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With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the wildly popular Straight Up and Dirty offers a powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and embarrassment c With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the wildly popular Straight Up and Dirty offers a powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and embarrassment comes flooding back. Though she is determined to gain the weight for the health of her babies—even if it means she'll "weigh more than a Honda"—she can only express her deep fear by telling her doctor simply, "I used to be fat." Klein was an eighth grader with a weight problem. It was a problem at school, where the boys called her "Moose," and it was a problem at home, where her father reminded her, "No one likes fat girls." After many frustrating sessions with a nutritionist known as the fat doctor of Roslyn Heights, Long Island, Klein's parents enrolled her for a summer at fat camp. Determined to return to school thin and popular, without her "lard arms" and "puckered ham," Stephanie embarked on a memorable journey that would shape more than just her body. It would shape her life. In the ever-shifting terrain between fat and thin, adulthood and childhood, cellulite and starvation, Klein shares the cutting details of what it truly feels like to be an overweight child, from the stinging taunts of classmates, to the off-color remarks of her own father, to her thin mother's compulsive dissatisfaction with her own body. Calling upon her childhood diary entries, Klein reveals her deepest thoughts and feelings from that turbulent, hopeful time, baring her soul and making her heartache palpable. Whether Klein is describing her life as a chubby adolescent camper—getting weighed on a meat scale, petting past curfew, and "chunky dunking" in the lake—or what it's like now as a fit mother, having one-sided conversations with her newborn twins about the therapy they'll one day need, this hilarious yet grippingly vulnerable book will remind you what it was like to feel like an outsider, to desperately seek the right outfit, the right slang, the best comeback, or whatever that unattainable something was that would finally make you fit in.


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With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the wildly popular Straight Up and Dirty offers a powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and embarrassment c With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the wildly popular Straight Up and Dirty offers a powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and embarrassment comes flooding back. Though she is determined to gain the weight for the health of her babies—even if it means she'll "weigh more than a Honda"—she can only express her deep fear by telling her doctor simply, "I used to be fat." Klein was an eighth grader with a weight problem. It was a problem at school, where the boys called her "Moose," and it was a problem at home, where her father reminded her, "No one likes fat girls." After many frustrating sessions with a nutritionist known as the fat doctor of Roslyn Heights, Long Island, Klein's parents enrolled her for a summer at fat camp. Determined to return to school thin and popular, without her "lard arms" and "puckered ham," Stephanie embarked on a memorable journey that would shape more than just her body. It would shape her life. In the ever-shifting terrain between fat and thin, adulthood and childhood, cellulite and starvation, Klein shares the cutting details of what it truly feels like to be an overweight child, from the stinging taunts of classmates, to the off-color remarks of her own father, to her thin mother's compulsive dissatisfaction with her own body. Calling upon her childhood diary entries, Klein reveals her deepest thoughts and feelings from that turbulent, hopeful time, baring her soul and making her heartache palpable. Whether Klein is describing her life as a chubby adolescent camper—getting weighed on a meat scale, petting past curfew, and "chunky dunking" in the lake—or what it's like now as a fit mother, having one-sided conversations with her newborn twins about the therapy they'll one day need, this hilarious yet grippingly vulnerable book will remind you what it was like to feel like an outsider, to desperately seek the right outfit, the right slang, the best comeback, or whatever that unattainable something was that would finally make you fit in.

