Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fat Angie

Fat Angie
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Candlewick, 2013
$16.99, Hardcover

Genre: Realistic
Age: 12+
Description: Fat Angie is fat. She’s so fat that everyone has always called her Fat Angie. Not only does she have her weight to deal with, but her awesome straight-A older sister who had scholarships to go to great universities decided on graduation day to join the military and get shipped out to Iraq where she got kidnapped and her hostage situation was broadcast all over the media. Everyone believes her sister is long dead but Fat Angie refuses to give up hope that she’ll come back. Her can’t-be-bothered mother can’t see why Fat Angie is so depressed at her sister’s disappearance and can’t see why she can’t lose some weight. Her high school is full of tormentors who are so mean they’ll do anything, including cussing her out. It doesn’t help that everyone considers her “that crazy girl” who, after her sister was shown on TV, tried to kill herself in front of a gym full of students and failed. Having to repeat a grade because of said incident, she doesn’t have much hope for the new year until a new girl shows up in her gym class. A new girl who doesn’t take shit from anyone—KC Romance is from another universe. She’s surprised when KC shows interest in Fat Angie as a person—as Angie. With encouragement, Angie starts to exercise with the goal of getting on the varsity basketball team in the number her championship winning sister wore.
Opinion: The story is good but odd. The writing style is very unique and might turn off some readers as it takes a bit of a struggle to plow through it and get used to the style (very short sentences, talking about yourself in third person, etc.). Angie is the epitome of the poor teen who is outcasted by everyone at her school. She doesn’t have many friends until KC shows up and one boy, who she’s been neighbors with her whole life, finally starts to also befriend her. The girls are the ultimate mean girls in the things they do to Angie. The other weird thing about the story was that Angie, who has never dated before, appears to be automatically gay when she lays eyes on KC. So it is confusing because the GLBT angle isn’t clearly stated. Is Angie gay? From her comments (when she finds out KC has dated girls before) she has never considered it so why wasn’t she shocked at her attraction to KC? Instead her feelings seemed totally normal to her. Yet when she decides to tell KC that she’s “gay-girl-gay” with her she seems shocked at her newfound sexual orientation. It would have been better if the reader got to see Angie struggle with the discovery of these new feelings. Overall, the storyline was a really good realistic fiction story and most of the main characters are fleshed out and face real life situations that are at times heartbreaking.

*Thanks to Andie Krawczyk at Candlewick for providing an ARC of this title for the YA Galley Group project!*

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