Release: February 2nd 2021
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Holiday House
Back of the Book: Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.
By Alex B.
From the moment I laid eyes on its cover, I knew Fat Chance, Charlie Vega was a book I needed to read. Charlie and I are alike in a lot of ways. We’re both obsessed with Beyoncé (as we should be), both writers, women of color, and plus-size!
Charlie is a character you root for no matter what—Charlie’s my girl and I’m going to stick beside her. She is funny, sarcastic, passionate, and an ever so hopeless romantic. Although Charlie struggles with her insecurities of being fat (it’s not a bad word, I promise) and living in her best friend, Amelia’s, shadow, I’m happy it’s not her defining moment—even if Charlie at times in the book can’t see it that way.
To Charlie, Amelia is a charismatic enigma, but I never got the impression she pitied Charlie. Throughout the book, I viewed Amelia as someone who simply wanted the best for her best friend. Truthfully, when Charlie and Amelia’s friendship started to crumble, I found myself siding with Amelia.
“I would secretly give anything to be thin, while outwardly and openly rebelling against the idea that anyone should have to.”
Charlie’s complicated relationship with her mother is one of the main focal points of the book. Charlie’s mom at times is just downright mean. Sadly, it felt like everything her mom said and did was glossed over in the end. The “apology” Charlie’s mom gave to her was far from satisfying. It was giving very much, “Oh, honey, I don’t hate you. Of course, I said so many terrible things to you and made you feel like shit for years, but I could never hate my only daughter.”
EXCUSE me ma’am? You had a problem with your daughter’s boyfriend because he’s fat!
Thank goodness for Brian! My sweet, sensitive king! I love Charlie, that’s my girl, but Brian is chef’s kiss. I don’t usually gush over men for the simplest of actions, but there’s just something about a male character written by a female writer. They should be protected at all costs. I loved Brian the moment he was introduced.
Quite frankly, I’m annoyed so much of the book was wasted on Charlie’s fixation with Cal because she and Brian deserved more time to shine as not only a couple but friends as well. Brian, get behind me, because it’s time for a brief rant. Charlie angered me so much when she dumped Brian, and over text message no less! Who is she? Joe Jonas?
“It’s the first year where I don’t waste my wish on being skinny; I wish for more happy moments like this.”
Brian is such a good guy and he absolutely adored Charlie. I completely understood why Charlie felt the way she did. She was letting her insecurities get in the way, but I’m happy they found their way back to each other.
I absolutely loved reading Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. There were moments when I cried because Charlie’s journey was all too familiar to my own, times when I laughed, and times when I smiled like an idiot into the book because I was just so happy for Charlie. These are the best kind of books, the ones where you feel a variety of emotions once it’s done. It means the author did something right.
READ FOR YOURSELF
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