30 review for Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    I have so many thoughts on this book that I cannot decide where to begin. There’s the subject matter, there’s how the subject matter struck a chord with me personally, there’s the writing style itself, and there’s my thoughts on Stephanie Klein. I suppose I’ll start by saying that, although there were things about the book that I didn’t love, or things that made me uncomfortable, I still enjoyed it immensely and gave it four stars. The thing for me that was so interesting about the book was the l I have so many thoughts on this book that I cannot decide where to begin. There’s the subject matter, there’s how the subject matter struck a chord with me personally, there’s the writing style itself, and there’s my thoughts on Stephanie Klein. I suppose I’ll start by saying that, although there were things about the book that I didn’t love, or things that made me uncomfortable, I still enjoyed it immensely and gave it four stars. The thing for me that was so interesting about the book was the load of memories and revelations it brought up for me. I grew up thinking I was fat and that, although I wasn’t as skinny/bony as a lot of my friends, I really WASN’T FAT. In fact, I can remember skimming through the ads at the back of my Seventeen magazine and reading about fat camps in La Jolla, California and half wanting to ask my mom if I could go and half being embarrassed and afraid she would tell me it was a great idea. This is disturbing on many levels, but my point here is that Moose totally reminded me of that. My reading of Moose happened to coincide with my most recent visit home, during which I plundered through my parents’ storage units (yes, they have storage UNITS. What can I say? They’re collectors. Rob proclaimed the storage-unit day one of the most fascinating things he’s done in a while, since it involved digging through boxes of my childhood toys, admiring my dad’s authentic Ottoman dagger-or-some-other-knifey-thingy, checking out their stash of Turkish rugs, laughing at Mom’s now-boxed-up-but-damn-near-complete collection of Department 56 Snowbabies, and more.). I sat there, flipping through my childhood photo albums and junior high school year books and marveling that I thought I needed to attend fat camp. Oy. But I digress. THe bottom line is that the book is funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Stephanie Klein artfully describes pretty darn adequately what it feels like to be fat - which so many of us can relate to. She also kind of made me wish I could go to a fat camp for grown-ups (but only kind of). And in true Stephanie Klein style, she overshares to the point of making me wonder why she felt the need to tell us all about her early discovery of her sexuality (second grade?! Wow) and her fascination with hardcore porn magazines as a teenager. But when it gets down to it, isn’t that part of why we like Stephanie Klein anyway? That girl is not afraid to lay it all out on the line for us. She is who she is, and who she is is pretty damn brave.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Based on a compilation of several years at "Fat Camp", school and her family relationships, Moose is quite the story by Stephanie Klein. I would be very interested to know what "thin" people think of it. Having always been one of the fat kids and now fat adults, I could relate to much of the story. Her tales of dieting starting at a young age (nutritionist, Weight Watchers, diuretics, etc.), trying to find attractive clothes, wanting to be one of the cool kids, dealing with helpful comments that Based on a compilation of several years at "Fat Camp", school and her family relationships, Moose is quite the story by Stephanie Klein. I would be very interested to know what "thin" people think of it. Having always been one of the fat kids and now fat adults, I could relate to much of the story. Her tales of dieting starting at a young age (nutritionist, Weight Watchers, diuretics, etc.), trying to find attractive clothes, wanting to be one of the cool kids, dealing with helpful comments that sometimes hurt as much as the ones intended to hurt...I've lived through those stories. Klein did lose weight. However, it wasn't the key to happiness that she thought it would be. She found teenage girls can still be incredibly catty, teenage boys insensitive and out for one thing if they can get it and life's issues didn't miraculously disappear with the weight. What made me sad was that I don't think Klein can allow herself to be happy despite the fact that she's got a great husband, two kids and a good career. She's still obsessed with her weight and now also obsessed with not passing on the craziness of that to her kids. Not that I don't have my own obsessions or craziness (many people can tell you that I do) but, I don't let the knowledge that I'm fat affect how I feel about my accomplishments, my friends, my family or my general life. Klein still seems to think of herself as fat as her overwhelming trait. I can forget about it and I can think of many other descriptors I would use about myself. Though, fat does fall into that list of adjectives. Maybe if I were ever thin, I'd be different. I'd like to think not.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    A very depressing book. She has a unique and kind of unlikeable writing style.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    It wasn't quite as spot on as Straight Up and Dirty, but I'm wondering, in retrospect, if that is because her honesty was oftentimes infuriating. But that's the point, I assume: to admit that when a friend addresses the question of weight (that of your twins in the NICU), to assume she is questioning yours; to admit to never being completely healthy once you've had disordered eating... ever; to be honest about being your most miserable at your skinniest, and your happiest when fat. While reading It wasn't quite as spot on as Straight Up and Dirty, but I'm wondering, in retrospect, if that is because her honesty was oftentimes infuriating. But that's the point, I assume: to admit that when a friend addresses the question of weight (that of your twins in the NICU), to assume she is questioning yours; to admit to never being completely healthy once you've had disordered eating... ever; to be honest about being your most miserable at your skinniest, and your happiest when fat. While reading these pages, what I wanted to do most was scowl nastily at Stephanie behind her back, to avoid at all costs admitting the dreaded fact that I see myself in her. But in the end all I could do was admire her "love me or leave me alone" honesty in her writing and in her life. Also, there's this: "'You shouldn't wear a black bra under a white shirt, sweetie,' Jared lectured softly as I wiped his saliva from just above my upper lip. 'It's trashy.' Jared had a mullet, wore a thick gold necklace, and pronounced 'doing' as if it had no g. Apparently he was an authority. Who the hell are you? I thought. It's not even a bra; it's a bathing suit--and I'm the girl. Don't you think I know I shouldn't wear black beneath white? You ass-munch. I was crazy about him." These are the stellar bits that I loved in Straight Up and Dirty. My only real complaint about this book is that there weren't more of these.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Being an adolescent girl is hard, being a fat adolescent girl is even harder... There are few things in life as embarassing as being the fat kid. Everyone sees the class pictures, the lonely lunches and the sweat stained t-shirts in gym class. However, though as zoftig as she may be at home, she's one of the hot girls at fat camp, dozens of pounds lighter than most of the other campers. But all is not well at fat camp. There are social and sexual fumblings, as well as firsthand, backstabbing and b Being an adolescent girl is hard, being a fat adolescent girl is even harder... There are few things in life as embarassing as being the fat kid. Everyone sees the class pictures, the lonely lunches and the sweat stained t-shirts in gym class. However, though as zoftig as she may be at home, she's one of the hot girls at fat camp, dozens of pounds lighter than most of the other campers. But all is not well at fat camp. There are social and sexual fumblings, as well as firsthand, backstabbing and breakups, as well as a triumphant weight loss and rumor-laden return home. Fat camp and Klein's 'big' childhood are put into perspective as Klein, a now pregnant-with-twins-woman, is told by her doctor that she has to gain weight. Klein takes readers into the trenches of the weight battle with Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp. Readers that have sometimes been fat and those who are always fat will find a champion in Klein, or at least those who want to get thinner. I gave this a 5 stars based on the writing and process, and the fact that I liked the ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anna Karras

