review: fat chance, charlie vega by crystal maldonado

“But I am! I’m fat!” I gesture toward my body. “And it’s okay, Mom, I’m allowed to be fat!”

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, Crystal Maldonado

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? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.


rep: biracial latinx fat mc, dark-skinned pan sc, asian li, wlw side relationships

cw: fatphobia, grief, emotional abuse

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
Crystal Maldonado
Holiday House
294 pages
Exp. pub. 02/02/21

Wow…. where to start??

Thanks to the publisher for granting me an advanced copy in exchange of an honest review. Publication is expected for February 2021.

Let’s start by the obvious: I loved Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. As a fat, introverted, bookish girl myself, I just felt so seen by this book. It was like all my struggles were laid on page, and it just felt very good to read about a character that looked like me. Fat girls are f***in great heroines too!

Ok but what is this book about?
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is about finding love even if we think we don’t deserve it. But more importantly, it’s finding self-love. Charlie is a fat, biracial high school girl living in a white suburban city. She has never been kissed, nor even in a relationship, and every boy she has a crush on only has eyes for her beautiful thin best friend Amelia. Charlie is sick of everyone not noticing her, sick of her dysfunctional relationship with her mother who’s obsessed about her weight… until she met Brian (and oh, Brian….) But things are never easy, because this isn’t some romance novels Charlie adores, and before finding love, she has to find the strength to love herself first.

The plot is easy, sure, but it is still full with bumpy obstacles that make it feel real (and that made me cry, I admit it). Actually, I felt a lot of things while reading Fat Chance, Charlie Vega: Crystal Maldonado’s writing is really easy to relate to. She knows how to juggle with humor, tension, and happy moments, without all that feeling forced. The whole book is a pleasant ride, with Crystal Maldonado’s skilled writing as our driver. I can’t wait for you all to join us of our trip.

Note : 5 sur 5.

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is a lighthearted, feel-good (self) romance and you absolutely need to add it on your « to-read » shelf, like, right now. I can’t wait for the book to be out in the world so everyone can read it!

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