Book Review: All About Vee by C. Leigh Purtill

All About Vee Veronica May is a pretty standard teenager. At eighteen years old, she is bubbly, caring and has a few great friends known as ‘The Vees,’ named simply after the first letter in all of their first names. She is a confident actress, star of her school and city theater in her hometown of Chester, Arizona and she is absolutely gorgeous–All 217 pounds of her.

While Veronica loves her life in Chester, she loves the spotlight even more and craves the success that as a big city actor, she knows she could achieve.

Once her father, a widower librarian, decides to finally marry his girlfriend of ten years and the city theater casting a play in which there are no female lead roles, Veronica feels as if she is being replaced not only in her household, but in her whole city. With her father’s reluctance to talk to Veronica about her deceased mother and provide his child with any closure, she decides to make her dream of being a successful actress a reality after finding some old letters that her mother had written her father in the attic. Veronica learns that her mother was also an aspiring actress who left her life in a little city in pursuit of becoming successful in LA–And that is just where Veronica heads to start her big city life.

Veronica drives to LA and stays with one of her childhood friends and fellow Vee and soon learns that life in LA is nothing like she had imagined and that in order to be a successful actress, you don’t merely have to be good at acting. While learning the ropes of this new city and spending her life savings on head shots and a myriad of acting, yoga and movement classes, Veronica realizes that being confident and talented are the least sought after attributes when it comes to being an actress.

Struggling with sending head shots, waiting for call backs and going on cattle calls and auditions, Veronica starts working as a barista and makes friends with two other fellow actors. She loves her job at the coffee shop and her new friends, but her attraction to the manager is also weighing down hard on her path to stardom.

All About Vee is a must-read book for all young teenage girls, in my opinion, for the simple fact that Purtill illustrates how women who aren’t a size 0 are treated not only in LA and not only because they are striving to become actresses, but all across this country. She gives the weight epidemic that plagues so many young girls a story and luckily, Veronica does not change a thing about her weight throughout the book, which I was impressed with.

Through her time in LA, Veronica learns that those who you think are your friends can change and become people you don’t want to associate yourself with, that people can be brutal and backstabbing and to always remember who the people that love you are because those will be the people who want and help you to succeed in life.

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