    I was intrigued by this title. As one who was always a little chubby, I was always curious as to what went on at those fat camps. I had read Jelly Belly as a child, and wondered how it measured up. Instead of kids finding ways to sneak food all the time, the majority of kids at the fat camp attended by Stephanie Klein really worked hard to shed their weight so they wouldn't be picked on at school. Klein has a great voice - witty and sharp, and totally self-deprecating. She spared no embarrassing d I was intrigued by this title. As one who was always a little chubby, I was always curious as to what went on at those fat camps. I had read Jelly Belly as a child, and wondered how it measured up. Instead of kids finding ways to sneak food all the time, the majority of kids at the fat camp attended by Stephanie Klein really worked hard to shed their weight so they wouldn't be picked on at school. Klein has a great voice - witty and sharp, and totally self-deprecating. She spared no embarrassing details and always was brutally honest about feelings and situations. Fat camp is not for wimps. Grueling exercise regimes, paltry meals, and weekly weigh-ins almost took the fun out of summer flings, pranks, and friendship. Almost. Recommended for anyone who has obsessed about their weight.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    When I started this book, I thought it would be a quick, easy read to get me out of the reading slump I've been in. I like memoirs, especially when the author has overcome some hard times and learned valuable lessons to pass on to me, the reader. That's what I thought I'd be reading. I thought there would be interesting camp stories-funny ones, painful ones, but entertaining. Well, it wasn't even all about her 4 years at "fat camp" really. She compiled some of her experiences and memories into a When I started this book, I thought it would be a quick, easy read to get me out of the reading slump I've been in. I like memoirs, especially when the author has overcome some hard times and learned valuable lessons to pass on to me, the reader. That's what I thought I'd be reading. I thought there would be interesting camp stories-funny ones, painful ones, but entertaining. Well, it wasn't even all about her 4 years at "fat camp" really. She compiled some of her experiences and memories into a year of camp with LOTS of random non-camp tangents. I guess that would have been ok, except it read more like someone rambling on and heading down lots of different trains of thought rather than a well laid out story. My MAJOR complaint, however, is that she never really has that epiphany that transforms her into someone I want to spend time reading about. She doesn't ever overcome the insecurities she describes in detail as a pre-teen/teen. Yes, she is eventually thin, but even says she's still a fat girl on the inside. Throughout the book she talks about her struggles with food obsessions and poor body image, even when she's thin. She writes about dieting and failing at it until she figured out that she could only lose weight for spite or anger. She went to a specialist as an adult and could only lose weight if he scolded her. WTH? Had I known the book was written by someone who still really needs therapy, who hasnt had that epiphany or come to a clearer understanding of where they have come from I wouldn't have wasted my time on it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sharron

