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3.7 out of 5 stars13
3.7 out of 5 stars
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2006
I was given this book as a present and I couldn't wait to start it. I wasn't dissoppointed. I do agree with the reviewer who found certain bits annoying - the amount of the times she kept correcting herself certainly spoils the book and eventually you have to ignore those bits!!

I too didn't guess who the killer was and I normally dissopoint myself by guessing who it is!! Meg Cabot did a great job of hiding the killers identity right to the very end!!

The ending could have been handled better because your left wondering did they didn't they and I kind of got the feeling that the author wasn't too sure which ending she wanted to go with so just left it hanging.

However, it makes for a great summer read and is definately still worth a look once you get passed the repetitiveness.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2006
i read this book on one flight! it is a great book that you can't put down

it has a bit of a slow start and the repetative "dorm - i mean residence hall" is a bit annoying but you completely forget about that while reading the book.

very different to the style of writing in the princess diaries. much better.

good storyline and great ending can't wait to read another heather wells mystery!
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on 4 January 2009
Book by LK Gardner-Griffie - Misfit McCabe

I have been trying to get an opportunity to read some of Meg Cabot's work. She is a prolific writer and I have always heard good things about her books, but haven't been able to find the time to read any of them, while trying to get Misfit McCabe launched, write the sequel, read material and write reviews for the Lulu Book Review, and oh, there's that little thing called the full time day job (which usually ends up being full time and a half). With a title like Size 12 Is Not Fat, I decided that I had to start there because the title just grabbed me. For someone who struggles daily battling the weight issue, I was looking forward to reading a book with a heroine who was not built along the lines of a toothpick. Not that toothpicks are bad, but they are much more prevalent between the covers of our favorite books than they are walking the streets. Also, I figured that with only 3 books in the series so far, I could catch up much more quickly than with The Princess Diaries series, which is getting ready to launch book number 10. Plus, I like mysteries and the bulk of my "for pleasure" reading is light weight mysteries.

On page one, Ms. Cabot had me. The story opens with Heather Wells in a dressing room struggling into a new pair of jeans she wants to purchase. In another dressing room, a girl with a voice like a chipmunk inquires as to whether there is a size smaller than zero. Heather immediately dubs chipmunk voice "Less than Zero" and continues to refer to her by that name. I could feel the giggle starting from my toes on that one. To come up with a character named Less Than Zero and take a dig at vanity sizing at the same time was brilliant. For that reason alone, I was ready to dive into the life of Heather Wells and see where I ended up.

The character of Heather Wells is modeled after Britney Spears in a what if fashion. What if a pop sensation lost her recording contract, her boyfriend, gained a dress size or two, and her mother ran off with her manager to another country stealing all of her money, while her father was in jail? Oh, and because she was performing for much of her teenage years, she didn't have any formal education to fall back on when everything blew up. Heather somehow wangles a job working in a primarily freshman residence hall for New York College, and lives a couple blocks away with her ex-boyfriend's brother, Cooper Cartwright. She helps organize and keep track of Cooper's expenses and does his billing, for which he lets her live in his 3 story pink stucco brownstone in the Village. The back drop of the residence hall is filled with realistic detail which comes from Ms. Cabot having worked in a New York freshman residence hall after graduating with an art degree, and finding no jobs that would pay the bills. Like Heather Wells, one of the main draws to the job was the offer of free tuition, so she could get a degree in something that would enable her to earn a living.

The character Heather Wells is portrayed as a 28 year old of arrested development and self-esteem issues due to the circumstances surrounding her formative years. Her maturity level is much younger than her years, and is closer to the level of the freshman residents of Fischer Hall. As we have seen through the eyes of the media and all of the attention on Britney Spears, that Britney certainly does not operate at the maturity level her years would lead you to expect. Neither does Heather Wells. She has a major, adolescent crush on her landlord, boss, and ex-boyfriend's brother, Cooper and fantasizes about him throughout the book, but is unable to communicate her feelings for him in adult manner. She also doesn't seem to know how to handle the attentions of Jordan Cartwright, the ex-boyfriend, who keeps coming around trying to reconcile with her, which confuses Heather because he just announced his engagement to someone else.

Against this background, the female students of Fischer Hall seem to be dying off at the rate of one a week, doing something so unfeminine as elevator surfing. Heather is especially suspicious because it would appear that the girls were elevator surfing alone, which never happens, and the girls in question would seem to be the least likely people on the planet to take up elevator surfing. And of paramount importance to Heather, one of the girls liked Ziggy, and no one who liked Ziggy, the uncoolest cartoon character of all, would EVER elevator surf. Of course, when no one else thought that there was anything to investigate, Heather decides to investigate events on her own. Move over Nancy Drew, Heather's on the case now and she doesn't like anyone killing her girls.

