There are times when you read a book and it is so relatable to your own life that you can’t put it down. While you read this book all of your own major issues are pushed to the surface and you’re forced to confront them as you read the fictional version of what could be your life. That’s how I felt as I read Weighting For Mr. Right by Patricia W. Fischer. The author, who happens to be a Facebook friend, offered this book in Kindle version for free on Amazon over the past weekend and for some reason, I decided to take advantage of it, downloaded it to my new Kindle for PC program and then transferred it to my iPhone. I spent the next four days glued to my iPhone reading a book on it for the first time ever.
Weighting For Mr. Right is the story of an intelligent, pretty, overweight nurse named Megan Sayla who on the day of her wedding to one of the richest bachelors in Dallas, hears herself saying no at the alter to the question, “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” Megan has an epiphany and realizes that she just can’t settle for Travis Carter (or his horribly snobby, shrew of an overbearing mother), even though he’s a nice guy, because he’s just not Mr. Right. She runs out of the church and we catch up with her in a men’s bathroom at a local car wash where she falls apart as a handsome, young, brown haired, green eyed man named Jacob Dante listens. Jacob talks to her through the stall wall, really listens to her, and gives her the strength to move forward. Their conversation is so compelling for both of them that they just have to meet each other and when they do, despite the fact that Megan is stuffed into a wedding dress, with hair teased two feet above her head and heavy make-up running down her face, Jacob is immediately attracted to her. She does speak seven languages after all, one of them being Italian, which really turns Jacob on! Of course he doesn’t reveal his true feelings for her because he believes that it’s too soon after she’s left her fiancé and it is.
As Megan has minimized her life so much to fit into Travis’ she has nowhere to live and ends up moving in with her overachieving cousin, Sam, who does not get along with Megan’s best friend, a decidedly gluttonous and underachieving Lydia who loves Megan because she has always accepted her for who she is. Sam wants what she believes is best for her cousin and encourages Megan to join a gym that Jacob just happens to run (and co-own) and Megan finds herself with a new, enthusiastic cheerleading squad in her personal trainer, Carmen and her brother Jacob (although Megan doesn’t know Carmen is Jacob’s sister). Megan starts a new nursing job at the children’s hospital where Sam works as well as a part-time tutoring gig and the rest of the time she spends at the gym trying to figure out how to deal with Jacob’s psycho ex-girlfriend, Angela. In the meantime, Sam keeps secrets from Megan and her life changes drastically by the end of the story.
As Megan pushes forward with her goals to change her body and her life, finding confidence to stand up for herself in every situation for the first time, not everyone around her is happy with her transformation. As her lifestyle change becomes more and more successful, her best friend becomes more and more alienated from her as she’s threatened by the new Megan. Lydia is in fact, a prime example of a selfish, self-absorbed, unhappy woman who behaves as if she’s a teenager even though she’s in her mid-thirties. Megan questions the path she’s on and we’re left wondering if she’ll believe in herself enough to finish what she’s started and stick to her new way of life.
What are the chances that most overweight girls would find a Jacob Dante to not only help them with their weight loss battle but actually be interested in them as a girlfriend too? I suspect not that many, but this is a chick lit/romance novel, and we read them to escape reality, right? The dialogue in the book is sharp, witty and realistic, although sometimes ridiculous and the language when it comes to sex wouldn’t make it through the editing process by a professional publishing company. However, it’s also quite funny and the characters, although some of them are almost caricatures, are entirely relevant.
The problem with this book for me, aside from the many typos in it, the constant switching back and forth between narrators, and that all the women can do when they’re nervous is “tuck a lock of hair behind her ear”, is the fact that only in a chick lit novel would a woman like Megan (or a woman like me), find a man like Jacob Dante. A man who is totally hot, physically ripped, smart, sensitive and successful in business, whose three sisters have taught him quite a bit about women…and who likes a woman for her brains and personality, in spite of her less than perfect looks…I mean, where in the real world does a man like that exist?
I love that Fischer wrote about a beautiful, intelligent woman who battles her weight as well as her self worth while realizing that she shouldn’t settle for a relationship with anyone who isn’t Mr. Right (story of my life). When Megan stands up to Sam and tells her that she could never really understand how much pain she was in after completing a 22 mile bike ride as well as resistance training because Sam has always been in shape and she doesn’t have a clue what Megan is really going through was very poignant and real. Sam had no idea that what she was doing to Megan was really hurting her.
As one of the broken ones, I could also relate to Carmen, Jacob’s younger sister whose fiancé left her just before their wedding for another, thinner woman, and whose rebound guy had ruined her financially.
I also thought that the relationship struggle between Megan and Lydia was quite realistic. What it’s really about, for Megan, is learning to love herself enough to make the effort every single day to do the right thing when it comes to food and to when it comes to standing up for what she believes in. Megan’s struggle to stick to her lifestyle change and to accept how it will affect her relationships for better or for worse is one that every overweight woman who has tried to do the same will empathize with.
Unfortunately, the last quarter of the book wasn’t as good as the rest of it and I caught myself rolling my eyes at the love scene between Megan and Jacob while being disappointed that less care was taken with the writing which felt hasty and over simplified. The Epilogue which is written from Megan’s perspective was not entirely satisfying either, as Sam’s situation is not resolved and Angela is written off in a pithy manner. These are things that prevented me from giving Weighting For Mr. Right a four star review, but I would definitely be willing to read more of Patricia W. Fischer’s work as she has a promising future as a romance novelist.