    Stephanie Klein's memoir of fat camp and beyond starts with her pregnancy with twins. She is told she needs to gain weight but all she can think about is her struggle with being overweight. I liked Klein's honesty. She shows every flaw along with every roll of fat. I learned what it is like to be "weight challenged". I've never had a weight problem beyond my own false perceptions that the mirror is lying. I have friends and loved ones who do struggle and this book really made me think about some Stephanie Klein's memoir of fat camp and beyond starts with her pregnancy with twins. She is told she needs to gain weight but all she can think about is her struggle with being overweight. I liked Klein's honesty. She shows every flaw along with every roll of fat. I learned what it is like to be "weight challenged". I've never had a weight problem beyond my own false perceptions that the mirror is lying. I have friends and loved ones who do struggle and this book really made me think about some of the comments I make. Such as when I complain that I am so fat and need to cut out the low calorie salad dressing and just use lemon juice. Klein isn't perfect but this is the type of memoir I enjoy. I really like when someone is willing to expose themselves and say "take me as I am". She still is trying to find herself but I think her writing has certainly helped her along the way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    I'm not a reader of Stephanie Klein's blog, Greek Tragedy, so I don't know how much of Moose is contained within it's pages. I knew going into it that this might not be the book for me. It's about Klein's experiences at "fat camp" as a young teen-ager and as a fat camp counselor as an older teen-ager. I really dislike when someone's whole life is wrapped up in their weight and food. It's just so boring and pointless. But I was hoping that perhaps Klein had a larger message to share and had manag I'm not a reader of Stephanie Klein's blog, Greek Tragedy, so I don't know how much of Moose is contained within it's pages. I knew going into it that this might not be the book for me. It's about Klein's experiences at "fat camp" as a young teen-ager and as a fat camp counselor as an older teen-ager. I really dislike when someone's whole life is wrapped up in their weight and food. It's just so boring and pointless. But I was hoping that perhaps Klein had a larger message to share and had managed to come out the other side a more balanced person re. her weight and food, unfortunately I didn't find that to be the case. I'm sure she isn't actually boring (I think I read that she gets many thousands of visitors to her blog everyday so she obviously has something of interest to say to a great many people), but she is still obsessed with her weight. What a shame! I simply can't believe that it isn't possible to be healthy without being twisted over food. I was shocked by her parents, especially her father's, treatment of her as a child: laughing at her being called "moose" by other kids, reminding her that she was overweight, sending her to a weight-loss counselor, not to mention fat camp. Honestly, didn't she count as anything other than a body to her parents? I wonder if they've read it and how they feel now? The book doesn't promise to change your life, and it doesn't. Instead it's more of a long story about her teen-age fat camp years; and possibly a cautionary tale to parents. I was just hoping for more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    MJ Sita

