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Mad Fat Girl #1

Diary of a Mad Fat Girl

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Ace Jones needs a vacation, but she's not going to get it. What she gets instead is a good dose of scandalous small town politics that takes her on a wild quest for truth and redemption. Things get really complicated when the love of her life, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in over three years, shows up and vows not to leave town until she agrees to marry him. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is as adventurous as it is entertaining as Ace and her friends delve into illegal surveillance, stalking, and covert operations in a strip club.

Kindle Edition

First published December 24, 2010

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About the author

Stephanie McAfee

8 books179 followers
Like Elvis, I was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. And while I'm not the King (or Queen) of anything that I know of, I do have a white steed, a noble knight, and a royal court. Ok, I'm lying. I have a brown chiweenie, a buck wild toddler, and if we line our "Cars" cars up just right...

I have lived in the Wild Wild West, but don’t live there anymore because I discovered that some people belong in the south and I am one of those people. Humidity, as it turns out, is not such a bad thing after all. Neither are thunderstorms. Plus I have a deep love and genuine appreciation for normal sweet tea, fresh seafood, SEC football, and large bodies of salty water. So now I live in Florida.

I have a B.A. in English from the University of Mississippi and I'm a life-long fan of the Ole Miss Rebels. I also have an M.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Alabama, which gives me the right yell “Roll Tide!” every now and then. Despite my solid educational background, my work history is what you might call checkered (if you wanted to be nice). It ranges from dispatching at my father’s trucking company to teaching high school Spanish to temping at a technology consulting firm in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Another thing about me: One day, I decided to write a book. It’s called Diary of a Mad Fat Girl and I think it’s pretty funny. Maybe you might think it's funny too!

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5 stars
1,184 (21%)
4 stars
1,803 (32%)
3 stars
1,763 (31%)
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194 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 886 reviews
Profile Image for Dorsi.
770 reviews19 followers
July 24, 2011
If you are prudish, in any way, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! This story is not for the prim hearted. I thought it was HYSTERICALLY FUNNY! I laughed out loud many times while reading it & I think that is well worth the 99 cents I paid for it. What a group of characters & what a story line! I would love to know if it's based on actual events & people or if the author's imagination is that twisted. Even though it was a little amateurish in parts, the author shows talent & the story was highly entertaining. I will definitely be reading this author's future books.

I also want to add that I read some of the reviews for this book & I don't think it's getting a fair shake. Get the sticks out of your butts people & laugh a little! Lighten up! :-) I was only going to give it 3 stars but since it made me laugh so many times, I think it deserves 3 1/2. I am bumping it up to 4 since some of the reviews are a bit stuffy!
Profile Image for Raqiyah.
15 reviews
May 11, 2011
OMG! This book was so hilarious, it totally turned my bad day around! I didn't read this book because it was profound or well-written, or because of the character development (and I suggest that you look elsewhere if that's what you're looking for). Ace and her friends were wonderful. The story was rolling-on-the-floor funny! It's a relatively short story about Ace Jones and her adventures trying to sort out her life and the lives of her friends. The things that come out of her mouth, are the same things that I have wanted to say (but wouldn't/couldn't/shoudn't). If you are looking for a funny, light-hearted, quick read, this is it!
Profile Image for Emily.
1 review
October 20, 2012
Being in a car for six hours was the only reason I made it through the novel by Stephanie McAfee entitled Diary of a Mad Fat Girl. The back cover claimed it was action-filled and hilarious, so who could blame me for being optimistic as I began the first chapter. To my dismay, each chapter made me more disappointed as I found the main character, Graciela Jones, a 30-year old robust art teacher who goes by Ace, hard to relate. Although the author’s intent was to portray Ace as an assertive woman, she was too headstrong for my taste. She started fights with nearly everyone in the small town of Bugtussle, Mississippi. Her inability to keep her mouth shut is further accelerated by her nights partying and consuming alcohol. She constantly finds someone to fight with whether it be her boss, Principal Havisham, her best friends, Lily and Chloe, or her on-and-off again boyfriend, Mason McKenzie. I quickly lost respect for her as a character due to her brazen personality.
The only character Ace is at peace with is her dog, a chihauhau-weenie mix affectionately named Buster Loo. I found the dog’s presence in the novel extremely annoying, because in every chapter Ace would talk to her dog, walk her dog, and complain to her dog about feeling lonely. It is silly to complain about a minute detail, but the author’s attempt to soften the main character backfired and came across as repetitive. It made her appear pathetic that of all her interactions, the only living thing she is at peace with is a dog.
Author Stephanie McAfee desires to prove that women can stand on their own two feet while seeking revenge on the men who have treated the women in the novel unjustly. Chloe, who works in the same school as Ace and Lily, has been married to a monster of a man who verbally abuses her and openly cheats on her. Chloe refuses to stand up for herself and divorce him until he becomes physically abusive. Throughout most of the book, Chloe’s friends try to convince her to leave her husband. At the same time, Lily and Ace both search for love and break quite a few hearts in the process.
Although the back cover sparked my interest, it was a huge letdown. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is unrealistic and has a shallow plot much like a soap opera. If you ever come across this book, do yourself a favor and do not pick it up. It is my opinion that this diary should be locked and the key thrown away.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,346 reviews66 followers
March 25, 2012
OK, two and a half stars.

