Big Fat Manifesto

I seem to have a lot of YA body image books in my stacks and request list right now. Not a bad thing really, but interesting to see that there seems to be a surge in them in the past year. Susan Vaught's Big Fat Manifesto is the latest and I have to say, pretty good.

Jamie is a senior in high school and using her feature column in the school newspaper to say she's fat, she's proud and she's trying to get a big scholarship so she can go to college. She writes as "Fat Girl" and it becomes her harder personna. She's a bit of an acting diva but always plays the wicked witch because of course Dorothy can't be played by a fat girl. She can't buy trendy clothes because they don't come in her size (and there's a chapter where she goes "undercover" in a designer store with horrifying results).

Jamie has some great friends, who she occasionally treats like crap (especially poor NoNo). She has a boyfriend, Burke, who is a football player and also fat. But Jamie's senior year isn't going exactly as planned after Burke drops a bombshell in her lap. He's getting gastric bypass surgery and Jamie is scared. She's scared because it's scary, because he might die. The reader gets a very unglamorous view of bypass surgery and the after effects. A love triangle of sorts also develops...

Good book. I liked it. I liked Jamie, even when she wasn't being so nice to everyone. She felt like a very honest character. NoNo seemed a bit extreme and Freddie occasionally seemed a bit unforgiving (but remind yourself it's high school when everything is extreme). Burke also felt like a very authentic character.

Yep, good book.