"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde
This is a tough one for me for several reasons. Maybe 2.5 stars, but I'm not sure.
The blurb had a lot of promise, and really drew me in. It's always nice to have an MC who isn't perfectly toned with washboard abs and a beautiful face. And since I've read a book about a character getting fit a little while ago and really enjoyed it, I gave this a try.
But I was also sceptical, and I'm afraid, I was right. At least a little. The problem with this kind of storyline is the fine line the author walks on. On the one hand, there is a lot to say for a character who experiences health problems because of too much weight and decides to do something about it. Many people can relate to that, and some probably also admire the MC, because he manages to get up and do something about it while the rest of "us" usually make up excuses for not even joining a gym or changing a diet. And it's good to see somebody (even though he is fictional) taking action, changing their lifestyle and getting healthier and happier.
But. And that was part of my problem with this story. As I said, there is a small line between "I want to get healthier and feel better." and "I have to work out and be slim, because otherwise I'll never find happiness." IMHO, there lies a very dangerous path of thinking and our MC, Sam, displays it to a T. He might have started to think about his weight because of his doctor and his health, but later he solely focused on getting slim in order to maybe have a chance with Luke. I'm not saying that the outside inlfuence and the additional motivation of Sam weren't understandable or even normal, but I do think it was unhealthy at times. Especially after Sam thought he was rejected because of his body and immediately started eating as much as he could, as unhealthy as he could, and stopped working out altogether. And only started again because Luke came around. It was like he exchanged one obsession for the other. Sam was so convinced he couldn't be the least bit happy if he wasn't at least 30 pounds slimmer. Or more toned. Or more beautiful. Health wasn't exactly his motivational rock.
Which is why I had issues with this story. I don't think the author did it intentionally. Luke was a good antipole to this line of thinking. He wanted to get to know Sam and be with him, no matter what his size. Which was refreshing, and sweet. So in the end, the author really tried to show how wrong Sam's thinking was at times. But it couldn't completely erase my concerns and unhappiness.
The other thing I wasn't completely happy with was Luke's story. A lot was hinted at, paraphrased or insinuated. But there wasn't a lot of "concrete" telling or showing. Luke, like Sam, has big issues with self-esteem and self-worth, but for completely different reasons. He too was treated badly by an ex-boyfriend, obviously especially in the bedroom. But we don't really get a lot more than that which bugged me a lot. I couldn't understand where Luke was coming from a lot of times, and his unexplained issues made him seem more immature than anything else.
All in all, it was an okay read, but my issues kept me from completely ennjoying it. 2.5 stars, rounded down for now.