Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Body Positivity! THE SOUND OF US

As many of you know, in September 2015 I published my debut YA, The Body Institute. I explored body image and identity in a near-future society. Our bodies are the first thing people see about us, and often before we even open our mouths, others make snap judgments or assumptions about us based on our appearance. This includes assessments based on our height, race, gender, hair color/style, clothing, weight, etc. When people value some appearances over others, it can cause doubts in a person whether he or she is “beautiful,” or—worse yet—if he/she even has worth as a human being. 

As my character Morgan Dey says, “Am I less of a person because I weigh more?”

Morgan, in The Body Institute, gets a job helping other people lose weight in a society where people are taxed for not being slim and fit. She’s downloaded into their bodies to make them look a certain, “acceptable” way. 

Can people who do NOT have a slim, trim, Hollywood-beautiful appearance get featured in YA books? Can they ever be not slender and beautiful at the same time?
Are they ever main characters? Is their weight or appearance always the main plot, or can they just “be” and have other goals? YA books I’ve read or seen: 

ARTICHOKE’S HEART by Suzanne Supplee
KEEPING THE MOON by Sarah Dessen

Aaaaand here’s another book about body image that releases today! 

Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.

She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.

Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same TV shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung. 

But when someone starts snitching on rule breakers and getting them kicked out, music camp turns into survival of the fittest. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her chance with the drummer guy—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.

Purchase links:   

Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which will be published by Entangled Teen on June 7, 2016. Before settling down to write "for real," she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.

Help Celebrate! ENTER THE GIVEAWAY for a $25 Amazon gift card: LINK 

Can you think of any other books that help promote body positivity?
Can you think of any books that feature main characters who are atypical of Hollywood ideals of beauty?


  1. Great description. Congrats to Julie. Body image books are fascinating, whether it's part of the plot or the character is just being.

  2. Sounds like lots of conflict in this one!

  3. The Tiger's Curse series has a heavier protagonist, and Counting to D is another one I've read. I actually kind of roll my eyes these days when I start reading a book and the protagonist is smokin hot. There's an inner "ugh." I think all people are beautiful for different reasons, and there's no reason it has to be through looks.

  4. Congrats to Julie! Her book sounds like something I'd love to read.


  5. And....congrats Carol on your upcoming release!

    1. Thank you, Sandra! (Adding my thanks here since your profile has a No Reply on it). :)

  6. Ooh, this sounds like an intriguing book. I'm always on the lookout for books that address things that many people take for granted -- like good eyesight! There's one minor character in Station Eleven (by Emily St John Mandel) who loses his glasses in the first year or two after an apocalypse, and everything is forever blurry after that. I'd be so scared of that happening to me...

  7. What a great message for a book! I could have used more of this as a teen.

  8. What a great message for a book! I could have used more of this as a teen.


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