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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
Cover of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
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Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.A New England Book Award Winner!Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny....
Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.A New England Book Award Winner!Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny....
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Description-

  • Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard.

    Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.
    A New England Book Award Winner!

    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?
    Because it's time people did.
    A sensitive, funny, and painfully honest coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.
     
    An NPR Best Book of the Year
    An Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Year
    A POPSUGAR Best New Young Adult Novel
    A Cosmopolitan Best New Book
    A Bustle Most Anticipated Debut
    A Forbes Most Notable Young Adult Book
    A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee
    A Latinxs in Publishing Best Books of the Year
    A Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of the Year
    A Business Insider Best Young Adult Romance Book
     

About the Author-

  • Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is a New England Book Award winner, a Cosmopolitan Best New Book, and a POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel. Her next novel, No Filter and Other Lies, explores teenage life in the social media age—and the lies we tell to ourselves and others. By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by night, is a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, spending too much time on her phone, and being extra. Her work has also been published in Latina, BuzzFeed, and the Hartford Courant. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog. Find her everywhere @crystalwrote or CrystalWrote.com.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 14, 2020
    In this winsome, body-affirmative YA novel set in New England, a self-described fat Puerto Rican American teen wrestles with insecurity and familial pressure to lose weight as she journeys toward love and self-acceptance. Sixteen-year-old high schooler Charlotte “Charlie” Vega has never dated anyone but yearns for the real-life version of the swoonworthy romances she writes online. In her day-to-day life, Charlie contents herself with daydreaming (“I imagine being kissed about a hundred times a day”) and hanging out with her supportive best friend Amelia, who is Black. That all changes, however, when her handsome Korean classmate and coworker, Brian, expresses an interest in dating her. But as Charlie’s insecurities about her worthiness as a romantic interest begin to surface, she must work through her doubts before she sabotages the relationships closest to her heart. In a book containing themes reminiscent of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, debut author Mal-
    donado melds sunny prose with incisive commentary on society’s fatphobia, complex mother-daughter relationships, and the struggle to fully love oneself. Though the story’s narrative beats tread familiar territory, Charlie’s emotional arc hits all the right notes, resulting in a warm and insightful coming-of-age tale. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tamar Rydzinski, Context Literary.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2021
    Debut author Maldonado brings charming Charlie Vega to life as an endearing rom-com protagonist. At 16, Charlie, who has a White mom and Puerto Rican dad, has never been kissed. This is just one of the many reasons she views herself as second fiddle to Amelia, her charming, confident, pansexual best friend who is "the walking embodiment of Black excellence." Another big reason is that Amelia is beautiful--and Charlie is fat. Though Charlie is working to inculcate the body-positive messages of the #fatfashion influencers she follows, she cannot deny that classmates, especially boys, and even her own mother seem to prefer Amelia to her. She cannot blame them. To her, Amelia is perfect too, as well as being an amazing best friend. When Brian, her Korean American co-worker and classmate, begins to pursue Charlie, it is a dream come true. But a dark seed of mistrust lies buried within her. Before Charlie can truly love herself, let alone others, she has to address insidious self-doubt about her own worth caused in no small part by the constant comparisons she makes. Though readers will expect a happy ending, it is not a foregone conclusion. Charlie's struggles are authentic and raw while Maldonado's bright prose makes for a page-turner. Charlie inhabits an inviting, diverse world in an unnamed Connecticut town. An overdue and welcome ing�nue. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    January 1, 2021
    Grades 9-12 Maldonado's witty rom-com and coming-of-age story explores the life and times of Charlie Vega, who feels out of place as a fat, Brown girl in her neighborhood of slim, white suburbanites. Intelligent, creative, and charismatic, Charlie just wants to be liked, but she struggles against her mother's body-shaming toxicity, and a negative self-image has impacted her confidence and happiness, even as she warily pursues a relationship with a boy who might have a romantic connection to one of her closest friends. With a memorable cast that brings fresh faces and voices to a typically homogenous genre, this title focuses on the positives of the often difficult and confusing high-school experience: genuine friendships and allies, powerful first crushes, and discovering oneself. There are, of course, plenty of mortifying moments filled with drama, suspense, chisme, and even betrayal, but Charlie's optimistic outlook, despite the challenges that come with her identity, will attract a widespread audience of romance lovers and expand their idea of what a romantic lead can look like.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2021

    Gr 9 Up-Charlie Vega is struggling, and who can blame her? She's continuously bullied by her mother about her weight, resigned to being overshadowed by her thin and popular best friend Amelia, withdrawn from her Puerto Rican extended family after the death of her father, and tossed aside by her admittedly unworthy crush. When she meets a new coworker, Brian, it's not easy to let go of her insecurities in pursuit of her own happiness. Charlie's romantic journey is adorable, perfectly encompassing all the giddy hopes and insecurities of first love. Maldonado dumps all the old tropes that have so often portrayed teenage boys as being manipulative and mean until finally realizing that maybe a female character is worthwhile. Here, love interest Brian is constant, compassionate, and kind from the beginning. The teenage characters act out with some high school melodrama, especially Charlie and Amelia as they adjust to their changing friendship. However, they own and apologize for their actions, demonstrating an emotional maturity and self-awareness not always credited to teenagers. Charlie's mother's tentative acceptance of her isn't convincing enough to overcome the fat-shaming and emotional abuse she demonstrates throughout the story, however, it's Charlie's personal growth that matters the most. She starts out knowing that she should love and accept herself, but believing it is hard. Getting there is worth the bumps along the way. The characters are diverse and authentic-Charlie's dad was Puerto Rican and her mother is white, Amelia is pansexual and Black, and Brian is Korean American with two moms. VERDICT Sweet and sincere, Charlie Vega's journey is a delight.-Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State Univ., OH

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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