My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary (Rae Earl, #1)
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My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary (Rae Earl #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,059 ratings  ·  158 reviews
It's 1989 and Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint off-green bath suite and a larder Rae can't keep away from. This is the hilarious and touching real-life diary she kept during that fateful year - with characters like her evil friend Bethany, Bethany's besotted boyfrie...more
Paperback, 342 pages
Published 2007 by Hodder
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My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary by Rae EarlThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankAnne Frank by Sid JacobsonDon't Peek by Marita A. HansenZlata's Diary by Zlata Filipović
Best teenage diaries & journals
1st out of 15 books — 5 voters
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248th out of 706 books — 760 voters


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Community Reviews

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Eszter
This book was bit of a let down, really. I just finished the BBC series based on this book and it is brilliant and makes me cry and makes me laugh and I'm in love with all the characters and their realtionships, but the book was just...not enough. I am aware that these are Rae Earl's original diary entries only edited a bit, so I didn't a expect a story with an exceptional plot and no loose ends, but still, the abrupt ending was I bit weird.

Earl's style is enjoyable and I found myself amused oft...more
Reijilie Wynne
You need to go into this book separating it from the TV show. The show is sheer brilliance and the people reading this book because of it clearly agree or you wouldn't be making the effort. The book is the diary of a teenage girl - a 17 yo girl at that. We're all the centres of our own universe at that age.

In saying that, it was a particularly interesting read. Especially from the POV of someone so constantly bullied & harassed that she expected it, and made comments like "only one person ha...more
Lilli
"Mr Rugger-Bugger Star Rugby Player. Mr Sit There With One Eyebrow Raised Looking Mean and Moody. Mr Loves Himself. Mr Don’t Say a Lot Because I Am Gorgeous and I Don't Have To. Mr Everyone Fancies Me and I Know It. Mr Ignorant Public Schoolboy Tosser."


I just had to quote that, I don't know it's such a funny description, and the person who it describes makes me smile uncontrollably.

WOW, I'm so glad I gave this book a chance. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I started MFMTD, like th...more
Anna
From my blog, The Writer Diaries.

Channel 4 has recently made a series based on this book – or shall I say, diary. It’s funny and brilliant and while the acting is not the best as Sherlock or Doctor Who, it’s real and raw. I watched the show and fell in love with it, and knew I had to read the diary it’s based off of.

First, I just have to say – take this at face value. There’s no huge plot line, and it’s not written as a story like Perks of being a Wallflower. It’s real. It’s an actual diary, so...more
Nicola
I decided to read this book because I had watched and enjoyed the recent Channel 4 series. I quickly realised though that the book is quite different from the series and initially felt a little bit disappointed. The appeal of the series for me was mainly that it was set in the late 90's when I too was a teenager. It brought back so many memories. The book however is set in 1989, when I was only 4. As I read on though and dropped my expectations I started to really enjoy it. It's completely 100%...more
Beckyleigh
I started reading this with high expectations. I haven't watched the tv series, but I normally love diary style books because they're usually full of humour and they're light reads for me. There will be spoilers in this review.

A light read it certainly was, but I felt that the book was plotless and repetitive. I do realise that it's Rae's actual diary, and I admire her for having the courage to put it out there!

It started off well, but then it just went slowly downhill. The same things seemed t...more
Vicky
Unlike many others, I haven't actually watched My Mad Fat Diary. It was something that I was really interested in watching as it has themes of Mental Illness which I'm interested in and is very stigmatised in society. So I thought I'd give the book a go before I catch up on the series.

