Big Fat Manifesto
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Big Fat Manifesto

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  850 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Jamie is a senior in high school and, like so many kids in that year, doing too much—including trying to change the world—and fighting for her rights as a very fat girl. And not quietly: she's writing a column every week in the paper with her thoughts and fears and gripes. As her column raises all kinds of questions, so too, must she find her own private way in her world,...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsGraceling by Kristin CashoreElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanAlanna by Tamora Pierce
Bitch Magazine 100 YA books for feminist readers
40th out of 108 books — 44 voters
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultThe Raging Quiet by Sherryl JordanBlue Sky Days by Marie LandryBefore I Die by Jenny DownhamThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
YA "Body" Books
15th out of 58 books — 58 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,831)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Meg ♥
Jamie is your typical super busy senior in high school, except for the fact that she is morbidly obese. She feels that every fat girl book ends with the fat girl being skinny or well on her way to becoming skinny. Will her story have that ending?

Jamie has a boyfriend, Burke, who is also obese, and he tells her he is going to be getting gastric bypass surgery. Now Jamie has to wonder if she will keep her boyfriend once he gets thin on top of also worrying about studying for finals and how to pay...more
I really wanted to like this. I was totally psyched to read a book with a smart, non-tragic, and unapologetically fat heroine. But it did that weird annoying thing socially concerned YA books often do where they're like "I'm political, but not TOO crazy! I just write stuff, I don't do any of that extreme activism like going to a rally!". It reminds me of the worst of the feminist blogosphere. Actually, you can definitely trace the influence of the less interesting parts of the online fat accepta...more

Jamie is a fat girl -- a very fat girl -- who writes about being a fat girl for her school's newspaper. She sees it as a way to prove people like her are normal and have the same feelings and experiences anyone else does. It's also, she hopes, a ticket to college since her family can't afford it otherwise.

This is my second Vaught book and I am sold her on as an author. Her characters have real voice and real heart, despite being flawed. Jamie isn't as confident as she makes herself sound in...more
Brandi Rae
Being fat isn’t easy. Clothes don’t fit you. People stare at you or pretend that you are not there; they feel uncomfortable around you. They whisper, wondering if you know how big you are and, if so, why don’t you just do something about it?

Jamie Carcaterra knows how it feels first hand how it feels to be fat, and frankly she is sick of how people act around her. She knows she is overweight. She is fat. In fact, she is Fat Girl, author of the Fat Girl features in her school newspaper, The Wire....more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was fabulous. It completely captured the truth of most teens, who pretend to be fine with who they are, even defensive of it, but deep down hate everything about it and want nothing more than change.
Jamie sets out to break myths about fat girls, and denounces several myths through out the book in her Fat Girl's Manifesto articles, but also reveals several of her insecurities about whether or not 'normal' people really want the fat girl to be their friend or girlfriend.
The only reason i...more
Unabashedly brilliant. I love the complexity, strength, and voice of the main character. Jamie is snarky and sassy, a teen activist for fat rights and fat acceptance... but no matter how strong a person's convictions, life always has a way of making her question the things she is most sure of. What I love about this book is how it acknowledged Jamie's struggles with her identity as a Proud Fat Girl without in any way taking away from that identity and her main message. You get to know the real p...more
Jul 26, 2013 Remy added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is SO GOOD. And because “good” is subjective and not an actual literary critique, it was also EFFECTIVE. There were a few things that I felt were problematic, but the good stuff far outweighed them. In the writers of Tumblr populace, there seems to be a fear that writing diversely will lead to a lot of problematic representations. This book is a great example of why we should write diversely anyway and embodies everything I value in fiction:

1. Diversity

Jamie is our lead character, a f...more
Denise Vega
A big departure from TRIGGER, BIG FAT MANIFESTO tells the story of Jamie, who writes a "fat manifesto" for the school newspaper, detailing the prejudice against fat people and her own experiences. When her "large" boyfriend decides to get surgery to shrink his stomach, Jamie goes through a lot of soul-searching to figure out who she really is and how she feels about herself. Jamie is a funny, strong, fabulous character and the book is a wonderful read.
High scho senior Jamie writes articles for her school newspaper about being a fat girl, trying to win a college scholarship. She's also struggling to accept her boyfriend's decision to have gastric bypass surgery.