There are flashes of real talent here--the deadpan, hilarious voice of the narrator is terrific, about 3/4 of the time. She's the take-no-prisoners friend with whom you hung out in your 20s (or 30s), while you tried to figure out what you were doing with your life. Ace is mercilessly and drily cynical--on herself, on her friends, on the town where she lives. A vastly entertaining trainwreck.

But the rest of the characters are unevenly developed. The school principal is a great character--I know people like her--but the boyfriend--what's his deal? Characters drop in and out. Main characters who theoretically drive the story are colorless. Others are simply unbelievable or don't contribute to the narrative at all. And old, rich lady seems to be in the book so the main characters can get pedicures or have a place to stay when their lives fall apart.

The biggest failing of the book is the plot. Or lack thereof. Ace lurches from crisis to crisis. Nobody seems to have, you know, a job. Essential plot elements--a conflict, a resolution--are out of whack. You keep reading only for the author's tasty style and attitude, because there's not much else there.
Profile Image for Laura.
168 reviews
March 24, 2011
I only bought this because it was .99 and looked cute. I definately got more than .99 worth of laughter. I repeatedly had snot, tears and full on laughter in front of my family who was clueless as to what was going on with me. Ace cracked me up the way she talked. This is not appropriate to recommend to my bible study girlfriends because of language and the secular lifestyle but I found it hilarious rather than offensive when I read it. You just have to know it is a hilarious secular easy read without a lot of graffics or details on sex scenes which I need. So funny and an easy quick read. I'm still laughing. I definately still have some visuals in my head of this gal and her friends. Don't think you will get away with reading this one in bed and be quiet while your husband sleeps. (won't happen...)
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews211 followers
February 22, 2012
Reviewed By~April
Review Copy Provided By~Publisher

Absolutely freaking amazing! Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is a roller coaster ride of emotion like few other books I have had the pleasure of reading. I laughed (out-loud in a library), felt my eyes fill with tears, got extremely torqued off, felt bursts of happiness and got rather irked off at the main character and wanted to smack her at times.

I knew going into this story that I would like it – or at least I had a pretty good inkling that I would. However, I had no idea just how much the story and its characters were going to grab a hold of me and make me fall head over heels in love. The sassy southern charm and bull-headedness of Ace Jones drips deliciously from the pages. She is a character that grabs the readers by the gonads and doesn’t let up. She also tells it like it is without qualms. Ace, however, does have a big self-esteem issue when it comes to her body and the fact that she deserves a wonderful kind of all-encompassing love that one certain hunk by the name of Mason, with whom she has had an on and off again relationship with since she was eleven (now thirty). Thus the reason I wanted to smack her at times.

Do be aware that Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is not for the easily offended, nor is it for the serious-minded reader. Rather, this book is for someone looking for a fun, relaxing and indulgent story. With that being said, the dialog is excellent, the descriptions superb and the storyline witty, yet on the serious side when it comes to the not-so-shiny bits of life. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is a story of take-no-bull attitudes, tight and bonded friendships, blackmail, spousal abuse (the serious aspect dealt within the book), infidelity, romance and a delightful, hard-to-resist little chiweenie dog named Buster Loo. Author Stephanie McAfee delves into the world of the human psyche, the good, the bad and the ugly and puts a spin on it that is impossible to resist. Yes, some of these are not joking matters, however they are meant to be portrayed in a way that is entertaining – thus the reason that this is not a book for the easily offended.

