Pinch Me
by Maggie Madison, contemporary (2000)
Wordbeams, $3.95, ISBN 1-58785-001-X


Pinch Me is a romance set amidst chocolate-craving and diet pains. Heroine Megan Harrigan is determined to keep away from food and stay under size ten or... keep trying. While staring hungrily at the buffet table, she stumbles upon the really hunky and studly Greg Carling drops into her life. Greg likes her, but darned if Megan doesn't feel worthy of his affections.

Okay, Pinch Me is a comedy. It has two dotty buddies of Megan who matchmake her to Greg, and there's a garish sweatshirt that plays a central role in the relationship between Meg and Greg. But many of the characters never develops beyond point one. Meg is a one-note bag of neuroses while Greg is a one-note trophy for Meg. The secondary characters fare worse: Meg's fellow dieters are forgettable interchangeable happy fuddy-wuddies.

Maybe I'm missing the point - maybe Pinch Me should be looked at as a tale of self-acceptance of one's body image. But there's no way I can overlook the skimpy characterizations and the plot's reliance on increasingly monotonous insecurity of Meg to keep the tale going. Greg does everything he can to reassure her, but she just refuses to accept her self worth. For a while, it's understandable, but after Meg's sad song goes on and on, I tune out.

And is it only me that find it odd that in a tale of acceptance and advocation of alternative body shapes, the hero conforms to ideal Greek God body shape? On one hand, the villains of this story are the stick-thin petite women and the muscular (but not handsome, of course) obnoxious colleague. Then the hero conforms to the very idea of perfection this book is trying hard to break. Talk about getting the priorities screwed up. Or does this sort of acceptance applies only to females?

Pinch Me can be funny at times, but it isn't much of a memorable read.

Rating: 62


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