is a spineless, ungrateful and "doormat". Why? Because (view spoiler)[even though she already has a good friends, stable job, awesome apartment and INCREDIBLE boyfriend, she still can't make herself heard by her family. I mean, in the end of the story, she should be this fearless and confident woman, yet she's not. She still be this quiet and mousy woman who hides behind her boyfriend (hide spoiler)] . I understand why, really. I'm a big girl myself, but I'm glad that I have a very supportive mom and sister that never made remarks or awful comments. Basically people around me are wonderful. What I do relate to Victoria are, her insecurity and her up-and-down weight. So at some point, I liked this book. But the rest? No. I'm so mad at her for not trying more for "saving" her sister, for keep quiet when her father mocking her and for not defending herself. I mean, if I were her.. Seriously, I would definitely defend myself. I hate the ending, I wish there'd be a better closure than this. I want to read more about her future with Collin and Grace's future. It's almost like the author is rushing to finish this book. Not satisfying at all. Overall I enjoyed this book, just not that much. I also not sure if I want to read another Danielle Steel's book. Am I picking the wrong book to start?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    By far, my favorite Danielle Steel book. I felt so bad for Victoria and her weight problem. The fact that her parents were cruel is so typical. We see a lot of this kind of behavior on shows like Toddlers and Tiaras where these mothers want their children to be beauty queens, and skinny like super models. But they don't get that fact that they're just kids and they need to live their own lives. This is why I think a lot of children wind up trouble makers and drug addicts. They can't live up to t By far, my favorite Danielle Steel book. I felt so bad for Victoria and her weight problem. The fact that her parents were cruel is so typical. We see a lot of this kind of behavior on shows like Toddlers and Tiaras where these mothers want their children to be beauty queens, and skinny like super models. But they don't get that fact that they're just kids and they need to live their own lives. This is why I think a lot of children wind up trouble makers and drug addicts. They can't live up to these high expectations their parents set. I do feel that one parent normally makes all of the decisions and acts as leader while the other one just lets it happen like Jim and Christine. Christine just went along with what Jim was doing because she didn't want to get her hands dirty. She'd rather be blameless in every situation because she didn't want to deal with it. I felt bad for Grace that she had to marry a rich man just to appease her condescending parents. Victoria should have had move away with her and find someone in New York that wasn't like their father. Overall, I gave this book 5 stars. I wish I could give it more.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This is the first Danielle Steele book that I have ever read. I have to say that I deeply enjoyed it...although, I would have liked to have read a more complete ending. After reading this book I feel so blessed to have been born to such supportive loving parents. This story is about a girl named Victoria. Her parents named her after queen Victoria. It wasn't until Victoria was about 6 and saw the first picture of queen Victoria that she realized how her parents really saw her. She was different. This is the first Danielle Steele book that I have ever read. I have to say that I deeply enjoyed it...although, I would have liked to have read a more complete ending. After reading this book I feel so blessed to have been born to such supportive loving parents. This story is about a girl named Victoria. Her parents named her after queen Victoria. It wasn't until Victoria was about 6 and saw the first picture of queen Victoria that she realized how her parents really saw her. She was different. She was very white with blonde hair and blue eyes. Her parents had another baby when Victoria was 7 and Victoria loved her baby sister. Her sister Grace was beautiful and looked exactly like both get parents, olive skin, brown hair and brown eyes. Her father and mother never fail to put her down and belittle her. This story is about acceptance and love of one self. How important it is to be yourself and love who you are. I do hope that there is or will be another book to this. I would love to see how Graces life ends up and I would lobe to see Victoria tell her parents how truely cruel they have treated her. Would have loved for them to have truely gotten theirs.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Williams

    I have never read a Danielle Steel book. I got given this book for Christmas, and decided to read it. I don't like novels that focus on romance alone, usually preferring paranormal romance instead. This book wasn't purely about romance so that was a plus. About the only plus, I might add. I am a writer, and the first thing I noticed is the fact that the story is told and not shown. Her writing is boring and unimaginative, one-dimensional, and (not completely, but not far off) emotionless. She do I have never read a Danielle Steel book. I got given this book for Christmas, and decided to read it. I don't like novels that focus on romance alone, usually preferring paranormal romance instead. This book wasn't purely about romance so that was a plus. About the only plus, I might add. I am a writer, and the first thing I noticed is the fact that the story is told and not shown. Her writing is boring and unimaginative, one-dimensional, and (not completely, but not far off) emotionless. She doesn't paint a picture, and I couldn't really relate to any of the characters. Every single one of them, including Victoria, is shallow. Nobody is THAT obsessed with appearance. I am a big girl myself, and have never had the trouble Victoria has had in her lifetime. It just seemed very unrealistic to me. I give it two stars. I finished it, which means it wasn't too bad, despite my criticism. The ending was happy(ish) but didn't tie up enough loose ends for me. Maybe I should try one of her other novels next time.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jodie

