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Fat Chance

3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  691 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews

Plus-size Maggie O’ Leary is America’ s Anti-Diet Sweetheart. Her informed column about the pitfalls of dieting is the one sane voice crying out against the dietocracy. She is perfectly happy with who she is and the life she leads. Until she gets the chance to spend some quality time with Hollywood’ s hottest star. Maggie knows she can’ t exactly show up looking likewell,
ebook, 0 pages
Published September 15th 2011 by Red Dress Ink (first published September 3rd 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 05, 2009 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
OMG, I am so glad I am not alone in my intense dislike of this book. I had high hopes, being a fat girl myself, for something that wasn't a "fat girl loses weight and now she's BETTER and MEN like her!" story, but that's exactly what this is. The nutritionist author (I should have known RIGHT THERE!) slides in all sorts of diet tips hoping you won't notice - but the entire thing reads (badly, I might add) like a self-help book for delusional fatties (you know, the ones who don't hate themselves) ...more
So. . . this is pretty standard-issue chick lit, and an enjoyable read. It's not War and Peace or anything, but is fun and goes quickly. Kind of along the lines of Good in Bed, it has a lot of similar themes, but isn't quite as well written, and is just a bit more predictable.

I have yet to find a chicklit with a plus-size main character who doesn't end up slimmer in the end. . .

I really liked Maggie's relationship with her assistant, Tamara. I wish the author would have developed that a bit more
Oct 21, 2011 Suzanne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melea Rose-Waters
Jun 05, 2011 Melea Rose-Waters rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
So the reviews of this book on Goodreads are pretty scathing. I really don't understand the pure hatred felt for this book. I've read, or attempted to read (unable to finish), far worse books. I was able to get through this book without a whole lot of pain and misery.

The story is pretty far-fetched but I'll play along. I think why I'm giving this a "it was ok" was not just the story (although it does play a small part), but mainly because the writing was rambling and at times incoherent. Things
Jul 25, 2016 Phair rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not terribly well written. A bit scattershot and hard to follow w/ lots of pedantic diet/weight advice and research in the guise of the main character's columns. The whole deal with the "consulting" for a film about a diet doctor seemed silly and unrealistic. What famous actor is going to put up the consultant at his own house, pick her up at the airport in his own car, etc?? There was never a single scene about 'consulting' with the writers or producers. I had to push myself to finish this. On ...more
Outspoken Queen of the Anti-Diet, Maggie O'Leary is asked to consult for one of Hollywood's hotties, she sees a chance to try and really reach her goal by actually losing weight.

I am a sucker for weight loss heroines, but had a really hard time getting through this one. I just didn't care.
Aug 21, 2010 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the concept was interesting, the book was poorly written, the characters mired down in poorly crafted emotions. Not my favorite read
Dec 02, 2009 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a jewel. It really shows the struggle and actually gives great health tips, all while being entertaining.
Nov 01, 2016 Melanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daisy Chein
Dec 11, 2014 Daisy Chein rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There’s not much to say about this book. The “storyline” is about an overweight columnist who loses weight in order to impress (literally) the man of her dreams – a movie star. I use the word “storyline” very loosely because this book is really a self-help and diet book thinly veiled by adding cliché characters and trying-to-hard-to-be-witty dialogue.

What makes it worse is that the characters aren’t even likeable. The main character is the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever fictionally met. She looks d
This book is hurting my head so far. I don't see myself finishing it. How long will the protagonist keep hammering out ridiculous arguments supporting obesity? I'm a sturdy gal myself and I love my body and what it does, but I know that extensive research indicates that excess weight is detrimental to my health. I'll reserve judgment for now and give this book 70 more pages.

Update: the story is ridiculous. An obese person in need of validation who seeks excuses to remain obese would love this b
Oct 21, 2008 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
A quick, fun chick read. Has some funny moments that made me laugh out loud.

Maggie is a New York journalist who writes a column for overweight people. She thinks dieting is a joke and food is for eating. She practices what she preaches, too. Until she's asked to go to LA and consult with a major hottie movie star, Mike Taylor, for his upcoming movie dealing with obesity and eating disorders. So she begins a secret plan to lose weight, with the help of her assistant.

Don't expect this to be the
Laura Radniecki
Oct 16, 2014 Laura Radniecki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This turned out to be a fun, light hearted "beach read" for me.

I loved Maggie right off the bat. Fun personality and I loved that she embraced her size, and offered humorous advice via her column.

As she started to lose weight [not a spoiler - it says as much on the inside book flap], I started not loving the book as much. I liked her because she wasn't desperate to be skinny like so much of our society. But then, she was too.

As the story unfolded though, there's more to Maggie's story than what
stupid waste of time.
i began this book with expectations, there's a female character with some panache who is met with an obstacle. which she buckles to completely. very nice--tell you reader that a make-over is just what any woman needs, instead of sticking to the original idea of fitness and self-respect over dieting and self-hatred. brillant.
afterwards of course, the men will fall over themselves to get at you, after they themselves have cleaned up a bit, of course. miserable stupid waste.
Lobna Amer
The more I read of this book the more the readers' reviews became confusing. The pure hatred and criticism for the book didn't make any sense, to me at least. The book was fun. Maggie's thoughts and feelings were legitimate. The writer seemed to have lived inside my head at some point. I am sorry, but losing weight to look more attractive to men, to yourself, to the fashion industry, blah, blah, blah, is absolutely understandable, especially if you have been born fat and lived life on the sideli ...more
This book is written by a journalist and nutritionist -- the story itself was weak, but I enjoyed the nutrition tips and main character's newspaper advice colunms that were written into the story.