    This girl needs a shrink, not a diet doctor! So totally messed up about her size, both when she's chubby and when she's thin. She agonizes when she has to lose weight and she agonizes when she's pregnant and the Doctor told her to gain weight. She's already anxious about weight issues that her INFANTS might have as they grow up even though they are premature and in the NICU! Enough already! She blames everyone under the sun for her weight issues: Mom and Dad, Diet Doctors,popular kids at school, This girl needs a shrink, not a diet doctor! So totally messed up about her size, both when she's chubby and when she's thin. She agonizes when she has to lose weight and she agonizes when she's pregnant and the Doctor told her to gain weight. She's already anxious about weight issues that her INFANTS might have as they grow up even though they are premature and in the NICU! Enough already! She blames everyone under the sun for her weight issues: Mom and Dad, Diet Doctors,popular kids at school, her friends, her genes, the friend who taught her to be bulimic......get over it. Hey, get over the nickname too; being a size 16 and getting called "Moose" by a bunch of immature adolescents isn't so horrible; there are worse things in life. Stephanie should have turned this around and made a joke out of it and those bad boy bullies wouldn't have gotten such a charge out of it. And goodness, what an acitve sex life at the age of 13! This had to be embelished for shock value. These 13-year olds acted and spoke like they were 30. Self-help books, a good therapist and a self-esteen class are in order here.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)

    I'm not a big reader of memoirs. But I what I do like about the genre is that it exposes the reader to subcultures and worlds (both inner and outer) that may be totally unfamiliar. "Moose" did this for me. Like all white girls in the suburbs, I was exposed to eating disorders and warped body image in elementary school. That part of her story was all too familiar. But for me, all of those experiences were background noise to adolescence. For Stephanie Klein, they were front and center. I can't imag I'm not a big reader of memoirs. But I what I do like about the genre is that it exposes the reader to subcultures and worlds (both inner and outer) that may be totally unfamiliar. "Moose" did this for me. Like all white girls in the suburbs, I was exposed to eating disorders and warped body image in elementary school. That part of her story was all too familiar. But for me, all of those experiences were background noise to adolescence. For Stephanie Klein, they were front and center. I can't imagine what it must be like to be in the 4th grade and be obsessed with food and caloric intake, to the point where being hungry is the driving force behind much of what you do. It's clear from Klein's memoir that adolescent fat camps may not be the answer to childhood obesity. It's also clear how important it is for parents to get inside the heads of their kids, to figure out what's really driving the compulsive overeating and unhealthy lifestyle.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I really wanted to like this book. I read Stephanie Klein's blog and find her writing very interesting. This book should have been something I could really relate to, having been an overweight child who grew into an overweight adult. Yet I didn't like this book much at all. I kept reading it, hoping to find something redeeming, but was left disappointed. Klein shares so much of herself and her secret habits that you feel as if you've read someone's diary. And it wasn't pleasant. I keep wondering I really wanted to like this book. I read Stephanie Klein's blog and find her writing very interesting. This book should have been something I could really relate to, having been an overweight child who grew into an overweight adult. Yet I didn't like this book much at all. I kept reading it, hoping to find something redeeming, but was left disappointed. Klein shares so much of herself and her secret habits that you feel as if you've read someone's diary. And it wasn't pleasant. I keep wondering when the book was going to get better, and sadly, it didn't. It was depressing, filled with neurosis, and a letdown. I'd save your time and read Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster instead.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kris Irvin