Ace’s best friends, Chloe and Lilly are delightful secondary characters and though all three couldn’t be any different, their personalities play off of one another winningly. I have to say that I also adored Ethan Allen, the good ol boy that is the town’s most eligible bachelor, yet just hasn’t found “the one”. I would love to see a spin off book that focuses on him! He is, in every aspect, a cowboy gentleman who loves to have fun, yet looks out, with a fierce protectiveness, for his friends – including Ace, Chloe and Lilly. He is absolutely adorable and impossible to resist. I cannot forget to mention Mason, the on again, off again love interest of Ace. Love him!! He is hot, sexy, patient, and sounds like the perfect man.

Needless to say, I loved each and every bit of Diary of a Mad Fat Girl. The relationships between the characters were incredibly well written and the entire story was smooth as molasses and indulgent as a big old glass of sweet tea. I truly cannot wait for more by Stephanie McAfee and her lively, humorous and contagious talent!

Quote: My inner bitch and outer grown-up tangle in a vicious brawl, and I just sit there and stare at him like I might rip his head off and feed it to some wild hogs.
Profile Image for Sharon L.
595 reviews88 followers
December 26, 2013
It is funny, it is hilarious, it has some weird adventures, it is serious. It is certainly not a bad book. Really, this is a good book.

with a good breezy writing and a unique MC, I don't see why you wouldn't enjoy it.

and yet...

I don't like this book. I hardly even like it.

I'm still waiting for that understanding and love to come

This is a book I feel bad for not liking, and I know the reason.

Sense of Humor.

It's not that I'm a hard person to please, I laugh easily. you can tell a good knock knock joke and I'll smile. Ok! Ok! so I am hard person to please, while understanding most jokes and funny things, not many makes me laugh that good laugh that makes your muscles hurt with happiness.

Here we have another example of the sense of humor that just doesn't work for me. That's all. Still, you should give it a chance- after all I'm a weird person- you might like it. you might love it.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,879 reviews7 followers
February 8, 2015
Stephanie McAfee is hilarious, but not any kind of 'correct'. She can infuses her humor into all of her characters. The main character in this book is a friend who has your back, no matter what. She is endearing, but sometimes you want to slap her and her you.

I liked the story. It was creative and entertaining. I felt I was rooting for those who seemed like the underdog and wanted to see the demise of the "mean".

361 reviews6 followers
January 31, 2013
This is a bust a gut funny and also sad story. The circumstances surrounding the story are sad but it is dealt with a laugh out loud and sensitive way. It show what girlfriends can really do with they stick together.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,379 reviews233 followers
May 18, 2020
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I thought this was romance, but it was really more women's fiction. At times, it felt like two separate stories. One, where Ace and Lily were on the hunt for incriminating evidence against Chloe's husband, and one, where Ace was trying to figure out her feelings for her longtime love, Mason. There were fun moments, along with some emotional moments. I found the romantic element sort of frustrating, but I have to give the author credit, because I felt a profound sadness, when things took a turn for the worst. I was also really happy with the ending. I came for romance, and got some, but I would say the friendship element played a bigger role in this story.

Profile Image for Sarah Wilson.
3 reviews5 followers
June 8, 2011
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl was a nice distraction in the dentist's waiting room and on a particularly uneventful car ride. It was light and in some places so funny that the laughter literally burst out of me. But for the most part I found the plot completely contrived and uneven, the characters underdeveloped and unlikable, and came away with the feeling that I must have missed whole chapters or only gotten half of the story.

The book centers around Ace, a 30s Southern woman with a couple of extra pounds on her, as the author so often points out, and two of her friends that you learn almost nothing about. She's trying to figure out why one friend keeps ditching her and save the other friend from an abusive relationship. Things go from zero to sixty when, in the first 30 or so pages, Ace's flighty friend is fired for inappropriate sexual relations with a student (that came out of left field!), her abused friend is beaten so severely she has a miscarriage and winds up hospitalized, and she is arrested for verbally and physically assaulting her friend's scummy husband. And it just gets more convoluted from there.

While there were some seriously hysterical parts, so much of this book focused on negativity, hate, and revenge without any sort of redeeming reasoning, that I came away with a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It was only $.99, and I might have purchased it anyway knowing what I know now, but if you're considering downloading this one from Amazon don't expect anything great.
Profile Image for Erin Roethe.
59 reviews
October 22, 2016
This book made me chuckle, but it also dealt with some serious issues as well. It starts like a bat out of hell, but Ace (the main character and narrator) will settle in and calm down after the first two chapters set up the book a little.

