The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom by Allison L. Bitz
Published: June 22nd 2023 by Harper Collins / May 2nd 2023 by HarperTEEN
Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary, Romance, Coming-Of-Age, LGBT
Quick Thoughts: A rare gem, effortlessly blending humour, growth and self-love. I couldn’t love this more!
About The Book:
A bright and fun fat-positive coming-of-age novel about self-discovery, humility, friendship, love, and how to express yourself when what has always defined you is no longer an option, by debut author Allison L. Bitz. Perfect for fans of Crystal Maldonado, Emma Lord, and Becky Albertalli.
Bridget Bloom’s out-of-this-world voice is the perfect fit for center stage. When Bridget’s admitted to Richard James Academy, a college prep boarding school with a prestigious music program—where heartthrob Duke Ericson attends—all her dreams are on track to come true: leave the hometown where she’s never belonged, fall in love, and launch her Broadway career.
But upon arriving at the academy, she learns that due to her low music theory scores, she’s not eligible to perform or earn the sponsorship she needs to afford the tuition. Worst of all, Dean of Students Octavia Lawless, the one person with the power to reverse the decision, challenges her to work on her humility . . . by not singing at all.
Without her voice, Bridget will have to get out of her comfort zone and find a new way to shine. Good thing she is unstoppable!
As a girl that’s been Plus Sized all her life, and unlike Bridget lacked confidence because of it, I am always on the lookout for books that have fat-positive main characters that I can live vicariously through. As soon as the publisher offered me an ARC (thank you team Harper360!!) I snapped it up because it was already on my radar and high on my TBR.
Bridget has never shied away from the spotlight, destined to be leading role material in Broadway one day—just ask her Dads, rooting for her dreams all the way. So when those dreams skyrocket and she is accepted into Richard James Academy—a well-regarded and dreamy college-prep boarding school, she can hardly believe how her plan of stardom is coming together. But on arrival, her high hopes are dwindled by the announcement that her low music theory results were not enough to get her in to the desired programs she wanted.
Not only that, but Dean of Students, Octavia Lawless, refuses to reverse the decision, putting Bridget on a path of bringing herself down a peg or two, challenging her to withhold from singing and not lean too much into her pride. Stuck, lost and unsure of what the Academy holds without getting to sing, Bridget begins a plan to get back into the good graces of the higher-ups, brush up on her music theory with the help of new friends, and maybe find—in the most unlikely of places—her true voice and place in the world.
Overall, The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom was one of those books that, without you really noticing, gets into all the crevices of your heart. I laughed, I felt, I loved, all in the space of Bridget’s story and Allison’s words. Being a plus-size girl in a fatphobic world, I needed stories like this when I was younger, ones where “fat” wasn’t an insult and being bigger didn’t mean I wasn’t allowed the same spaces and choices as others. The friendships (and sugar-sweet romance) in this book were *chef’s kiss* and I adored Max. All in all, it was a rare gem, effortlessly blending humour, growth and self-love. Consider me a new fan—Allison has now become a must-read-author for me. I couldn’t love this more! FIVE STARS!
About The Author
Allison L. Bitz hails from Lincoln, NE, where she lives with her spouse and two kids. Her superpower is empathy, and she’s been known to have resting tell-me-your-life-story face. Allison holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology and has worked as a licensed psychologist since 2012. When she’s not working on a novel or counseling, Allison is more than likely writing a song, getting riled up about something political, or trying to track down a pastry to enjoy with her coffee. She has a soft spot for rescue animals, which are vying for species majority in her home (two perfect dogs, two ornery cats). The Unstoppable Bridget Bloom is her debut novel. You can learn more about Allison at www.AllisonLBitz-author.com, or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok at @AllisonLBitz.