August 10, 2015

Girl Crush Mondays: Carrie Roberts, Just a Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre

Just a Few Inches 
Tara St. Pierre
YA Contemporary
June 1, 2015

All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.

To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.

Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.

Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.

Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.

I tried keeping my mind on the game instead of worrying, but every time I bounced, a bra strap would slide off, constantly reminding me that something strange had happened to my body.

It was worse during our half-time routine. Towards the end, the squad split up into groups, each holding someone up in the air and letting her fall back into our arms. I was part of a group of five girls helping to lift Trish. My job was to cup my hands underneath Trish’s right foot while she was raised into the air. Two of the other girls held her calves in place, a third spotted from behind, and Janelle had her left foot since she and I were supposed to be the same height. I found myself having to stretch my legs and arms more than I should have needed to keep Trish’s feet even.

When Todd found me after the game, I clung to him, and he innocently said, “Stand up straight so I can rest my chin on your head.”

“I am standing up straight,” I mumbled.

Then came an awkward moment where we both looked at my legs and feet to verify my claim. I was definitely shorter than I had been the week before. Todd simply stared at me, not knowing what to say.

Lauren witnessed the incident, and we gave the details to Trish in my car, after I adjusted the driver’s seat forward one click. Keeping one hand on the steering wheel while the other wiped away tears collecting in my eyes, I asked, “What’s happening to me?”

From the back seat, Lauren put her hand on my shoulder. “Don’t panic. There’s got to be a logical reason why you’ve gotten shorter.”

“People don’t get shorter!”

“It might be some weird side effect of those pills. You did take a lot of them.”

Her voice had a told-you-so tone to it, but she was right. How could I have been so stupid, so careless, so desperate? “What should I do?”

Sitting in the passenger seat, Trish turned to me and flailed her arms as she spoke. “If you stopped taking them, the effect will reverse itself. That’s how it works with my mom. She always puts the weight back on no matter what diet she tries.”

In my rearview mirror, I could see Lauren roll her eyes before asking, “You still have the pills, right? First thing you’ve got to do is tell your mother—”

The car swerved as I exclaimed, “No way! I can’t tell her! She’ll freak out when she finds out what I did.”

“She’s going to figure it out. She knows how tall you’re supposed to be. Look how quickly Todd noticed.”

“There are ways to make you look taller,” said Trish. “All it takes is the right pair of shoes until this wears off.”

There was an uncomfortable silence. I was pretty sure Lauren and Trish were wondering the same thing I was wondering: what if it didn’t wear. 

With Carrie Roberts, lead of JUST A FEW INCHES

Hi Carrie! Thanks for taking time off your busy schedule to chat with me! Let's start with the basics. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself like how do you like your coffee, your favorite dessert, your least favorite Taylor Swift song, etc.

I’m eighteen years old, so I’m a senior in high school. I’m a cheerleader, and I’m the assistant editor of the school newspaper. I want to study journalism in college, with the hopes of becoming a television news reporter.

I don’t drink very much coffee—only on the rare occasion when I wake up still half asleep, and then I’ll take it black. I’m partial to chocolate cake for dessert, but I don’t have it very often. One of my closest friends, Trish, always has a chocolate bar on hand, and I can count on her to share.

As for Taylor Swift songs, it’s not so much that it’s my least favorite, but my cheering squad did a routine to part of Shake It Off, and after hearing it so many times…well, let’s just say it was hard to shake it out of my head.

I can't blame you there. I used to not care about TSwift but her new album is so popular it's kinda grown on me. So this boyfriend, what's his name?... Is he like Zac Efron in HSM & the ex like Ashley Tisdale's character?

My boyfriend’s name is Todd. Like Zac Efron in HSM, Todd plays basketball, and he always has his head in the game. He’s the school’s star player, and he’s got a cute face like Zac. Todd’s really tall, about a head taller than I am…I mean, taller than I was. He used to rest his chin on my head and call me “Short-Stuff.” Yeah, I don’t like him calling me that anymore.

Janelle, his ex, is the captain of the cheer squad, and she’s a lot like Sharpay in the way they want to be the center of attention. She dated him last year and into the summer, but dumped him for the quarterback of the football team. Wherever the spotlight is, that’s where she wants to be. Her mother’s a model, and she inherited her mom’s good looks and fashion sense, but I know she looks down on me. Figuratively and now literally too.

Wow, very cliche of this Janelle chick. Now I love fashion, so please do tell me about this dress you want for Valentine's Day? I mean I'm a fashion girl myself so I can appreciate a well-made, pretty dress.

I won’t deny that it’s gorgeous. It’s a red halter dress with a plunging neckline, so it’d show off some cleavage. The pleated skirt hung just above my knees, and it swished nicely when I walked. When I first put it on and stared at myself in the store mirror, I knew it was the one. I had never seen myself look so pretty, but I couldn’t zip it up all the way. It was too small; or I was too big.