    See more reviews at Words Read & Written I found the writing quite repetitive. Things were implied and then repeated over and over, which was annoying because I think readers are smart enough to pick up subtle cues without each point being drilled home. I finished the novel without really knowing what to think of it. It was frustrating because Victoria didn't seem to get anywhere. I just wanted her to have a good go at her dad and she never did, instead her boyfriend spoke for her which was a See more reviews at Words Read & Written I found the writing quite repetitive. Things were implied and then repeated over and over, which was annoying because I think readers are smart enough to pick up subtle cues without each point being drilled home. I finished the novel without really knowing what to think of it. It was frustrating because Victoria didn't seem to get anywhere. I just wanted her to have a good go at her dad and she never did, instead her boyfriend spoke for her which was an odd solution to a 30-year problem because she'd been going on and on about how much she hated her sisters boyfriend speaking for her, and yet here she was hiding behind her own boyfriend. Most of the novel bugged me in that sort of way. I found Victoria really hypocritical. But it was an enjoyable enough read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    J Jahir

    Es un libro que me ha gustado mucho, muestra perfectamente la relación tóxica que pueden llegar a ocasionar tus propios padres cuando eres comparada con tu propia hermana. Por eso es que estoy en contra de que se haga eso; y lo peor es que los padres jamás creen en el daño tan fuerte que su conducta y sus comentarios rrovocan en sus hijos. Y Danielle Steel te lo desarrolla de manera muy clara. Vemos a Victoria cómo desde niña queda marcada como la "diferente", la "excluida", la "receta mal prepa Es un libro que me ha gustado mucho, muestra perfectamente la relación tóxica que pueden llegar a ocasionar tus propios padres cuando eres comparada con tu propia hermana. Por eso es que estoy en contra de que se haga eso; y lo peor es que los padres jamás creen en el daño tan fuerte que su conducta y sus comentarios rrovocan en sus hijos. Y Danielle Steel te lo desarrolla de manera muy clara. Vemos a Victoria cómo desde niña queda marcada como la "diferente", la "excluida", la "receta mal preparada", como la define el estúpido de su padre, que es el que más la hiere, encargada siempre de cuidar a su hermana menor. Victoria crece con ello y tiene que ir encontrando su camino, incluso en su vocación, que por cieto hasta eso le obligan a desistir. Sus únicas preocupaciones era su vida amorosa, su físico y su carrera. Grace, por el contrario, era la hija modelo, la chica ideal. Aunque quería a su hermana, vivía condicionada por sus padres, y a pesar de eso no se veía que defendiera a su hermana o les pusiera un alto. creo que aunque linda, siento que faltó despertar un poco y desarrollar carácter (de hecho su historia se ve interrumpida al casarse con el chico que había conocido). El único pero que le pongo a la obra es qué la autora no cesaba de repetirnos lo que sabíamos ya de sobra de Victoria; por lo demás, está muy bien hecho y me gusta el desarrollo que le dan, incluso cómo con apoyo va dejando atrás todos esos comlejos que le impusieron sus padres. Recomendable.

  29. 4 out of 5

    BooksTwins

    Es la segundo novela que leo de Steel y la verdad es que me sorprendió gratamente pues la primera novela que leí de ella no me gustó nada y me había hecho la idea de que todas iban a ser del mismo estilo, perooo... "Una gran chica" es la historia de una niña y luego mujer que tiene que aprender a vivir con unos padres horribles que la desprecian y bajo la sombra de su perfecta y hermosa hermana menor, pero apesar de esto ella adora a esta última con toda su alma. Igual por momentos me pareció alg Es la segundo novela que leo de Steel y la verdad es que me sorprendió gratamente pues la primera novela que leí de ella no me gustó nada y me había hecho la idea de que todas iban a ser del mismo estilo, perooo... "Una gran chica" es la historia de una niña y luego mujer que tiene que aprender a vivir con unos padres horribles que la desprecian y bajo la sombra de su perfecta y hermosa hermana menor, pero apesar de esto ella adora a esta última con toda su alma. Igual por momentos me pareció algo enfermiza la vida de la protagonista porque bajo el lema de mejorar a la vista de sus padres se destruía emocionalmente. Pero al final deja un lindo mensaje y eso es lo que vale.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    I thought it was a really good book. Touched on a subject that women deal with every day. My first DS book. I will be reading more in the future. I highly recommend this book.

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