ARC Review: The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen | Teen Ink

ARC Review: The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen

November 11, 2021
By Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
Bella_Queen DIAMOND, Plymouth, Ohio
70 articles 25 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.
-Walt Whitman


The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen was a gorgeous book about finding your voice in the face of injustice! It was all about Addie, a talented dancer whose dreams of going to Angles are crushed when she realizes she won’t have enough money for tuition. But, with her friends’ help, she sets up a burlesque show at the school, owning her body, femininity, and voice at the same time!

I want to start with the characters because they were truly amazing! Addie was obviously my favorite. She was a gorgeous, fat, confident young woman who was shaping the world to fit her. She was a hero, inspiring, and unafraid to show off her body. And she’s right; the world tells women when to show their bodies and then ridicules us for doing it on our own terms! If you can’t tell, this book made me angry, no, furious, at society.

But Addie wasn’t the only one I came to adore; Katherine was such a little devilish darling! She really caught onto my heart with her threats and sweet nature! The only thing I wish this book had more of was her, and also Naveah, and Taylor. I wish we could have read about his act, because I’m sure it would have been awesome like he said! 

The Big Reveal was truly something special, but it didn’t seem that way from the beginning. I was quickly bored over their slow-going scheme, the boy and girl problems, and also Addie’s mom’s stupidity. But then, near the end of the book, my excitement was sparked! After the Dirty Little Secret is uncovered, the dean of the school charges Addie and her two friends of immoral-conduct. To be more specific, Addie, a female, and her two other female friends are charged. Their male friend is not. This sparked my outrage immediately, and, obviously, Addie’s. Not only that, but when Addie brings to the dean’s attention a picture of her defaced by a slur against women, he reacts by asking her what she expected to happen! My rage was through the roof at this point! But Addie took it all in stride: On the day of her and her friends’ hearing, they wore their dance costumes and demand that the dean see how wrong the school is! The school asks them to wear such revealing costumes and then turns around and calls them immoral when they show off their bodies on their own terms. Her speech was gorgeous, and I loved how powerful she was in that moment! Owning your body and your confidence is something society should encourage, not dissuade. I wish Addie was real to show the world that women deserve respect in all cases!

But, even though the book was inspiring and gorgeously feminist, it was still a little droll at the beginning. The show was slow-going and not very present at first. It was pushed behind a lot of uninteresting conversations and trifle issues. Not only that, but it also showed off a badly handled situation including pictures. I won’t go into detail, but the situation was handled very poorly by Addie and her friends. But would the dean have done anything about this? I’m not so sure, but some attention should have been brought to it.

All in all, The Big Reveal surely flared my anger and poked at my feminist side, demanding me to show the world that women are more than just pretty things to stare at or ridicule. It was more than simply thought provoking. It could easily instill in someone the confidence to go out and demand respect! The world knows we need more women to own their power. I just hope we start to.



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