I probably would have searched for another dress at other stores, but Janelle happened to wander in. She would have fit perfectly in the dress, and it was the only one in the store, so I had to buy it. I couldn’t let her have it, but then it meant I had to wear it to the dance or she’d never let me live it down. That’s why I needed a way to lose some inches here and there.

I only meant to lose just a few inches.

The dress sounds very much like that iconic Marilyn Monroe dress except it's in red. I love it! Now on to the most fascinating part. The pill! Girl! I need to lose a LOT of inches here and there and naturally, that translates to the scale. What is this pill and what's the fuss about it? Is this the same thing that got Dr. Oz in trouble?

I doubt Dr. Oz endorsed this pill, but I know that the company that made the pill is going to get in trouble. I probably shouldn’t have said that. As long as my family doesn’t implicate their product, they’re helping fund research into curing my…condition.

So I’d stay away from the pill if I were you. But if you must take it, be sure to take it in the recommended dose. I wish I had. Otherwise, you could wind up like me and lose inches here and there and everywhere. Inches you’d never imagine you could lose—from places you’d never imagine you could lose them from. And I’m still losing them, and no one knows when—or if—it will stop.

Oh my! I hope you're not turning into a waif! I heard from Tara that you're quite the media darling now. What's it's like being in the spotlight? Have you met those Kardashian-Jenner girls? Any tips for those tabloid-star wannabes?

I’ve always wondered what makes them so famous other than their looks. I’m only in the spotlight because of what’s happening to me. As I said, I want to major in journalism. I’d rather report the news than be the news.

But no, I haven’t met them, and I don’t really want to be seen in public while I’m still getting smaller, so I’m using my blog as an outlet. It helps me try to stay positive—to keep looking up—even while I’m always looking up at everything and everyone. It’s surreal that so many people want to read what I write, and it’s touching when people I don’t even know post and share stories of their own struggles. I hope my words help others learn that who we are as people on the inside is bigger than what we look like on the outside.

Tara St. Pierre has been writing for over two decades, but her muse only sporadically provides inspiration. Her laptop is filled with incomplete manuscripts and other plot outlines, and she feels blessed when one finally pushes its way through to completion--no matter how long it takes!

She enjoys classic science fiction movies and television shows. When driving, she sings along with the radio loudly and off key. She prefers tea over coffee, spring over autumn, vanilla ice cream over chocolate, and caramel over hot fudge. Though she lives by herself, one of her two cats enjoys cuddling with her.

Follow Tara
Facebook | @AuthorTaraStP

Talk Supe


  1. What the heck ... this certain sounds different. And now I'm kind of itching to know what happens. Just how small does she get?

    1. I know, me too! Like is she turning into a waif? Grasshopper?

  2. Wow! Interesting excerpt... I can't believe she's shrinking! I hope they figure out a solution!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  3. My friend told me she really enjoyed this book and I've been curious about it ever since. Carrie sounds like an interesting character at that. I need to meet her. :)

    1. That's cool! I hope I can read this soon, I mean how can you not with that plot?

  4. Wow this sounds interesting, thanks for sharing!

  5. Sounds cute. I wouldn't want to shrink - I'm already short enough lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Hahaha, I only want to downsize horizontally

  6. LOL, I Agree with Christy, now I need to know everything!! Thanks for sharing this!

  7. I so need to know what's going on...this sounds interesting and scary!

    1. It's hard NOT to want to know what the heck is happening.

  8. Color me intrigued! I wonder how small she winds up getting. Thanks Braine!

  9. Okay, I'm sold! I so want to read this book!

  10. Ooh what an intriguing premise. Like Alice in Wonderland sort of heh.

    1. You think so? Hmmm... I'll have to watch for that when I read this.

  11. The Incredible Shrinking Woman story! Sounds interesting and also like it has a good message. Enjoyed your interview, ladies!

  12. Thank you, Braine, for featuring the book. And thank you, everyone, for all your positive comments. Not gonna tell you how small she gets or if she's cured--you'll have to read the book! ;-)

    Carrie says thank you too, but she's shrinking away from the spotlight. And she's dreading the possibility that her wardrobe may soon come from a certain fashion doll who shall not be named. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

    Thanks again!

    1. Oi, entice us some more why don't you?

      Thanks, Tara!

  13. I love this chat! How fun and so making me want to read it. You have my curiosity peaked! Hm.. I'm short so I don't think I'd want to shrink any more. LOL

  14. Fun interview and so is the premise of the book.

    sherry @ fundinmental

  15. Miracle dieting pills that work... to well? That sounds like a a crazy ride! I would hate to shrink. I'm short enough. D:

    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger

  16. Hmm, sounds pretty cute! And that was a great interview! ;)

  17. Sounds kind of Honey I Shrunk the kids or that kind of thing. Or even Thinner by Steven King-but that was too dark. This one sounds different and now you have me wanting to know what happens!

    1. It does sound very 80's teen light urban fantasy right?


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