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All About Vee

Review

All About Vee

Veronica May (“Vee” to her friends) has everything it takes to make it in Hollywood. Not only is she beautiful, she has great self-esteem and killer acting chops. So when her summer plans of community theater in Chester, Arizona, are dashed by Glengarry Glen Ross, her father and his girlfriend announce a wedding date only six months away, and the owner of the apothecary where she works sells out to Drug Rite, Vee decides it’s time to hit the road and head to LA.

While there, Vee has entrusted two of her closest friends to regularly send her letters that her mother, who died 12 years ago, wrote to her father while she was in LA pursuing her own dreams of stardom. Now is the perfect time for all of Vee’s 217 pounds to pursue an acting career.

At first, LA seems to be all right. Vee moves in with longtime friend Vivian Reed. Vivian, who insists that Vee call her Reed, helps Vee get started with all the keys to a successful acting career, like headshots, movement and acting classes, and auditions. Very quickly, Vee learns that Reed is not the Vivian she’s known, or thought she knew, all her life. Reed never touches junk food, for starters. In fact, she avoids all food if she can help it. Reed, like everyone else pursuing a Hollywood dream (or so it seems to Vee), is a size zero. Vee thinks that the Hollywood beauty standard is beyond ridiculous. Size zero isn’t a size…it’s the absence of a size! Vee is sure that with her talent she’ll land roles regardless of her physical appearance. Unfortunately, anyone who’s read an issue of People magazine or a gossip blog knows that’s not how things work.

Despite being turned down for several roles because of her size, Vee’s time in LA isn’t a total loss. She gets a job as a barista, and not only do the customers love her, she gets along fabulously with her co-workers, especially cute former child actor Philip. And thanks to her relentless pursuit of an acting career, she starts to get calls from casting offices. The one big thorn in her side is Reed, who isn’t the friend Vee thought she was. It doesn’t take Vee long to realize that even though she and Reed aren’t competing for the same roles, Reed does not want Vee to be a success in acting or in the realm of romance.

Plus-size Vee and her plus-size determination present a new, not always glamorous view of Hollywood. Getting acting jobs, especially when you’re new to Hollywood and don’t have representation, is a lot of work and sometimes brings close encounters of the creepy, pervy kind. But although you can succeed on hard work and a little luck, you’ll see, like Vee does, that what’s really important are your friends, family and sticking to your dream.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on April 10, 2008

All About Vee
by C. Leigh Purtill

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • ISBN-10: 1595141804
  • ISBN-13: 9781595141804