This is not a book for somebody who is easily offended. You're going to hear about penis' and bitches and you need to be okay with that. I have one complaint. I thought the Ace and Mason storyline dragged. That said the penis' and bitches I mentioned above, along with the Bugtussle Mississippi setting kept me so entertained that I could contain my annoyance. I wish I had a little bit of Ace Jones' spunkiness in me. It's a fun book.
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,541 reviews120 followers
February 22, 2012
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl - By: Stephanie McAfee

This is a totally brain-less read and I am amazed that it hit the New York Times e-book bestseller list! Now we get to read it with all they typos and grammatical errors taken care of and in dead-tree form!

While I didn’t find any grammatical errors or typos (but I really wasn’t looking too hard!) I did find a story that is so highly unbelievable for mature (30 and soon to b e over 30), intelligent, college educated, world traveled women. I can appreciate a revenge plot along with the next person, but this went beyond something I could be comfortable with. Oh don’t get me wrong, I could NOT put this book down at all and finished it in about 8 hours, it was like a train wreck that you know you shouldn’t look at when passing, yet you just can’t help yourself and do look at it anyway...but I still wouldn’t recommend anyone actually buy it.
This book was not funny; I don’t even think I got one giggle out of it.
Chloe is being verbally abused by her husband of 5 years…and now he has moved on to being physically abusive.
Lilly the ex-runway/fashion model is keeping secrets - is she a pedophile or is she the kept woman of an older gentleman?
Ace (Gracelia) considers herself fat, doesn’t love herself or much of anyone anymore, is annoying, condescending, quick with her fists and gun, rude and crude and totally treated a man who wanted to marry her like crud.

By the way, why is it that every author that decides they want to write about a “fat” woman, makes her 20 pounds over ideal? Give me a break please. Take a page from Susan Donovan and if you want to write about fat do it right!

Now 2 of these 3 friends have been drafted to blackmail Chloe’s husband who is a HUGE philanderer with a very unusual penis. Along with these pals is Mrs. Peacock. She is a highly unlikely ally in this blackmail. A person who is so unbelievable as written, that it stretched my ability to suspend disbelief to the point that it was like the elastic band in some of my grannie panties! It almost felt like Mrs. Peacock was thrown in because the author couldn’t figure out how to move the story/plot along realistically.

So many people have said that you really need to be southern to ‘get’ this book Maybe so, since the was at least one ‘southern’ phrase that I just couldn’t translate to something that made sense to this northerner.

Please do yourself a favor, if you really want to read this book, please save your money and borrow it from the library.
56 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2012
Well I just don't know what was better, getting to read this book or getting to meet the author at the Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock. Before I review the book, let me tell its brief but amazing story. Stephanie was a teacher who wanted to write a book. She decided to release it through three venues as an ebook on Christmas day, to catch all those folks who had just gotten Nooks and Kindles from Santa. She sold the ebook for 99 cents and in seven months it had been downloaded 145,000 times, give or take. Then it hit the NYT best sellers list for an ebook and then she signed a contract with Penguin for a print edition. What a story!

This book is laugh out loud funny in places and maintains a very quick pace. There's a lot of action, including fist-fights, girl cat fights, firings, stripping, bikers, and of course there's the sex. Ace Jones, the main character is a teacher who doesn't love it, by her own admission, but loves her students and her subject. Her best quality is her loyalty to her friends, especially Lilly and Chloe, her best friends since forever, and Mason, the man she had, doesn't have, wants, but can't let herself have.

When the high school principal loses her overbearing mind and begins going after the three of them, all hell breaks loose. Ace puts it all on the line to protect her friends, hold the nasty people of Bugtussle accountable for their evil deeds. Of course, having the friendship of the richest little old lady in Mississippi doesn't hurt!

