24 December 2012

Book Review: Weight Loss Terrorists by Redd Kaiman

SYNOPSIS: Anne Kitts has let herself go ever since college. Having children has taken her out of shape, and her high calorie diet is not helping. One day, she receives a phone call. Her husband has been kidnapped. She does her best to deal with the kidnapper, but he only wants one thing: Anne has to lose weight over the next six months or her husband will be dead.

With the help of retired police officer, Paul Rice, Anne must burn the fat and outwit the kidnapper in this black comedy action thriller.

REVIEW: I actually like the premise of the story. I think it had a lot of potential but I don't think the execution was successful.  I have two simple reasons why this short story was just "okay" for me:

1) The lack of character development. Considering that Anne's husband was kidnapped, I expected her to have a change of heart at some point. I imagined her working out Rocky style in the hopes of satisfying the kidnapper's demands. Sadly this did not happen. Anne's character frustrated me because she'd go from not wanting to exercise, to wanting to exercise, to not wanting to exercise again. She kept making excuses saying she "can't do it" and that annoyed me a lot. I was like, "dude your husband's kidnapped. Is it really such a bad thing to even try?" I know the police were a bit laxed when the investigation was ongoing and Anne was mad that they weren't taking it as seriously but it still annoyed me that she kept making excuses just to get out of working out and dieting. Towards the end of the story, I still didn't feel Anne transcend even after her bravery mainly because all I could remember was her on and off whining. 

2) It lacked substance. To me it just seemed like regular story telling, one where all you can expect is the story going from point A to point B. Aside from that, Anne's on and off aversion to working out wasn't given any sort of depth. Maybe that's part of the reason why most of the time I just felt annoyed at her - it's like there wasn't any real reason for her stubbornness. Furthermore, the kidnapper's reason for kidnapping Mr. Kitts was a bit meh for me. I was actually expecting the kidnapping was just a ruse to motivate Anne to slim down. Apparently it's not. Err. The kidnapper's reason wasn't fully fleshed out so in the end I was left wanting more out of the story.

What I did like about the story is the overall theme. It had a lot of potential, even for a short story. I give credit for great ideas like that. And yes, I do think it lived up to its black comedy genre so I also gave credit for that.


***I received an e-copy of this book for review.***
 This review is based solely on my opinion.


  1. Hola Isabel :D
    This is sad :( The title sounds hilarious, but if it lacks character development (characters are most important!) and substance, then it's not really a story. Anne sounds like a horrible character! In most stories, it's about the character overcoming fear and being like "Yes, I can do this!". Anne doesn't look like a true MC >_<
    This is a great review! Thanks :D

    1. Thanks, Kirthi! I wanted to like the short story so much because I really liked the concept but then the story fell short for me. You're right. It IS sad. :/

  2. The blurb sounds fabulous...too bad this didn't thrill you. Short stories are tough to pack in adequate plot and characterization.

    1. I really wanted to be thrilled though. But I do recognize that it's hard to fully develop a short story given the limitations. I've only read one other short story in the span of time I've been reviewing. It's called Hearts Made of Stone. I liked it. I kind of want to read more just to get a general feel of short stories.