    This book was awful. There was no point to it. It was just... bad. Did the author ever figure out her relationship with food? So many questions left unanswered. Such a lame book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Thanks to Books On The Brain for introducing me to Moose by Stephanie Klein. Klein reminded me a lot of myself growing up. Insecure about her body, she struggled to lose weight. Unlike my parents, hers hindered to process, telling her that people would stop making fun of her if she was thin. News flash insecurity makes people tease others about fat, pimples, body hair, and height. My father told me that if I wasn't happy I should seek ways to change my attitude, not my body size. Fat, thin, tall Thanks to Books On The Brain for introducing me to Moose by Stephanie Klein. Klein reminded me a lot of myself growing up. Insecure about her body, she struggled to lose weight. Unlike my parents, hers hindered to process, telling her that people would stop making fun of her if she was thin. News flash insecurity makes people tease others about fat, pimples, body hair, and height. My father told me that if I wasn't happy I should seek ways to change my attitude, not my body size. Fat, thin, tall or short, you are the same person. Anyhoo. Klein recounts her summers at fat camp and melds them into one long story full of rejection, love, friendship, and bulimia. I loved her descriptions of the other campers and what they might be doing years later. "Marguerite Bennetts from Maryland, sat on a top bunk...picking her braces...I imagine her now as a social worker who insists on using a rubber ball, instead of a chair, to strengthen her core." Or Tara who probably became " a tanorexic, a women who always asks for booth with the newest bulbs". Klein is honest and real. After all of her descriptions of fat camp, I expected her to be like and I lost 1000 pounds, I love carrot sticks and exercise for 4 hours a day and I love it! You know like most fat transformation books, but no. I won't ruin the ending but Klein's a real woman with real every day problems-troubled relationships, pregnancy, the fear of being too fat. I highly recommend to anyone who's struggled with their weight or has young girls in their life who may be struggling with their weight. This is a book that will make you think about your own journey and struggles along the way.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    I don't recommend this to anyone who's actively struggling with an eating disorder whether it's anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, etc.. There are far too many 'trigger's as well as instructions for how to purge. The author did not set this up as a 'how-to' guide but I can see how one struggling may pick up this book just to feel less alone. I learned things I'd never heard of and I thought I had a good handle on these food rituals due to my own adolescent/teen struggle. I'm now attempting to dep I don't recommend this to anyone who's actively struggling with an eating disorder whether it's anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, etc.. There are far too many 'trigger's as well as instructions for how to purge. The author did not set this up as a 'how-to' guide but I can see how one struggling may pick up this book just to feel less alone. I learned things I'd never heard of and I thought I had a good handle on these food rituals due to my own adolescent/teen struggle. I'm now attempting to deprogram my mind from years of brainwashing over 'thin=accepted, happy, loved'. Now I realize that's complete and utter bs and am so sorry for all who have bought into this. It seems like such an ingrained societal belief that it's difficult to free oneself from the obsessive thoughts from years of dieting and body hatred.I'm on a mission to love myself no matter what my weight. We are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Life is much more than a number on a scale. However, as an author Klein is candid, funny, and very adroit at returning to her past struggles through the lenses of her adolescent years. At times, just like a teen, I was annoyed by her and frustrated at her attitudes. Yet, when I was growing up I'm sure I had quite a few not so likable beliefs. I admire her courage to appear 'warts and all'. I was struck by how young the 'thin' obsession began and am saddened that her parents encouraged it. Her mother clearly had issues herself that she passed on to her daughter. I hope the cycle ends with Klein but I fear it won't. It's clear she's fighting though and I wish her the best.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    I read this because I saw it at the library and have always found the idea of "fat camp" interesting (if twisted and unhelpful, if the articles I've read are anything to go on). I'll let alone the actual "fat camp" bit, as I don't know enough about the subject to comment knowledgeably, but I'd probably advise others to let alone the book, too. It wasn't so much that it was badly written as it was that it felt as though the author hadn't done much maturing since her teens. The tone too often felt I read this because I saw it at the library and have always found the idea of "fat camp" interesting (if twisted and unhelpful, if the articles I've read are anything to go on). I'll let alone the actual "fat camp" bit, as I don't know enough about the subject to comment knowledgeably, but I'd probably advise others to let alone the book, too. It wasn't so much that it was badly written as it was that it felt as though the author hadn't done much maturing since her teens. The tone too often felt... petty. A bit mean at times. Insufficiently self-aware. It was discomforting at times, and not in a this-book-is-making-me-think way. I'd love to read another memoir about weight-loss camp - or an analysis of them; chances are that I'd get more out of that - but this just didn't do it for me. Original (above) review August 2010, updated December 2017 upon re-read: Made me think more the second time around, I guess. The humour is still not to my taste, and I'm still uncomfortable with the number of digs at other people's expense. But I do think there are some interesting points about how weight-loss camps are and aren't effective: that, for example, strict regimentation might work for weight loss in the short term but that it doesn't teach long-term self-sustaining strategies, or that social politics at camp can be even more overtly divided along weight lines than social politics in (e.g.) school.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tate