I'm a big Susan Vaught fan, but THE BIG FAT MANIFESTO fell flat for me. I didn't like the character Jamie, who was incredibly angry, which she tried to hide through veiled attempts at humor. I found empathizing with her difficult, as she wasn't very kind or understanding with her family...more
I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn in by the main character, who starts out with an "I'm fat and I don't care who knows it" attitude, but during the course of the novel, reveals progressively more of her true feelings and vulnerability. A great lesson in how to effectively use a first-person narrator.
I'm reading 5-6 YA books about body image and eating disorders for an honors course. I was probably most excited about this one, and I took two pages of notes as I read it. I'll try to compress them here.

- Jamie is a confident fat girl whose confidence doesn't magically free her from cultural fatphobia, so sometimes she still struggles (e.g., fitting room cries)
- Introduces readers to the idea that most of the "misery" that comes with being fat is society's fault, not the fat person's
- Vaug...more
Caitlin Marie
Best YA book I've read in a very long time, wonderful characters and great plot.
Jamie Carcaterra is a fat girl and very talented girl. She's an actress, a great student, a gifted writer, and she is fat. She has a two great best-friends and wonderful boyfriend Burke. Jamie has decided to take her fight for fat people to a column in the newspaper called My Big Fat Manifesto. In the column she exposes salespeople who are rude, doctors who have lousy ways of dealing with fat teens, and she tells about her boyfriend's Burke's fat surgery. She hopes to win an award with the colum...more
Drena C
The book I'm reading is called Big Fat Manifesto. The book is about a girl that is very fat and she always gets called names. There are a lot of girls that are bullying her so much she just wants to go home and cry her tires out. The girl wants to loss weight be cause she wants to have more friends cause she never had any friends. There are some people at her school that feel really bad for her because every day after school she walks home by her self alone.

The book I'm reading, I really like. I...more
Katie Fitzgerald
The strength of this book is in the very real and wonderful voice of a girl struggling with her weight, but in a very outspoken and often humorous way. Narrator Jamie Carcaterra tells us the story of being a fat girl in a thin person's world, through her own experiences interspersed with the Fat Girl column she writes for the school newspaper. Her life is peopled with great secondary characters - her boyfriend, Burke, who chooses to undergo risky gastric bypass surgery, her best friends Freddie...more
Ravenous Biblioworm
In a current society where there is a close obession with diets, health, and obesity, this book’s inner flap told me enough for me to pick up the book. The first page was written well enough to pipe my interest and before I knew it I was done with the book. Jamie is the narrator/protaganist of the story. She is a fat girl, overweight and she feels underappreciated because of her weight. Like Jamie says on the first page of the book, which she had submitted to her school paper, which she is a par...more
Krys (Black & Write Reviews)
Via Black 'n Write Reviews
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started reading this book, the synopsis on the book was pretty telling but reading from cover-to-cover actually felt like part of my life was being described through Jamie. Being an overweight (not the 4X of the protagonist) being back in high school, I always lived with this very different opinion of being a “big” person versus the lives of “normal” people. I never struggled quite like the Jamie but I can definitely say that I...more

With all the talk about America's fight with obesity, particularly in relation to our youth, this book is definitely timely. The tale centers around Jamie Carcaterra, a senior in high school who is the features editor for the school newspaper as well as playing Evileen (the witch) in the school's production of The Wiz. She is working hard to succeed because she knows that winning a scholarship is really the only way she is going to get to go to college.

Her main tool for trying to get a scholarsh...more
Actually probably a 3.5 but I don't want to round up. This book really surprised me. I was excited to read it at first because it's from a perspective that I don't have that much experience with, however when I started it I was upset but the stereotypical and rather flat characters. The crazy activist vegan friend who only eats lettuce and has a tantrum if she touches leather, which as a vegan I found a bit insulting, and the sassy lesbian friend, whose sexuality was kind of just thrown in there...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

Does the world discriminate against fat people? Jamie Carcaterra thinks they do, and she is out to change things.

