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Manstealing for Fat Girls

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  178 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
This off-kilter novel centers on three girls who are definitely not part of the in crowd: one’s fat, one’s a dyke, and one is missing a breast. Nicknamed "Lezzylard" by her classmates, Angie is seduced by the prettiest girl in school, an anorexic who just wants to make imaginary grocery lists. Inez, the school’s pot dealer, can’t shoplift because security guards are mesmer ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published November 30th 2005 by Soft Skull Press (first published October 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 19, 2008 Ciara rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: disaffected teen feminists, chubby girls, the soft skull editors
man! another book that was such a disappointment! i was all set to be really into this book, which i imagined to be about a likeable, chubby, misunderstood protaganist who shows everyone up in the end with her sassy ways & doesn't shed an ounce. & i think that's what the author was going for, but it kind of meandered all over the place, covering all kinds of coming-of-age territory that left me wondering what the hell the point was, & worst of all, it faced the same sad fate as every ...more
Sep 28, 2007 Maria rated it really liked it
this is one of the most honest and painful voices i've read in a long time - the weight-loss self-talk, the flashes of sexual fantasies, the passivity with dudes who aren't good enough. i don't know when i've read a truer account of being a teenage fat girl. constantly funny and ridiculous and heartbreaking. YES.
Sep 06, 2007 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: own, ya-books
I don't know what alternate universe this high school exists in, but DON'T GO THERE. It's awful. Also, this book started out relate-able but got so complex and dramatic that I was like... was high school really like this? For.. anyone? There were like, way too many characters. I couldn't keep track of them all. It had a lot of cool moments, I guess. When the characters involved weren't getting raped or having underage sex and smoking and drinking and doing drugs CONSTANTLY. I know high schoolers ...more
Sixteen year old Angie is called "Lezzylard" by her classmates. Her best friend Shelby is an out dyke--in a working class suburb of St. Louis in the 1980s--while the third member of their trio can't shoplift because security guards always fixate on her one enormous breast. Angie's mother is marrying a man with a sleazy mustache who puts up NASCAR posters in the living room while her friend Inez, the school's pot-dealer and sometime beer whore, stands outside convenience stories, pretending to ta ...more
Aug 10, 2008 Kelley added it
Dredging the archives of my old YA blog--from back in the day when I was a YA para-librarian. Awesome!

Now this book isn’t really a Young Adult novel, per se, but the characters are high schoolers. And if you want to read a story about some kids with fucked up lives, this is it. The main character and narrator is Angie Neuweather. She’s a fat girl whose weight loss plan is to just stop eating, and her nickname is “Lezzylard.” Her best friend is Shelby, an out dyke. And her other close friend has
May 12, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it
As an adult male, I am obviously not the primary target audience for this book. Never the less, I found it enjoyable and was impressed with the first 2/3 of the story. The characters are well drawn out and the premise was realistic and believable(until it wasn't...). The plot revolves around a high school girl who is struggling with her weight, family issues and tensions caused by the popular mean kids at school. The hero crash diets and binge eats, stresses over being an awkward outsider at sch ...more
Dec 07, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
There were some positive things about this book, but they were mostly overshadowed by the ridiculous lack of proofreading. I don't mean using -in' instead of -ing, because that's a valid stylistic choice even if I don't like it. I mean "its" and "its" mixed up, "were" instead of "we're," misplaced periods, incorrect capitalization.. These things were happening on practically every second page and every time I saw one I wanted to throw the book against the wall. Ugh.
Sep 05, 2015 Meghan rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fiction
Very few YA books are truly edgy - some of them live on the outskirts of suburbia (Rachel Cohn and others), but they never make it to the place that this book goes. Inhabiting the same world as Michelle Tea's Rose of No Man's Land, this book feels immediate, even though it takes place in the 1980s.
Nov 26, 2008 Jenn rated it liked it
This was a very bizarre book. It almost read like a teen book, but was very graphic at times when it talked about genitalia and the actual sex acts. There was a ton of foul language in it, too. Even when it was over, I wondered if there should have been more to it. It ended kinf of abruptly.
Apr 23, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
Kind of crazy, a little trashy, but really fun. Sometimes you just wanted to shake the main character for getting into terrible situations, but her strength and humor made the book. Plus I liked the dynamics between her family members, very realistic.
Caitlin Trepp
Feb 09, 2015 Caitlin Trepp rated it liked it
I enjoyed the tone and first-person narrative of this book. It felt more real to me than the typical plus-size heroine stories. The issues were more complex. To me the tone and the plot of this book felt like The Outsiders but with girls. There was an incident in particular and also at the end of the book that I found really troubling due to the way it was presented. Even though the book is written from the perspective of teenage girls and I do think that teenage girls definitely have the maturi ...more
May 12, 2009 Adam added it
I read this for the same reason they climb mountains
Robert Beveridge
Michelle Embree, Manstealing for Fat Girls(Soft Skull, 2005)

It's been a bit of time since I've read this, because I haven't quite been sure what to say about it. I've read both sides of the argument over this book, and I can see the points both sides are making. The one thing I haven't been able to see is the one aspect of the book about which everyone else sees in it: its sense of humor. Both critics and defenders seemed to find the book uproariously funny. I missed the joke.