    After reading SUAD, Stephanie's first book, which was so honest and at times shocking, and checking out her blog over the years, I was excited to read Moose. She hasn't changed...she is still as honest as ever. I found myself asking at times..."If I were writing this book, would I include this? What would my mom say??" Anyway, the topic of this book being the lifelong battle/struggle with weight, I could totally relate. I have never been to fat camp, and I was never made fun of for my issues wit After reading SUAD, Stephanie's first book, which was so honest and at times shocking, and checking out her blog over the years, I was excited to read Moose. She hasn't changed...she is still as honest as ever. I found myself asking at times..."If I were writing this book, would I include this? What would my mom say??" Anyway, the topic of this book being the lifelong battle/struggle with weight, I could totally relate. I have never been to fat camp, and I was never made fun of for my issues with weight/food, but I could certainly understand the complete preoccupation over food and weight, and can rattle off what I weighed at every age/event in my life so far. She is now living in Austin with her toddler twins, and I am hoping she writes about them next. And that she is as honest as always!! (as I am about to have twins myself!!)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I liked this one better than Straight Up & Dirty. Overall I think a lot of women can understand the struggles Klein faces with her weight. I think the important thing most of us need to remember is that there is no miracle cure. It's not easy and it's a lifestyle change to control our weight. There's no rule that says you have to deprive yourself, and in the end it's unhealthy too. I like that Klein is very aware of herself and she writes with a style that allows for self mockery which is a style I liked this one better than Straight Up & Dirty. Overall I think a lot of women can understand the struggles Klein faces with her weight. I think the important thing most of us need to remember is that there is no miracle cure. It's not easy and it's a lifestyle change to control our weight. There's no rule that says you have to deprive yourself, and in the end it's unhealthy too. I like that Klein is very aware of herself and she writes with a style that allows for self mockery which is a style I enjoy in a memoir. I enjoy Greek Tragedy (Klein's blog) and found this book to follow more of her style than Straight Up & Dirty which didn't always flow well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    If you can get through the awkwardly sexual oddball first few chapters, it's a really great story. It begins and ends with a doctor telling her to gain weight for her pregnancy with twins which is not really mentioned at any other time in the book. It's full of asides and flashbacks/forwards but, for the most part, well organized and told. The final chapters make the whole book worth it. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever equated weight and body image to self worth and self esteem If you can get through the awkwardly sexual oddball first few chapters, it's a really great story. It begins and ends with a doctor telling her to gain weight for her pregnancy with twins which is not really mentioned at any other time in the book. It's full of asides and flashbacks/forwards but, for the most part, well organized and told. The final chapters make the whole book worth it. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever equated weight and body image to self worth and self esteem.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book isn't just about being an overweight kid. It's about how anyone gets through adolescence with a shred of self-esteem when it seems like everyone around us is trying to knock us down. I don't even like to repeat out loud the phrase that has been running through my head every day since JS said it to me way back in 5th grade - the fact that Klein could put all of her life out there for anyone to read about is amazing to me. Very brave.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Laney

    This book reminded me so much of my own adolescent battle of the bulge. Stephanie, like all teens, craved acceptance and to fit in. It makes it doubly hard when you are over weight. The therapist her mother took her to at the tender age of 8, said you will never stop being a fat person. You may not look fat but you will still be fat. In my experience that is true. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more from Stephanie Klein.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tara D-K

