THE BIG REVEAL by Jen Larsen

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

Addie isn’t ashamed of her body. In fact, she’s incredibly proud–not only of how she looks, but of the strength and grace that has helped her rise to being the best dancer at the top arts boarding school in the country. But she is frustrated with how others see her and think less of her for being fat, especially since fat dancers are discriminated against in the industry.

When Addie gets the opportunity to attend an elite summer program led by one of her biggest heroes, an elite dancer with a body like hers, she won’t let anything stand in her way, especially not the $6,000 she definitely doesn’t have. Fortunately, her awesome and supportive friends have a plan: put on a secret underground burlesque show on campus after dark. It’s an exciting idea, one that makes Addie feel incredibly excited and empowered. But as the date of the show grows closer, doubts about baring her skin in front of an audience begin to creep in. And on a campus where young women are routinely shamed and disciplined for outfits that the administration deems “too revealing,” the stakes couldn’t be higher. Will Addie find the courage to dance for what she believes in?

This unapologetically feminist and body positive YA contemporary novel will resonate with all young women who have ever been shamed and objectified for having bodies (so, all young women…). Debates over the validity and empowerment of sex work take center stage, but complex friendships, budding relationships, and amazingly witty banter keep the feminist message from feeling overly preachy. The high stakes plot makes it difficult to put this one down. I highly recommend this novel to fans of YA contemporary fiction.

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