Proudly calling herself "Fat Girl," Jamie has started a feature column by the same name in The Wire, her school newspaper. Making people aware of the unfairness suffered by overweight people is her goal. She is also hoping her top-notch journalistic efforts will help her win the National Feature Award which could earn h...more
Katie G
3.5/5 Stars
I was so excited when I read the article that this book opens with. I thought, Finally! A book about a fat girl who doesn’t apologize for her size and is actually perfectly happy being fat. Sadly, that’s not at all what this book is. From the opening chapter, it’s clear that Jamie doesn’t really believe what she writes about in her Fat Girl column, at least not completely. She doesn’t eat in public. She cries in the dressing room when she can’t wear a size 13 shirt. The more I read, t...more
I initially picked up this book because it stole the exact idea I had for a non fictional novel when I was heavier. The goal would have been to dispel the myths about fat girls and fat shame/pride. This ended up not being what this book was really about. Because of this, I thought I would be disappointed. I was sort of wrong.

I liked this book. I liked that it ended up being more about the trials of Gastric Bypass surgery. I liked that there were many lessons that this girl had to learn, mostly...more
For starters, I'd say this book is far from hilarious. As a point of fact, I really didn't like this book. At all. Oprah's Kids Reading List be damned. I'm not even sure now how this book ended up on my To Read list, seeing as how I can't find any reviews of it in the blogs I generally haunt. Even more, any blogger who does mention it (at least the bloggers I'm finding on Technorati) couples it with The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things and Fat Kid Rules the World—two books that I truly...more

Vaught, S. (2007). Big fat manifesto. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA Children.

Jamie is fat, or Fat Girl to be exact. She's the loud and proud senior who is hoping to breakdown societal and cultural stereotypes about beauty through her school's newspaper. She has her senior year laid out to be perfect. She's a lead in the school musical. She's going to win the National Feature Award and get a scholarship to a good school. That is until her boyfriend decides to have bariatric surgery, forcing her to...more
Abby Johnson
Jamie is a goal-oriented high school senior. She writes for the school paper. She's in the school play. She has a couple of caring, passionate best friends. She has a loving boyfriend. She wants to go to Northwestern. Oh, yeah. And Jamie's fat. Determined to win a journalism scholarship, Jamie starts writing a new column for the school paper: Fat Girl. She wants to educate the community about what it's like living in a world that doesn't fit you, in a country that is so sensitive about racial di...more
I really liked this book a lot. The writing was funny and sarcastic and the "Fat Girl Manifesto" column that the main character writes throughout for her school newspaper pretty much rocks. Aside from the main character, the rest of the characters were pretty one-dimensional, and I thought the book ended oddly, with the character questioning "who am i" and sort of falling apart after her badass "Fat Girl" persona is called out as a front. That seemed like the conflict that should have driven the...more
Vaught, Susan. 2008. Big Fat Manifesto.

This is the third 2008 novel I've read this year (within the past two weeks actually) that deal with "weight" in one way or another. Each of these books (Looks, Artichoke's Heart, and Big Fat Manifesto) is unique from the others. Each is in some ways flawed. Some more than others, but still none is perfectly perfect.

Jamie D. Carcaterra is a writer on her high school's newspaper. At the beginning of her senior year, Jamie starts a new column. A column she ho...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 61 62 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Teenage Waistland
  • When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune
  • Secrets of Truth and Beauty
  • Celine
  • Alt Ed
  • The Bridge
  • Estrella's Quinceanera
  • Cures for Heartbreak
  • Being Emily
  • The House You Pass on the Way
  • Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity
  • Beneath My Mother's Feet
  • You Know Where to Find Me
  • The Sweet In-Between
  • Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers
  • When the Black Girl Sings
  • The Year They Burned the Books
  • Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie

astrology sign: Libra

favorite book: Harry Potter (all of them) and His Dark Materials
(all of those, too)

favorite song:I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

current pet total:12 if you don't count the chickens, peafowl,
turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, or guineas.

names of my schools:
Vanderbilt University (MS, Ph.D.)
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) (B...more
More about Susan Vaught...
Trigger Freaks Like Us Going Underground Exposed Insanity

Share This Book

“Is it how it feels to do the right things? Because it sucks!” 1 likes
More quotes…