First of all, I would say that I enjoyed the writing of the book (composed in journal entries). It was a very relevant and realistic teenage voice, that was relate able and sometimes hilarious. Unfortunately, this...more
Pook
อ่านแล้วหลงรักนางเอกเร ทั้งตลกทั้งเศร้า ถึงนางอ้วนแต่ก็มีอารมณ์ขันนะ นิสัยน่ารัก แคร์คนอื่น บางช่วงที่นางจิตตกก็เศร๊าเศร้า หดหู่กว่าในซีรีย์อีก เข้าใจอารมณ์เหงาๆของนาง ถูกล้ออะไรก็หัวเราะกลบเกลื่อน ทำให้เป็นเรื่องตลกไปเหมือนไม่คิดอะไร แต่พออยู่คนเดียวจริงๆแล้วเก็บไปคิดหมดแหละ เศร้ามากๆ แอบรักชอบใครเค้าก็ไม่มองหรอก ผิดหวังตลอดได้แต่เพ้อฝันไปเรื่อย คิดมากกับรู้สึกเหงาๆเหมือนวัยรุ่นทั่วไปแหละ อ่านแล้วคิดถึงตอนเป็นวัยรุ่นนะ เชื่อมโยงกับสิ่งที่เรเจอได้หมดเลย อินมากๆอ่านไปร้องไห้ไปกับนางหลายรอบอยู่
ซี...more
Naoms
Literally just a year in a life if a girl. It doesn't have a traditional story arc, but is funny, entertaining and at times heart-wrenching.

Really glad I decided to read it.

Review to come!
Katherine
I read this book quickly and really enjoyed it. Usually I do not get on with the format of a diary in a book but in this book it really worked, most likely because it is Rae's diary bar a bit of tweaking. It makes it real, because you can picture it all happening and feel her emotions, because it's been written as it happened, because it's fairly authentic I don't think it should be criticised for the lack of plot or character development because for the most part this hasn't been 'created' it i...more
Georgie
I have read this book twice over, and still, I can't bring myself to nudge the star rating up one. The whole book just gave off the air of hit and miss, don't get me wrong I loved the book, but there was just something that wasn't quite... well, let me put it this way: it was like watching a 'hefty' ballerina giving it her all dancing around an empty stage, it was cringey to watch.

But despite this, I fell in love with this teenage Rea Earl and honestly felt like when read through the various ent...more
Natasha (Diarist) Holme
May 18, 2013 Natasha (Diarist) Holme rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Diary lovers, those who love the 80s and a good laugh
Recommended to Natasha (Diarist) by: Realised it had similarities to my own book
I was excited about reading this 1989 diary by a teenager experiencing an eating disorder (compulsive eating) as it is so close to my own book (1989 diary by an unstable teenager experiencing bulimia).

Rae Earl is hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times (just follow her on Twitter too: @RaeEarl. She is stellar). Rae is seventeen, fat, recovering from a nervous breakdown, and aching to get laid. The lads can't see past the fat ... so she keeps eating.

That's it, in a nutshell. And it's wonderf...more
Robbie
Feb 24, 2013 Robbie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I liked it a lot, though it really is just a teenager's real diary from the '80s, so the storyline depended on a storyline happening in her life, and it didn't, so much. However, having said that, the TV series it spawned is EPIC, and it was a quick and fun read and I wanted to see what would happen to Rae, so it was compelling enough that I raced through it. Brutal honestly is usually a good thing for me, and it was definitely the case reading this book. So many teens deal with depression and O...more
Laure
I think they turned something 'meh' into an amazing tv show. I couldn't be bothered about any person described in the diary (though they are real which is weird) while the characters on the tv show are all so cute and lovable you want to hug them and hold them forever. I just read it to get some more Finn/Haddock but I didn't get much of it either. Mixed feelings. Loved the poems though and there are great thoughts in there... I don't really know, mixed feelings.
Brigit Zelenak
My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary begins in 1989 as Rae Earl, a 17 yr. old overweight, boy-crazy virgin, has just been released from hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown. Sounds like a real downer, doesn't it? Actually, it's not. What it is, is the sweet, touching, often hilarious, real-life diary of Rae, who wants nothing more than to find love and lose her virginity (even checking out a book at the library called `Becoming Orgasmic' for research).

Rae is a typical teenager: believing she's an...more
Hannah
Channel 4's My Mad Fat Diary is easily my new favourite TV show and reading the book seemed the natural next step.

The important thing to note is that the book is merely inspiration for the TV show. They are very different from each other, differing in time period, in characters and in the details of Rae Earl's actual illness. (She spent a weekend in a Mental Health Ward, rather than the months presented in the TV show).

