Friday, 4 September 2015

Review of Confessions of a Fat Girl

Confessions of a Fat Girl is a story that hit me emotionally – more than I was expecting so you’ll have to forgive if my review Is less than coherent.

Smart and ambitious Season Minett was homeschooled, got accepted into college at 16, graduated with a B.A. in English at 20, got a job at a prestigious magazine at 21, and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. Twenty-two-year-old Season has it made and everyone knows it. Except Season herself.

People can gush over her all day long, but Season knows they’re just being nice. In reality, she’s accomplished nothing. She doesn’t work hard enough, can’t get her book published, and worst of all at 5’6, 180 pounds with a thirty-two inch waist, a forty-four inch hip, and arms too big for her body, she’s fat and ugly. She's such a disappointment that after her mother divorced Season's dad, she went to live with her new, younger boyfriend and left Season to mother the rest of her siblings. So Season is quite bewildered when the guy she sees every weekend at the bookstore shows serious interest in her. And she ends up liking him. A lot.

Season's not naive enough to think love will solve all her problems though. In fact, love seems to be making everything worse because her food obsession is growing more and more out of her control. But that's impossible. There's nothing wrong with counting calories and wanting to be thin. There's nothing wrong with trying to be as perfect as everyone thinks she is. A fat girl can't develop an eating disorder, let alone have one. Right?


Cliffnotes version: Season is a girl taking care of her siblings because her parents have abandoned them, working in a job she hates, and has an eating disorder that she refuses to recognize. And then she meets Victor and…none of that changes. But she becomes better.

Season’s character is frustrating in the best way. You are always rooting for her to break these bad habits in her personality and lifestyle. She’s the definition of “the girl who grew up too soon”. She’s forced to make mature decisions when she’s not quite equipped to and it leads to a lot of infuriating hijinks. I enjoyed reading this girl’s journey because it was so flawed and so emotion-based; my stomach clenched with hope that she’d be alright.

I had a different emotional connection to Victor where he became an idealized version of Season’s perfect match. He became a foil to her blunt and emotionally-closed off personality and complimented her desire to move past the pain of childhood. I loved their relationship from start to finish.

In terms of presentation, I found a lot of the themes and ideas repetitive. Normally I either love it or hate it but with this one I was split down the middle. I hated how much she dwelled on her family problems and her fears of the future and that was both a character choice and a writer choice. On the other hand, there was this great theme that ran through the novel of eyes being the window to the soul and sometimes things were boarded up, sometimes there were curtains. It was fascinating.

You’ll see a lot of that in my Random Notes While Reading:

·         Racial diversity for the win!
·         A little slow in the first few pages but learning information is good
·         Damn, girl
·         Being in the mind of a calorie-counter makes me sad
·         Okay, you’ve captured my dorky heart
·         Whoa there, cowboy (don’t worry, a page later my heart was captured again)
·         Season is hitting way too close to home
·         These characters are very strong, and by that I mean diverse and consistent
·         I love the role reversal
·         Please tell me she gets a happy ending
·         Fuck
·         Okay, it’s getting a little repetitive
·         Is it really that big of a deal?
·         For a girl this insecure, I would a chosen a different list of grievances
·         Oh honey, the clues are all there
·         I really wouldn’t take your mother as the be all, end all
·         I see what you did there
·         Oh my god
·         This, boys and girls, is one example of an angsty adult relationship
·         I was about to applaud them for realism but this is way better
·         Wow, I feel nothing. Good job. Really

This is a very simple story about the struggles of a girl living her life but there’s something quite powerful and emotional about it. I’m recommending this book to new adult females especially but to anyone, really.

Take a look for yourself.

Stuck in the transition between graduating from college and starting a life called no job, Holly Dae spends most of her free time writing raw and edgy Young Adult and New Adult contemporary novels that deal with rape, drugs, sex, and general psychological ills. When she isn't doing that, she's writing fanfiction for fun and obsessively playing Mario Kart Eight and Pokemon Games.

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