I understand the author's intent -- to present factual, weight-loss information within a fictional context. She is well intended, but misses the mark, with a story that is predictable and shallow. Even for chick-lit. But, the weight loss tips are sound, and it is nice to see them in written into a stor
Jul 07, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was typical of the "fat" chick lit books. Girl is happy and fat (or thinks she is), girl has chance to meet hot boy, girl starves herself to become thin, thereby alienating some group (friends, co-workers, etc.), girl meets boy and finds out he's not worth the effort, girl starts eating again and finds out that her "friend" is actually her one true love.
Unimpressive, mildly offensive and uninspired.
Marie-Eve Barbeau
Feb 25, 2013 Marie-Eve Barbeau rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
L'histoire en tant que telle aurait pu être très bonne. Malheureusement, l'auteure fait trop souvent appel aux études, aux chercheurs ou autres et le texte devient rapidement très lourd à lire. J'ai décroché à la page 63 après avoir passé plus de deux semaines à essayer de le lire. L'histoire s'étire en longueur et on se demande où est-ce que l'auteure veut nous amener tellement ça n'a pas de sens. Sincèrement, il n'y a pas la légèreté au quelle on s'attendait en lisant le résumé de ce livre.
This book was alright. Not sorry I read it, I enjoyed it and thought it was a great idea for a book. I guess what didn't sit right with me was the ending of the book, actually the Epilogue. It made the book feel like a self-help book. Also, Maggie was only suppose to be gone for 2 weeks, but the things that were happening back in New York while she was gone would have taken like a month or two not just two weeks.
Jan 15, 2013 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any female, especially one who has lost or losing weight
Shelves: chicklit
did not!
Great book about food, working & living in NYC and th comparison of the west coast LA!
Anyone who is losing weight or has experienced a body change should read this book!
It is a fantastic portrayal of the psyche & feelings that one has with such a change!
It also includes romance as well!
A definite good read!

Apr 17, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, let me say that this was a really stupid book. The plot was stupid and the characters were even more stupid.

That said, I gave it 3 stars because it's a book about a woman who was heavy her whole life, then lost a lot of weight. Scattered throughout the book are her thoughts and experiences regarding body image. As someone who has gone through exactly that, I was floored by how on-target and well articulated these thoughts were, and have quoted them many times since.

Apr 05, 2012 Madison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I thought this was an amazing romance story and I found it easy to relate to. The struggle with weight and personal image that the main character endures is tremendous and I found it enlightening to see this type of steamy romance story told from the perspective of a woman who changed herself and went against everything that she stood for so that she could move up in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope to read some more like it.
This is a combination diet book and romance novel. The lengthy descriptions of food first made me hungry and then were over the top. All of Blumental's points about being overweight, dieting, exercise and self-worth are accurate and amusingly couched in the story of Maggie O'Leary, feisty over-weight New York columnist. It is predictable, but like all good romances has a happy ending.
Mar 08, 2008 Christy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A woman makes a living encouraging her fellow females to love themselves regardless of their weight. She gets the opportunity to become a Hollywood consultant, drops a tremendous amount of weight in a ridiculous amount of time, and now the men come out of the woodwork, although they supposedly liked her before as well. Utterly ridiculous and mildly insulting.
Natalya Ocon
Oct 08, 2013 Natalya Ocon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a well written and descriptive book. The author captured some great moments throughout her life and her writing style really helped me visualize what she was struggling with. I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it for people who want a easy flowing book, I couldn't even put it down at times because I loved it so much
Sarah Fox
Feb 08, 2013 Sarah Fox rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3rd-quarter
This book is written as the diary of a young girl struggling with weight issues. She is overweight, and longs to be thin. She has portion control and binging. While it was very honest, the book moved quite slowly for me. It crawled along at a snail's pace and I was bored. I had to stop reading this book because frankly, I was bored out of mind. Overall, I would not recommend this book.
Mar 13, 2008 Marnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really fun to read & educational too. The author is a nutritionist so there were a bunch of diet tips mixed in with the story, & a good message about liking yourself & treating your body right. The ending was very predictable, I knew within the 1st few chapters which guy Maggie would end up with.
Oct 08, 2008 Amber rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
disappointing. It was fine. I think I ended up skimming some. I don't think I was really the intended audience, I am too educated for it to really make me think harder about some of this stuff. Oh well, I appreciate her try.
Eh, almost didn't finish this. The writing was poor -- it was merely the food descriptions that kept me going. I would rather have read a story about a zaftig columnist who STAYED zaftig and still got her dude.
Aug 07, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was very predictable. The end ties everything up in a perfect little bow that felt forced somehow. It comes off as lose weight and find happiness. Would not be the first book I would recommend to a friend.
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Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and nutritionist who now divides her time between writing children's books and adult novels. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times (including four years as the Sunday New York Times Magazine beauty columnist), and a home design columnist for Long Island Newsday. Her health, fitness, beauty, travel, and feature stories have appear ...more
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