Just a little warning about the writing; Mad Fat Girl is a brash and at times bawdy book. You'll read all the edgy words for both genders' nasty bits, and Ace is no stranger to the F-bomb. But none of that is gratuitous and it all comes across as just part of who these characters are. I read the book in a couple of days; that's how easy as well as captivating I found it to be.
2 reviews
February 8, 2011
I think author Stephanie is off to a good start. Diary has good 'bones' - but, the one thing that I learned in my high school creative writing class - don't use words like "sparkle" to describe eyes. Skip cliches or use them sparingly. Every other page it seemed I was groaning whenever I read a well worn cliche.
There is quite a sense of humor there, and as everyone mentioned, the ending is very very lacking. Almost as if you wonder if the 3/4 of the book you read was in some other book! I bought this at .99 cents, and see it's up to 2.99. I don't think had it been 2.99, I would have purchased after reading the sample. But it's a good start and I think if the author tones down the cliches and keeps the characters actions in line from start to finish (ie: don't make a strong character wishy/washy/weak at the end), she will have a nice future.
Profile Image for Debbie.
30 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2011
I wanted to slap the main character for most of the book. She was so angry all the time! And yet she still ended up with the guy! And it was never really explained why they split in the first place. She's got a horrible work ethic, and repeatedly makes terrible decisions. But all of this is justified because the other people are all just a bit worse. Why is it okay to take revenge, or encourage someone else to, or to have a bad work ethic because hey, your boss has done something worse? These are not points that should be celebrated, and yet this book does and then rewards the main character by, again, giving her the guy, with no apologies for past issues or anything! Yes, she's mad, I'm not really sure where the "Fat" of the title comes in, but I don't recommend this unless you have about 2 hours to kill and you just don't care.
Profile Image for Asma.
143 reviews43 followers
July 19, 2014
Both stars go to the amazing funny narrator! That was about the only standing out feature of this audio book.
I have to say I liked the beginning of the story way more than as it advanced :( Too much stretching, too much details and too much unreasonable events.
My favorite character was Chloe because of her believable sad character, also her relationship with her abusive husband was true to the pain of many young ladies, so ya I liked that! However, Ace who is supposed to be the main character acted way younger and childish than her supposed-to-be-mature age. One last thing, the "over weight" theme added nothing to the story.
9 reviews
March 4, 2014
This book really annoyed me. First, why use the term "fat" in the title? The main character was alternately described as fifteen to twenty pounds overweight (which I do not consider "fat") and "plus sized." The storyline ambled, the main character was extremely obnoxious, and I couldn't believe that anyone would want to be friends with her.
Profile Image for Sheila Burke.
744 reviews1 follower
September 5, 2019
This was so hilarious, I practically laughed my way through the whole book. Well written, and keeps your attention. Hard to put down. Immensely enjoyable, but not for prudes or folks who have no sense or humor. Well worth the time to read.
Profile Image for Aisling.
Author 3 books97 followers
June 30, 2017
A funny, sassy, Southern, light romance. Lots of colorful swearing. Ace is awesome!
Profile Image for Maria.
130 reviews21 followers
March 7, 2012
I seem to be spending a lot of time these days debating what to say about a book I’ve just read. "Diary," for example, was an entertaining read that I finished in a matter of hours. The story, however, is a train wreck from beginning to end, and this makes me question my taste level in literature. Further, the novel is written in the first person which, with rare exception, drives me crazy. In this book, however, it is almost necessary: Without the removal of the narrator, and more time spent in the main character’s head, the reader might never want to cheer on the aggressive, foul-mouthed, and often-annoying Ace. Was the story entertaining? Without a doubt! In this, Stephanie McAfee’s book has accomplished its most important goal. Are the main characters likeable or relatable? This is open for debate. My final analysis boils down to this: This is one of those books that I would happily hand over to a girlfriend who wants something light and fun to read on a beach, while waiting for a plane, or at the doctor’s office. The main female character in this novel is independent and mouthy and, while most of us would never publicly admit to wanting to behave like her, we secretly cheer her on even when we think she’s behaving completely irrationally. Is it literature with a capital “L’? Nope. But then, it never pretends to be.

Graciela “Ace” Jones is an art teacher at the high school in small town Bugtussle, Mississippi. Her life seems to be unraveling: Her principal has sadistic tendencies, and this woman has driven away much of the previous staff and now has her targets set on the mouthy art teacher. After a summer romance that seemed to finally be leading to marriage, Ace has left Mason, the man she’s loved since childhood, because she saw him talking to another woman and her crippling insecurities get the best of her. Her best friend since childhood, Lilly Lane, has been having secret assignations with a mysterious man for months, and then cancels their girlfriend’s spring break trip at the last minute because of this man. Worse, when Lily returns from her most recent trip she is fired from her job as a French teacher amid accusations she is sleeping with a student. And just when things seem like they can’t get any worse, Ace and Lily’s college roommate and coworker Chloe Barksdale Stacks is brutally beaten by her abusive husband, and the town’s bigwigs want to bury the story and preserve the status quo. All hell seems to have broken loose in Bugtussle, and these three best friends are determined that they are going to put everything right again.