Size 12 Is Not Fat is an easy and fun read. Meg Cabot draws colorful characters which surround Heather and provide her with a sense of family, albeit an odd one. Through the dint of not being able to let go of the mystery surrounding the deaths of the freshman women of Fischer Hall, Heather ultimately prevails in solving the mystery, and in the process nearly gets Jordan Cartwright killed as well as herself, but learns something about herself along the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2008
I have to say I am terrible book junkie and no sooner than i buy a Meg Cabot novel i finish it.
With Cabot's books i cannot seem to put them down. I found this to be another one of her very good novels.
I must say i too found the "dorm... i mean residence hall" quotes a bit boring after a while but that didn't ruin what was a very good book. Cabot always leaves me in suspense whatever she is writing about; weather its romance or crime... or both! As in many of Cabot's novels I am compelled to go out and buy the next book as soon as its available.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2006
Heather Wells is a former pop singer who has fallen on hard times and is working as an assistant director of New York College hall of residence. Two girls die apparently while 'elevator surfing', but Heather is conviced that their deaths are not accidental, because girls don't elevator surf.
Heather lives in the house of her ex-fiancee's brother Cooper, on whom she has a crush, and who happens to be a Private Investigator. She tries to get him interested in the case, but he is reluctant to get involved, as are the police. So Heather decides to do a little investigating on her own account.
The story is not uninteresting, but it rambles on with rather too much detail about clothes, diets, beauty routines etc, and Heather's drooling over Cooper gets a bit of a bore. I guessed whodunnit about halfway through the book, though exactly why did not become apparent until about three-quarters of the way through. There is some genuine excitement towards the end, and Heather is rescued from the clutches of the villain in a very unexpected way. I think the book would have been better if it had been about 100 pages shorter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2007
The Heather Wells mysteries are fluffy but the murder-mystery side gives them more depth than your average chick-lit novel. I do have to admit that Heather behaves far too young for her age in places - for example, she spends a lot of time pining over her landlord and not actually doing anything about her feelings. I think Cabot needs to work on creating realistic adult characters, but aside from that this was a really enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2008
i love meg cabot books and this one is no disappointment. for the older reader than princess diaries and mediator etc. love the idea of the book showing that there is life after disaster in this case being a famous teen star. kept me guessing as to who the villian was eventhough i had an inkling who it was but kept throwing me off. and size 12 isnt fat!!!
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on 2 January 2008
I don't normally read mysteries and found this refreshing compared to most of Meg Cabot's other books, which are usually fairly predictable and their storylines monotonous. I had no idea who the murderer was and enjoyed the fact that the story was more original than is usually the case. Having said that, the relationship between Heather and Cooper is a bit of a cliché - very similar to Mia and Michael's relationship in the beginning of Princess Diaries.

If you've read any of Cabot's other books (Princess Diaries, Boy Meets Girl, All American Girl) don't be put off by them - this book is much better. The storyline can be surprising at times and, as it is meant for an older audience, isn't as "fairytale" as her other books.

Having read the subsequent Size 14 is Not Fat Either and Big Boned/Size Doesn't Matter I can recommend the whole series as it far exceeded my expectations and isn't just another variation of Cabot's usual themes.
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on 3 January 2013
I would recommend this book to an older teen audience because it did get scary but was also was very gripping. The five stars were definitely deserved.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2006
I am a huge fan of Meg's and I usually enjoy her books, so I'm quite sad to say I didn't like this one. I was looking forward to the release of Size 12 Is Not Fat. The title seems witty to me, and I knew it was a detective sort of story, so I thought it'd be great. When I saw it in the shops, I snatched it up! (Caused some embarrassment at the counter when the sales girl read the title and thought I was getting a self help book to cope with an ED)

Though Meg's writing style is fun and even addictive, I don't think the plot was developed properly -- same for the characters. Speaking of, I have to agree with some of the reviewers -- the main character constantly saying "dorm - I mean, residence hall" throughout the entire book was extremely annoying. I think it might have been an attempt to add to the main character and distinguish her from Meg's many other female leads in her other books, but it was an effort in vein as readers just trained themselves to ignore the phrase.

I am still a big fan of Meg, and I do love her other new book which I read shortly after reading this one, though I have to say I sincerely hope that the sequel to this Size 12 Is Not Fat is better. Either way, I won't be buying the sequel. I trust Meg's writing... All except for this series.
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