3 out of 4 stars
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The words focused, resolute and level-headed could definitely define William Bobbitt, a youthful young man whose goal in life is to live better and not just settle for average. Unfortunately, his life is not as exhilarating as he would have wanted it to be owing to his weight. Categorised as obese, William, mostly known as Billy Bob, is limited in his choices. For starters, his crush Joyce Tilly does not seem to even notice him. She seems happy and content in the arms of Joe Brett, the class bully. He can only hope that one day he will master the courage and approach her.
Everything changes when Billy Bob meets his long-time friend, Tommy Suzuki. Tommy like Billy, was once overweight. When Billy Bob meets him again, he is surprised by how much weight his friend has lost. It is then that Tommy reveals his experiences while attending a Dr. Fugita’s seminars. Billy Bob joins his friend in these seminars and takes up cycling. This marks the start of a new life of opportunities. He starts paying attention to his diet and with time, he witnesses the results. Joe Brett, on the other hand, is not too happy with Billy Bob’s progress and he is not ready to sit around and watch him succeed.
Grinder Hill by C.D. Shelton chronicles the life of Billy Bob, highlighting his journey with weight loss and resulting achievements. The author manages to develop the plot while including informative facts about obesity and ways it can be combated. The sub-plots which include other characters such as Joyce Tilly and Joe Brett provide other interesting facets of the book beyond the weight loss information.
I thought the main character’s achievements provided an outlook of possible incentives that would get a reader to lose weight. Billy Bob’s life gradually changes for the better as he loses more weight. Even though his life was meaningful initially, at the end he is able to broaden his viewpoint of life and achieve better health.
Unfortunately, I felt that the antagonist’s position was not well developed. Joe Brett barely appears throughout the plot and beyond his continued loathe for Billy Bob, there is not much that can be said about him.
Grinder Hill also contains too many aspects of repetition in narration. In some instances, the happenings of one scene were retold a couple of times which made the story a bit dull. Still, there are points in the book that contained suspenseful moments, though not many. Overall, the book’s content was educative. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars.
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