But as soon as Ace helps her friend Chloe formulate a plan to extricate herself from her terrible marriage, Chloe abruptly withdraws and refuses all contact. Ace and Lily fear that their friend has lost her resolve, and they set out to secure the proof to convince Chloe to leave once and for all. But Ace and Lily still have to deal with their love lives, Ace’s crippling insecurity about being an orphan who grew up to be overweight, the principal’s attempts to devastate their character and careers, and the trouble they stir up with their bumbling attempts to catch Chloe’s husband behaving badly.

My main complaint about the text comes from the abundance of stereotypes in the story, some of which seem to have no real purpose beyond adding ‘color.’ One reviewer has mentioned that this story reads like a mashup of Bridget Jones’ Diary and Thelma and Louise, and I find this apt. Ace feels abandoned by her parents, who died in a car accident when she was a child, and this event contributes to her issues with being overweight (size 16). Like Bridget Jones, she struggles with feelings of unworthiness, and uses her size to convince herself that no one could love her enough to want her just the way she is, which leads her to make questionable decisions and to have a trigger temper. There is also the question of domestic abuse and the way abusers maintain power through physical and social means and, although Chloe sometimes appears like the stereotypical abused wife and a tremendously weak character, her experience is all too familiar to many women.

But then there are the other, less useful, stereotypes: Mason, as the super-gorgeous and successful real estate attorney who is waiting with long-suffering patience for our ‘mad fat’ heroine to come to her senses, marry him, and make “Mason babies”; Although Richard Stacks, Chloe’s abusive husband, is villainous for his actions, he is equally comical because of frequent descriptions of his manhood (because of course an abuser would be compensating for having freakish man parts); Mrs. Peacock is the old gossiping busybody who knows everyone, but this granny is the widow of a security services mogul, so she has super cool technology and she’s not afraid to use it! (I really liked Mrs. Peacock, so I feel bad for picking on her here, but her sole function seems to be to serve as Alfred to Ace and Lily’s Batman and Robin.) The town becomes a character, too, filled with people with small minds who behave in despicable ways to varying degrees (because small towns in the south are hotbeds of bible thumping people who behave like hypocrites). And the resolution is so pat! Of course Ace is destined to have a happy ending despite treating sex like exercise and undermining her relationship with Mason in ways that would test the resolve of anyone who was watching the love of his life behave like a cat in heat.

Towards the end of the book a slew of new characters are introduced and this leads me to believe that this author is moving towards writing a series. I’m hoping that this is the case, because I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Mrs. Peacock and her best friends, as well as some of the other characters who featured in the novel. Since this is a debut story, I also expect that the author will refine her writing in future books, and I definitely liked her well enough to read more from her.
Profile Image for Jessica.
505 reviews
June 11, 2021
I really enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud a few times and I loved Ace. She’s a woman who knows how to take care of of herself, stand up to bullies, put people in their places, knows what she wants, but doesn’t believe she deserves to be happy or loved. Because of this she is a beast to the love of her life and to her bffs. I had a hard time with 2 things in this book: 1) the way she treated those close friends and 2) that they kept on coming back. I understand not giving up on people and giving them the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time you should only take so much emotional abuse before you place boundaries around that relationship.
302 reviews
June 5, 2020
Enjoyed the book except for the Alabama "bashing". ROLL TIDE!
Profile Image for Cynthia Corral.
395 reviews49 followers
August 4, 2015
A solid three stars. It was easy chick-lit fluff, perfect for those breaks between sturdier stuff, but that doesn't just give you a pass as a writer. If you're going to write easy chick-lit fluff, have some standards.

My dislikes:
What's with the title? It has nothing to do with the story, Ace is not even known as a "fat girl", she just likes pizza and beer and she's not a size two.

An antagonist who is schtupping every female around in parking lots and next to dumpsters, yet no one in this very small, gossipy town has figured this out and everyone thinks he's an awesome guy.

A husband puts his wife in the hospital with a beating, her two best friends tell anyone and everyone that she did NOT fall down the stairs, and everyone immediately goes to the husband's side and the friends are threatened with arrest. Friends, family, doctors, no one believes the woman's friends.

