Tracy Shapley's Reviews > You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool

You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark
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's review
Aug 15, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: first-reads
Read in September, 2011

I had a lot of issues with You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl (which I received at no cost from the publisher via the Goodreads First Reads program). First, Mrs. Rivenbark doesn't appear to be terribly bright. At one point she goes on about how she became anemic, which she apparently thinks means that she has hardly any blood. Some of her ignorant statements made me cringe but some of them she was clearly just proud of. For example:
“I got news for the New Yorker: I don't even get half those black-and-white cartoons you're so proud of.”

Congratulations. I'm not sure you should be bragging about that, though.

She's also a huge fan of racially profiling Muslims at the airport. At one point she defended her stance with some kind of dog/tiger metaphor, which didn't make much sense.
“Hey I know that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in this world are kind, decent folk who only want to work hard, worship peacefully and raise happy, healthy families. Everybody knows that. But look at it this way: you're walking down the street and you see a tiger on one side and a dog on the other. OK, it can be Mickey Rourke's Chihuahua for the sake of illustration. Which side do you want to walk on? I'll give you a hint: It ain't the tiger's.”

Yes, I would certainly rather pass a dog on the street than a tiger. But what the hell do tigers have to do with Muslims?

She further explains her enlightened stance thusly:
“But what of the trampling of individual rights, you ask? Hey, like Gandhi or somebody said, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. And if those eggs happen to be stamped U.S. CONSTITUTION, well, that was written way before air travel so it's not all that relevant.”

In general, I just didn't find her jokes to be funny. She calls her husband 'Duh-Hubby' and her daughter “The Princess.” She thinks a t-shirt that says: “Ask Me About My Explosive Diarrhea” is super hilarious. There were a ton of pop culture references and a lot of her trying to use slang that just felt kind of gross considering she's, well, not a teenager. I'm a fan of snarky commentary but this went well beyond the point of being snarky and was just mean, plus not funny - which is a really bad combination.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed in this book and would not recommend it to anyone.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Rachel Bless you! I am having such a hard time getting through this book. The racial profiling part made me put it down for well over a week. After that, she referred to Michael Jackson's children as "chirren"... White women referring to any children of color as chirren is beyond cringe inducing. I think I will make myself finish the book, but may reward myself with some chocolates after!

message 2: by Lori (new) - rated it 1 star

Lori I know what you mean; I found her to be a racist in general.

John In many of the entries, she tries WAY too hard is the problem. First couple of books were much better.

message 4: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth I couldn't even finish it - you explained why and I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Kristin I completely agree with your review. I cringed through the whole section where she is referring to her "edgy" style. Apparently, Rivenbark cannot distinguish between "edge" and "ignorant immaturity".

message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy This is the review I'd have written if I'd have actually finished this book, instead of putting it down after 30 pages. Thanks. :)

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