    Anyone who went to camp, or was a misfit will love this book. It's just such an honest story of adolescence. It wasn't as relatable for me as Straight Up And Dirty because I didn't go to sleepaway camp, but I did relate to the weight issues and her issues with her parents. As always, Stephanie is embarassingly candid and you can't put her book down because you need to know what happened next.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gio

    unfortunately, this book didn't live up to my expectations. if anything, growing up as a fat kid myself, there was very few tidbits i could actually relate too. this gal made me want to slit my wrists. it makes me wonder, maybe there can be fat kids with positive self image. i had my issues (like so many other teenagers), but never in my life did i have her issues.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Who could resist a good fat camp memoir? The thing is, she was one of the skinnier kids at fat camp, making her more of a Plastic. And she helped teach some other fat kids to make themselves throw up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I finally got to reading this. I was dissapointed in this book, I had high expectations.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    I liked this so much more than Straight Up and Dirty. As a former fat kid, this really rang true and made me think. Definitely recommend.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lanette

    This was more like 2.5 stars. Although it is about her experience at 'fat camp' while in her early teens, it is NOT something I would want my girls to read...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shayla Raquel

    "If I just had a chance at a new beginning, at a new school maybe, it would all be different. I thought I wanted a chance to recreate who I was. Or to figure out who I was. Really, I just wanted to escape who I was." — Stephanie Klein I read some of the negative reviews on Moose and thought to myself, "Wow. These readers really and truly missed the point, didn't they?" Some of the reviews said things like, "She is still obsessed with her weight. What a shame!" and "She never really has that epiph "If I just had a chance at a new beginning, at a new school maybe, it would all be different. I thought I wanted a chance to recreate who I was. Or to figure out who I was. Really, I just wanted to escape who I was." — Stephanie Klein I read some of the negative reviews on Moose and thought to myself, "Wow. These readers really and truly missed the point, didn't they?" Some of the reviews said things like, "She is still obsessed with her weight. What a shame!" and "She never really has that epiphany that transforms her." Unbelievable. Did you miss the point of this story? As someone who was bullied for years and years for her weight, much like Klein, I can assure you not all of us wake up one morning with an epiphany and think, "They were wrong! I look great no matter what the scale says!" Some of us grow up and still cringe at our bodies while looking in the mirror. Some of us grow up and remember every single word our bullies said to us—even where we were, what the bully wore, and what the season was. Some of us grow up, entering our thirties and watching the scale increase once again, so we refuse to let anyone take a photo of us for social media because we can't bear to look at our five chins on the screen. We are still the same humiliated children from our past, only with careers, homes, and families. When I read this book, I truly felt the pain that Klein went through. I could empathize with her. The dieting, the Frans of the world, the fat camp (I didn't go to a fat camp; I went to a regular camp where, when I asked for butter during lunch, a young boy snickered and said to me, 'I don't think you need any butter with those rolls.'), the name-calling, the starving, the binging—all of it. I remember my 95-pound, 20-year-old friend looking at me, while I weighed twice what she did, saying, "I am so fat. Ugh. I need to lose weight." I get it, Klein. I really and truly do. Maybe not everyone gets your book and what you were trying to say, but for those of us who experienced similar things you did, please know your book is everything to us. We needed this. I am so grateful you shared your story—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even during the tough parts, there was still lightheartedness, humor, and hope.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    A memoir about the author (at age 12) being sent to fat camp, a seven-week camp devised to help shed pounds. Not sure how this ended up in my to-reads, but I saw it the other day in a Little Free Library and remembered the cover as being on my to-read shelf. I gave up on this book after reading 150 pages. I likely could read the rest of it, but who likes being ill and not having something you like to read, at least a little. I really did not like the author and how she portrayed herself or her fa A memoir about the author (at age 12) being sent to fat camp, a seven-week camp devised to help shed pounds. Not sure how this ended up in my to-reads, but I saw it the other day in a Little Free Library and remembered the cover as being on my to-read shelf. I gave up on this book after reading 150 pages. I likely could read the rest of it, but who likes being ill and not having something you like to read, at least a little. I really did not like the author and how she portrayed herself or her family.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jodi Hawkins

    I have renewed this book 2 times. I can not find it in me to finish it. I don't like it and am so disappointed. so not what I was looking for. oh well, I tried. not worth making myself read something if it is going to become a chore to do so.

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