Fat Angie

Fat+Angie

The contemporary novel Fat Angie depicts a story about a freshman. Angie is an obese, depressed and gay teenager who is recuperating from the disappearance of her perfect sister. At home Angie is critiqued by her mother and adopted brother Wang. After an incident where she tries to kill herself in the middle of an assembly in front of the entire school, she becomes a target. At school students spit in her food, and she is tripped, name called, physically bullied, as well as left out of many activities due to students erasing her name from roster lists.

The book begins with Angie in gym class; Stacy Ann, the school hotshot and boy magnet has decided that her one goal in life it to ruin Angie’s. Stacy cracks a joke about Angie’s “G.I Joe sister” and Angie can’t take it. She slaps the diva and a fight ensues. Not a minute later the coach breaks it up and the blame is placed on Angie. Everyone at the school is out to get Angie. However, the coach has a soft spot for Angie lets her go without a punishment. The constant line said by the coach is “you’re special.” Angie finds this annoying because “special” in her eyes is the word you use for the kids you put on the short bus and who need watching all the time. She doesn’t want to be special.

KC Romance is introduced a little later in the book and she admires Angie for standing up for herself. Angie never really has friends and is cautious, expecting the friendly behavior to be a joke. When KC is present in the book the author in Angie’s point of view describes the things KC does, how she looks, this makes it obvious that Angie is attracted to KC. Thus begins the long journey of the lesbian romance.

While Angie is coming to terms with her feelings, KC struggles with self harm in the form of cutting. Though not outwardly stated, the author leaves hints that it’s happening; for example, her arm bleeds after a punch is thrown and she hides her arms.
The book depicts many difficult but real problems in the world. The fear of coming out as gay, the amount of bullying and hatred at schools, the feeling of self loathing, the attempts of suicide and the loss of a siblings and daughters overseas. The emotional ride of this book can be a lot at times, especially at the end. However, it is also a learning experience .

The downfall of this book is how many problems it tackles in 250 pages. It is chock full of references to pop culture such as Charlie’s Angels, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dateline, which can be annoying and hard to follow, though the connection to teens through these references can be positive.

The author E.E. Charlton-Trujillo has a unique style and portrays each character amazingly. The novel is in first person, and inside Angie’s head the narrator is sometimes funny and other times scary. It is accurately written, there are definitions of words, Angie’s own definitions, the counting her therapist recommends as well as private thoughts. You will cry for Angie, you will laugh for her, but most of all you will feel for her. That is the brilliance of this book, feeling everything for the character and reflecting on your own life and how these issues show up in it.

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