However, I still enjoyed the book. I think it's great to explore what it's li...more
Rachael Eyre
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mayomero
Some people are doing Ouija boards at school but I'm not touching that shit. Knowing my luck, bloody Jack the Ripper would try to get in touch.

This is Rae Earl at 17 in a nutshell.

Really good book. However, you should take it for what it is, a diary. If you have watched the tv show you might be disappointed because, obviously, there are less characters and almost everything revolves around "the gang" (big events included) in a really short span of time whereas the book is a year long and compa...more
Sarah Goodwin
I came to this after having seen the Channel 4 drama based (loosely) on the books. This was probably a good thing, as it meant I had an idea in my head of what all the characters looked like, useful, as, this not being a novel, there is little to no description of people and places.

I had low expectations going in, having heard this is very different to the TV version, and it is, but it is also hilarious and deeply resonated with the part of me that is still and overweight teenager, despite now...more
Tisha
I absolutely loved it. It is different from the TV show, but it's clear where the inspiration for the characters on the show come from. It's also much darker than the show I feel-the Rae in the book is bullied a lot more I feel, and the book does not feel as rosy. It ends on a cliff hanger though and I'm dying to know what happens next. Didn't think I would love it as much as I actually do, but ended up reading it in a day.
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Before you read this book you absolutely have to take into consideration that this book it's almost in his entirety different from the TV series. So try to read it with an open mind.

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cansu
HMMM. obviously nowhere near as insightful, heart-wrenching and brilliant as the tv show but it has its moments. found the repetitiveness and the constant self-pity and self-flagellation a bit tough to read, though it makes sense considering it's the diary of a very image conscious and sad teenage girl. all the supporting characters aka rae's group of friends sound very self-involved and completely insufferable so i felt really horrible for every shit thing happened to her through the year. the...more
Isabel Tomlinson
Not terrible but honestly, I was hoping for more. There are some comedy moments but at times the humour felt forced and being a memoir, it seemed a bit fake. I'm sure many authors spice up their biographies a little, but this read more like a novel at points.
Jane
Hmmmm...I like our narrator, and I like her TV series, even if the dates were changed. I like the frankness and honesty of this book, and it really does remind me of the diaries entries I used to write at the same age (and we are exactly the same age). I smiled at the music recollections and the mad burning lust. I particularly like the portrayal of the perfect 'best' friend and her tendency to snog the face off whoever Rae fancies (now that really did evoke some still annoying memories!).

But I...more
Selina Jones
I did enjoy this, very funny in places but I did spend too long comparing the people in it with the characters on the tv, which was stupid and didn't work. As other people have said, the tv show is quite different with characters changed and more of a plot.
No, the bits where she harped on about being in love and wanting love I didn't find repetitive - there was enough variety and humour and, thats what most of us are like at that age!
And is it me, or did we ALL have a friend like Bethany? im e...more
lucy by the sea
read this ages ago and want to revisit it before I check out the t.v show
Petra
Aug 12, 2013 Petra marked it as to-read
Shelves: i-must-read
One of the best shows I ever watched, I want this book so bad!
Candice
Jul 18, 2014 Candice rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own

*** Trigger-warning: self-harming, eating disorders, mental health issues. Please take caution whilst reading the book, and this review.


(Blurb from the back cover) "It's 1989, and Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint off-green bath suite and a larder Rae can't keep away from. This is the hilarious and touching real-life diary she kept during that fateful year."


Let me first start off

...more
Tatiana
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma
I was really looking forward to reading this because I was very interested in how she'd cover the whole 'mad' part of the title. I hadn't watched the E4 show so I didn't have any preconceptions, but I do generally enjoy diary style books so I thought I'd enjoy it.



It was...alright. She didn't really cover the mental health issues in much detail, it was just a passing mention. She did cover the 'fat' part of the diary quite a lot and it was interesting for a while but it got very repetitive and th...more
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“I wish I was Rapunzel
Letting down her hair
But at the bottom of my tower
There's nobody stood there.

No prince to carry me off to the sunset...
The reason why of course,
I don't look like his princess,
I look like his horse.”
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“I just don't get men. Mind you, I don't get me either.” 19 likes
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