Every time there's a disagreement between anyone, someone gets punched, by men and women, by good guys and bad guys.

Any time someone gets punched, a woman gets arrested. Whether it's a woman trying to explain about a violent husband, or a woman trying to protect her own life. To jail with you, meddling female!!!

I once managed a roofing company, and I can beat any sailor in a swearing contest, but I don't swear in a professional setting (well, since the roofing company). The protagonist swearing in a professional setting to show that someone else is an asshole doesn't make the protagonist not an asshole.

The good guys commit more crimes than the bad guys. Blackmailing, opening and reading mail, etc...

I listened to the Audible version, and the narrator is pretty competent and voices the men's voices well. But while there are three distinct main female characters, their voices often get misplaced on the wrong character. Frustrating.

At most, it's easy chick-lit fluff and I can give 5 stars to chick-lit fluff done well, but the dislikes in this book were an annoying distraction.
Profile Image for Nancy.
487 reviews12 followers
March 3, 2012
I might say this is not the cover of the book I read and I liked mine better but the book is the same. So,....to the review:

Oh my! When you live in Bugtussle, Mississippi everyone knows your business. EVERYONE. Which is one reason that Graciela Jones (Ace) is a bit wary when her ex-boyfriend comes back to town. She can’t turn around without someone telling her she should never have left him, what he’s doing at the exact moment and where he is and with whom. Her dog has even forsaken her lap for his. What’s a girl to do?
Ace’s best friend Lilly has been suspended for having an affair with a student - which she didn’t. Mason came back home to help Lilly out since he’s a hot-shot attorney in Florida. Where Ace lived with him until she saw him talking to another woman, got pissed off and left.
Lilly and Ace have a fairly innocent friend named Chloe who had the misfortune to marry the town abuser (covered for by his mommy of course!). When he hits her one time too many, Ace decides he’s got to go and beings plotting his end with the help of Mason, Lilly and the town’s Grand Dame who has more between her ears than just jewelry and a mansion.
This book was such a hoot! Ms. McAfee has the South down pat and what the term girlfriend really means! If you want a fun Spring Break read or something for a slow evening on the veranda this is it! You won’t be sorry. Oh, and Mason…he’s the real thing.
Profile Image for Huda Al-Anbar.
197 reviews40 followers
July 24, 2014
The book started with teenage Graciela Jones a.k.a "Ace" moving to a new town, meeting new friends and bonding with her soon to be life-long friends Lilly,Mason, and Ethan Allen. moving on to collage and we meet Chloe. Flash-forward again to present time 30-year-old Ace, an Art teacher in her old high school, with both Lilly and Chloe as fellow teachers, Ethan Allen has a bar, Mason is somewhere else being a lawyer.
That was the back story, now let the story begin!

But it doesn't...

Ace is funny,especially in the beginning. She eats tons of junk food I approve She hates her boss FUN FACT: you either get good coworkers or a good boss A cute dog sooo cute She is still hung up on her on-again/off-again boyfriend Mason, apparently they got back together in the summer and she saw him speaking to another girl and dumped him ???? Anyways now she is back to her teaching job which she hates, with a boss she wishes to kill, and no purpose in life

Then Chloe gets admitted to the hospital because her husband beat her up, and Ace gets a new purpose in life!!Operation Free Chloe!!

The problem with the book was the "Plot", I did not see any progression. I just wanted it to finish. It just was not for me.
Profile Image for Amber.
78 reviews
April 16, 2011
Like the rating says, it was ok. I had a really hard time getting into this book. The writing was bad. The editing was bad. It took me until I got about 3/4 of the way through this book to finally get into it.

The writing was bad because almost the entire book was dialogue! And not just any dialogue, entire paragraphs being spoken back and forth. The characters always knew just what to say. No one was really likeable and the story was VERY predictable. I could have told you how it ended before the first chapter was over.

That being said, the book did have a great ending. I've read so many series lately that it was kind of refreshing to have a book just end, no loose ends to tie up in the next book, no leaving me thinking WHAT?? I'm glad that Ace ended up with Mason and I'm glad that Chloe left that jerk of a husband. And I'm glad that Catherine Hilliard got her due. I wish she played a bigger part in the book because the descriptions of her were kind of fun.

All in all, eh, it was ok. I'm glad it was a .99 Kindle purchase. It wouldn't really be worth it otherwise.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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