Review: If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
Martha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe.
Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what?
It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side.
Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?
The moment I read this story’s description in the #romanceclass group back when #romanceclass2016 was happening, I knew this was one book that I would want to read. And the moment I had the ARC and read the dedication, I had tears in my eyes:
To every girl who has ever been called the f-word. You are beautiful. Believe it.
I remember reading If the Dress Fits in the middle of Ortigas traffic and I was highlighting passages and laughing and tweeting and feeling so much for Martha that I totally didn’t mind the traffic at all. Martha was such a fun character to read, and I was rallying with her all throughout. I love how she’s so unapologetically confident, and how she accepted herself – size and food choices, included. And yet, she was also the kind of girl who knew that accepting yourself – size and food choices and all – isn’t always easy, and some days you’ll have to fight harder to do it.
This resonated with me so much because there was a time I only really felt beautiful when I lost some weight, and this is something that I still struggle with. I’ve gained the weight I lost back (poor diet, lack of exercise, metabolism and age, etc etc), and now that I’m trying to lose it again, I’m also trying to get a healthy mindset about it. And it’s really hard to like yourself sometimes when it seems like other people who are thinner than you seem to have more fun. Reading If the Dress Fits reminded me that fun and beauty isn’t about the numbers, but really loving and accepting yourself. It sounds cliche, but it’s something that I think people forget, no matter what dress size we wear.
But Martha is not just the lovable thing in this book. I loved how family played a big part in this, especially now that I totally understand how Titas ask those questions and how I’m learning interesting ways to dodge/deflect them. 😛 It’s crazy but also heartwarming how everyone can drive each other nuts but in the end still stick together and be there for each other. And of course, let’s not forget Max — lovely, adorable, giraffe-birthing Max. I liked him, and his friendship with Martha, and the developments in their relationship had me smiling all the way to the end.
Suffice to say that I loved this so much that when I found out there were only 3 print copies left during #FeelsFest, I immediately ran to the table to grab two copies – one for myself and one for my friend. This is totally a gem of a book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to read a really good love story about loving your best friend, your family, and ultimately, loving yourself.
It’s weird, the moment you realize you’re in love. You see it when you’ve lost it, and in the most random, inappropriate of times…I didn’t recognize it at first because I’d known love to be this slow, agonizing thing that was never returned. But this? This kind of love filled my heart with so much happiness that I wanted to laugh.
Also by Carla: