Higgins, Kristan. Good Luck With That. New York: Berkley, 2018.
Paperback | $16.00 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0451489395 | 456 pages | Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction
This is a book that went from being nothing but a blip on my radar, to worrying me intensely, all without reading it, thanks to a few reviews of the book, that criticized it for fat shaming. But as it is often said, literature is subjective, and that is definitely the case with Good Luck With That.
As someone who has long struggled with weight issues, I can understand where these reviewers are coming from. There is so much “well-intentioned” fat shaming out there, that it can be hard to handle such a delicate subject. And given what Higgins wrote about her intent going into Good Luck With That on her blog, it’s obvious that this is something that is very personal to her.
And I’m glad she didn’t sugar coat it, ” while also charting the growth of her characters, for better (Marley and Georgia) or worse (Emerson). Through each of their journeys, I could relate to all of them in small ways. With Emerson, I found myself in shock watching her decline, noticing shades of myself at my worst. I found I also agreed with a truth that she shared in one of her diary entries, that fat people discriminate, not to put down others, but to compare themselves with others, in the sense of, “I’m not that far gone” or “she has it better than me” sort of way.
For that reason, I was initially troubled by the way Emerson’s ballooning weight was shared at various points, while Marley’s and Georgia’s were both kept ambiguous. But regardless of their size, they dealt with issues of self-acceptance too, and it seems to be true that women, regardless of size or weight, are hardwired by what society shows them to base their self-worth entirely on those things and being desperate to find love with someone else to make you feel more complete, instead of finding happiness with oneself. While there are relationships and HEAs in this book, they only happen with both Marley and Georgia have both achieved self-acceptance.
I think this is a book everyone should read, as it might alter their perspectives about themselves, and judgments of others. This is one of those books that really made me think about what I feel about my own body, instead of being in denial about it, and I would love for everyone to have that experience.