Tuesday, November 10, 2009

B as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras

In B as in Beauty, Beauty Maria Zavala, who simply goes by B, is a "woman of size" and is underappreciated because of it, especially at work. She feels helpless to change people's attitude towards her until she meets Madame Natasha Sokolov, a sort of "modern day fairy godmother" who shows B that inside she's the woman she's always wanted to be. With a few minor tweaks, there really is a beauty there waiting to get out. And once she accepts that, her life will get a whole lot better.

I loved this book. At times it was laugh-out-loud funny; at other times it was very touching. I loved that it was written in the first person and that B occasionally "talks" to the reader. It's like she's acknowledging me as an insider. She knows I'm watching her every move and doesn't mind. Ferreras has a wonderful sense of humour and shows it right at the beginning of the book with Chapter 0. The exchange between the two women police officers Elaine and Carol (page 302) had me in stitches. Too funny.

I loved that he doesn't mention how fat B is. She could have been a size 14 or a size 22. She could have weighed 150 or +250. Smart move. This way the story appeals to more women. I don't think the audience for this is limited to larger women, though. When it comes right down to it, I think many women could relate to B.

B was a great character. I really felt for her when she overheard her boss, Bonnie, talking about her while they were both in the restroom. Bonnie was a horrible, horrible woman and I couldn't wait until someone knocked her down a notch. Madame on the other hand was a darling and offered B tons of great advice. As part of B's "makeover", Madame introduced her to some pretty strange men all of whom preferred "women of size". [I love that term, so excuse me while I use it more than once].

I had to keep glancing at the cover because I couldn't believe this book was written by a man. Alberto Ferreras really knows women. From her inner most thoughts to her relationships with other women, he nailed it.

Favourite quotes (from pages 19, 262 and 263 respectively):
...no one in college had taught me how to survive in a snake pit, and that--I hate to tell you--should have been my number-one skill.
When you do something stupid but you don't know how stupid it is, you are somehow protected by your imbecility.
If you don't want people to know what you did, then don't do it.

Highly recommended. I hope Ferreras writes more books...that is if he can find the time between performing and filmmaking. Awesome first novel!

For more information about this book, please visit the Hachette Book Group website.

For more information about the author, please visit Alberto Ferreras's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Hachette Book Group for this review copy.

B as in Beauty: A Novel by Alberto Ferreras, Grand Central Publishing, ©2009. ISBN 9780446697897(Trade Paperback), 325p.


  1. I have been wanting to get at this book for a while. Your review makes me want to move it closer to the top of my reading stack. Thanks

  2. So glad to see a review of this! I have this and it is languishing it a pile somewhere. I'll also have to move it where I can see it and get to it sooner now.


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