Summer Book Review: Dietland by Sarai Walker


Imagine This: You are overweight, obese, huge, big. But never fat. Anyone could call you anything but fat.

You are tired of people poking fingers at you, mothers using you as an example to ward their little girls off ice cream, no guy would ever want to marry you, or fuck you, or kiss you. To the world, you existence is unnecessary. And for so long you have begun to believe it. All the nasty things people and the media refer to you as. It doesn’t help that you work for a glamorous teen magazine. Your life has been one big (literally) criticism after another.

But all this is going to end.  Soon enough. Because in a few months you are going to do the surgery to transform you from being overweight, obese, huge, big (—anything but fat!). And soon, you’d be what society approves of every woman to be!

But then an encounter with a girl you realize has been stalking you changes your life forever. It all happens too fast. Next thing you know, you are hanging out with a group of interesting women who wake up every morning and show a finger to what society expects them to be, and be anything they want to be! By their daring lifestyles and their influences on your own life, you are persuaded to take on some challenges that would deem you ‘beautiful’.

Except no one told you these challenges would be difficult. No one told you you’d be waking up one morning putting on make-up, wearing knee-length dresses at the risk of society perusing your bulbous thighs, no one told you you’d be going out on blind dates, getting yourself mocked by everyone. How on earth could this way of living make you feel beautiful?

As if all the above is not enough, you find yourself entangled in a messy plot involving a guerrilla group of women terrorizing female-offenders. You can’t afford to have the FBI breathing down your neck. You need this surgery more than a feminist group or prison.

Plum Kettle’s ridiculed, complicated and soon-to-be-dangerous life summarised for your delight.


I loved, loved this book! So you know in my review I’d be yelling in your face to go buy this book and, in the process, get your own kind of beachbody this summer!

First of all, This is a debut? This is a debut!? What the….── ★

The storyline is off the hook! It’s just one storyline with so many layers that would surprise and intrigue you! Every section (mind you, not chapter) of this book is divided into a new story line that you never saw coming! So Girl working for a teen magazine is FAT, unlike all her glamorous colleagues who whizz by! Girl wants to have surgery to transform into the kind of woman women hate and men want to fuck. Girl is made to undertake a series of challenges that would make her consider herself ‘beautiful’. But can she stand the lure of becoming the girl society wants to be?── ★★

That above is not all the book is made of. The writer pushes real boundaries. Expressing admirable feminism that would change your perception of society’s view of women, the porn industry, the beauty industry. This book is the kind of book that transforms the reader (it did me!), men, women! I believe this book should be a staple of every home! The kind of book Lady Bug should make into a classic fairytale to teach girls from a younger age they should be everything they want to be (and not what society expects them to be)!── ★★★

Plum, the main character is my kind of girl! (Oh, don’t worry, I do share). You might not understand her reasons for wanting to undergo surgery unless you have experienced the predicament she’s going through—only if you’ve been in her shoes can you relate. But really, Sarai Walker does a good job to make you, the reader, be in her (Plum’s) shoes, feel her pain, know her wants. I wouldn’t say she’s the kind of character for a certain kind of woman—by just being a woman you’d love her! Even I am not a woman so making that statement surely means Plum Kettle has the tendency to win every reader over! Her development is so stunning you would want to rush to Brooklyn to hug her. That said, she felt so real!  A star to her.── ★★★★

Other characters in this book are also amazing! I was so in love with Verena, the woman responsible for our character’s change. You’d love Marlowe the ex-American sweetheart who walked out of Hollywood and decided to never go back (because really, a Hollywood career ends when girls do not want to be you and no man wants to fuck you). All the women in Calliope House—the house filled with the women who leave on their own terms—would be much-loved mostly for their individual projects to change the world’s view objectification of women! Leeta, the stalking girl would also be a favourite and a major reader-interest in the novel. There’s also Julia, the secretive Beauty Editor. Other minor characters representing figures of society that mock women who are not considered ‘beautiful’ enough would be adored(?) A star to all the characters in the book, none were redundant!

The writer’s style is amazing! I love how she reported the attacks of misogynistic characters in this novel by the Guerrilla Group (I even loved the font she used! Yes, I am weird). This part of the story held my interest so much. It’s one of the parts responsible for transforming me.── ★★★★★

A star goes to the humour—wouldn’t call it hilarious, but it’s funny.  The mystery, the suspense! Marketers of this book link this book to getting beach bodies, but I worry what beach body you’d get when spending majority of the time knitting your brows together(!) focused on this book! So engaging!── ★★★★★

My rating: Six/Five stars (6/5 stars). (Not mathematically possible, I know. But I run this blog).

It’s a debut to go get on amazon. It’s a debut to go buy this instant!

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a piece of the new age of debut writers who are breaking bounds! Anyone who wants a book that would change their idea about a lot of things and inform so much on a lot of things too. Anyone who wants something to keep them glued to their sun loungers should go get this book—no need for fake tans, please.

I entered this book not expecting anything other than entertainment, but boy do I feel transformed. That’s why my work doesn’t end here. Running over to goodreads and amazon to spread the Hashtag Dietland fabulousity!

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