I'm not even going
Cathleen Ash
Angie's a typical student trying to get through school - but it's tough. Not because she's fat, but that's part of it, and not because her best friend Shelby is a lesbian, so that Angie, by default, is called "Lezzy Lard," but that's part of it too. It's not even because her mom, wearing too much makeup at home and dressing up every day now that Rudy is her new boyfriend, continues to make way too much food, all saurkraut and polish sausages and other nice fatty foods that Angie really would rat ...more
Aravis Mcbroom
Sep 24, 2010 Aravis Mcbroom rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
Amazing, why does she not write more?!?!
Tanika S
Mar 27, 2014 Tanika S rated it liked it
It wasn't bad. Could've been better. But I finished it. So it couldn't have been that bad.

The main character was inconsistent. One minute she was awkward and passive. The next minute she was confident and brave, sticking up for herself. I wish she was more consistent and relatable. But nope.
Sep 20, 2009 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quick-reads
wow!!! so good!! i dont normally like realistic fiction, but the title really got me to take a closer look! i didnt really think it would be that good, but i was deffinatly surprised! i could really connect with the main character, Angie. i know how she feels about the whole fat thing, and alot of her rpoblems are really relatable.
overall, a great book i would recomend to anyone, well, anyone who doesnt mind excessive sex, drugs, and swearing!
Nov 25, 2010 Aaron rated it liked it
While not as cool as the cover looks, this is pretty much what I expected it to be (and pretty much wanted): A story about the fucked up lives of some angst-ridden high school girls who happen to be the definition of outsiders. Aside from the poor editing, this was well written and enjoyable at times, though most of the time totally awkward.
Feb 12, 2013 Joe rated it liked it
This was an ambitious novel. The main character, a teen girl named Angie, begins participating with a varied, sometimes older, crowd. Angie's teen angst is set against an action-packed climax, including the police and gun-running. The working-class St. Louis suburban setting pits social and ethnic ideals versus reality.
Jan 18, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
First of all, lots of typos. Never seen so many in a book! Second, an easy, quick read reminding me I'm happy I'm done with the hell of school. Weird coming-of-age story, the end kinda sucked. Was expecting a better ending. Overall a good read to add to my list.
Jun 19, 2009 S rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. Try to picture yourself, as a teenager (hard, I know) and think of all the things you thought and did then, but replace it with the wisdom, crassness and humour of adulthood. This is Michelle Embree. Must read for anyone.
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
This adult novel was a hit with me. The main character is 16, but dealing with just about everything in life. One of her best friends is a lesbian and her other friend has one breast. What conversations they have!
Mar 30, 2009 Lindy rated it liked it
What a weird story. And a chilling story. It could all happen. I am thankful that I didn't gorw up in the ghettos of St. Louis, MO. Or anywhere in MO for that matter. Spped freaks, skipping school, Busch Beer. Uhg!
Sep 16, 2008 Jane added it
Recommends it for: if you like the comic strip "Marlys"
I liked this book a lot, but the drugs and violence got worse toward the end, so i stopped laughing so much.
If you went to an American public High School, I think you will like this book.
May 10, 2010 Nancy rated it liked it
There were parts of this book that rang truer about adolescence than just about anything else I've read. Other parts seemed over the top and not as easy to relate to, kind of painful to get through.
Sara Risley
May 10, 2016 Sara Risley rated it liked it
I was hoping for more. It was a quick and semi pleasant read but, I fear, forgettable. And whatever happened to proofreading? DINNING ROOM is not where one eats. DINING ROOM is.....
Dec 08, 2007 Cherie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of "Hairstyles of the Damned"
Shelves: fiction
A- Interesting portrayal of a high school overweight girl and the problems with popularity, revenge, sex, and friendship--similar to Hairstyles….
Jan 13, 2008 Megan added it
Shelves: teen-fiction
I remember being kind of disturbed by this book. It had some really hilarious parts, though and overall was a pretty decent read.
Jul 31, 2007 Theresa rated it really liked it
teen lit.
but real.
quick read and surprisingly reminiscent of what being a teenager is really like when life is all too imperfect.
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Michelle Embree (born April 23, 1972) is an American novelist and dramatist originally from St. Louis, Missouri.

A High School drop-out, she worked a series of low-wage jobs while earning her GED. Embree then attended McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, graduating in 2000 with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology.

Her novel, Manstealing for Fat Girls, was nominated for a 2004 Lambda Award for "Deb
More about Michelle Embree...

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