Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Susan Vaught. BIG FAT MANIFESTO

It’s Jamie Carcaterra’s senior year in high school. She has a long to-do list consisting of ACT testing, college applications, senior pictures, staring in the school play, and now it seems like changing the world has been added to her list. Jamie begins writing a column for the school paper called Fat Girl Manifesto. She’s fed up with the world’s assumptions of what it’s like to be fat. She begins with shattering myths of fat girls. She says she doesn’t want to be called “chubby,” “large,” or “plus-size.” She says “I’m fat.” She says that she has a boyfriend and a life - a life that isn’t all consumed with losing weight or apologizing for her weight. Her column shakes up the school and the community. She points out what it’s like to be her, “fat girl,” as people begin calling her, after the name of her column. For example, she details her limited clothing options, the way she is treated at the doctor’s office and the way the airlines treat her. She began writing the column to win a journalism scholarship, but ends up gaining nationwide media attention for her honest, yet contentious, opinions. When her boyfriend, Burke, decides he wants to have gastric bypass surgery, she sees firsthand how much pain a person will go through to be thin. Then things begin to get tough in her life, so Jamie begins to wonder what is really important to her and what she is willing to fight for.
Jamie is one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve encountered in a long while. She’s refreshing, strong, honest, realistic and completely wonderful. Plus, her friends Freddie and No-No are well-developed and fun characters, as well as Burke and Heath. In fact, all the characters are realistic and unique. This was a surprisingly enlightening and memorable read! I highly recommend it.

Enjoy a sampling of the the Fat Girl Manifesto here from the author's website.
And read more about his author here. (glad I stumbled across her!)