I’ve just finished e.E. Charlton-Trujillo’s Fat Angie and to be frank: it didn’t set my world on fire.
What it’s about:
Her sister was captured in Iraq, she’s the resident laughingstock at school, and her therapist tells her to count instead of eat. Can a daring new girl in her life really change anything?
Angie is broken — by her can’t-be-bothered mother, by her high-school tormenters, and by being the only one who thinks her varsity-athlete-turned-war-hero sister is still alive. Hiding under a mountain of junk food hasn’t kept the pain (or the shouts of “crazy mad cow!”) away. Having failed to kill herself — in front of a gym full of kids — she’s back at high school just trying to make it through each day. That is, until the arrival of KC Romance, the kind of girl who doesn’t exist in Dryfalls, Ohio. A girl who is one hundred and ninety-nine percent wow! A girl who never sees her as Fat Angie, and who knows too well that the package doesn’t always match what’s inside. With an offbeat sensibility, mean girls to rival a horror classic, and characters both outrageous and touching, this darkly comic anti-romantic romance will appeal to anyone who likes entertaining and meaningful fiction.
Things that irked me as a reader:
- This story was told through a third person perspective and it didn’t really work in my opinion. I felt that we were really seeing the world through Fat Angie’s eyes and yet we weren’t really privy to her inner thoughts and feelings in a convincing way. I feel that perhaps would have worked better (and connected with readers on a deeper level) told in first person.
- I got tired of Angie being called Fat Angie consistently throughout the text. I felt a bit like I was being bludgeoned with this fact about her and it really began to grate on me.
- The characters that Fat Angie encountered at William Anders High School were pretty stereotypical which was a bit tedious. Even though Charlton-Trujillo tried to create really unique, quirky characters in Fat Angie and KC Romance, they were so over the top that they became caricatures of themselves. What’s unique about a story where high school students pick on the fat girl?
You might enjoy it though:
- If you’re into arty indie films, this book could be for you. It reads a bit like I can imagine Juno might read if it was a book.
- You love a good high school story with the cast of characters and problems that come along with that.
It reminds me of: My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece, albeit very vaguely, through the themes of loss of siblings through violent situations.
Memorable phrase: Blank. Fat Angie drew an unfathomable big blank.
For those of you concerned with star ratings: I’d give it a two. At a stretch.
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