Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Big Fat Manifesto” as Want to Read:
Big Fat Manifesto
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Big Fat Manifesto

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,173 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Jamie is a senior in high school and, like so many kids in that year, doing too muchâ”including trying to change the worldâ”and fighting for her rights as a very fat girl. And not quietly: she's writing a column every week in the paper with her thoughts and fears and gripes. As her column raises all kinds of questions, so too, must she find her own private way in her
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,173 ratings  ·  206 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Big Fat Manifesto
Megs ♥
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jamie is your typical super busy senior in high school, except for the fact that she is morbidly obese. She feels that every fat girl book ends with the fat girl being skinny or well on her way to becoming skinny. Will her story have that ending?

Jamie has a boyfriend, Burke, who is also obese, and he tells her he is going to be getting gastric bypass surgery. Now Jamie has to wonder if she will keep her boyfriend once he gets thin on top of also worrying about studying for finals and how to pay
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this. I was totally psyched to read a book with a smart, non-tragic, and unapologetically fat heroine. But it did that weird annoying thing socially concerned YA books often do where they're like "I'm political, but not TOO crazy! I just write stuff, I don't do any of that extreme activism like going to a rally!". It reminds me of the worst of the feminist blogosphere. Actually, you can definitely trace the influence of the less interesting parts of the online fat ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it

Jamie is a fat girl -- a very fat girl -- who writes about being a fat girl for her school's newspaper. She sees it as a way to prove people like her are normal and have the same feelings and experiences anyone else does. It's also, she hopes, a ticket to college since her family can't afford it otherwise.

This is my second Vaught book and I am sold her on as an author. Her characters have real voice and real heart, despite being flawed. Jamie isn't as confident as she makes herself sound in
Where do I even start.

I rarely fail to finish books. When I do, it's usually because they are so mind-bogglingly boring that I can't finish.

And sometimes it's because they are so unbelievably infuriating that I actually get a headache and can't continue.

This book falls under category two.

I made it to about chapter three/four before finally forcing myself to put the book away before I could throw it out a window (if it were my own copy, I probably would have done just that, but it's a library
Brandi Rae Fong
Being fat isn’t easy. Clothes don’t fit you. People stare at you or pretend that you are not there; they feel uncomfortable around you. They whisper, wondering if you know how big you are and, if so, why don’t you just do something about it?

Jamie Carcaterra knows how it feels first hand how it feels to be fat, and frankly she is sick of how people act around her. She knows she is overweight. She is fat. In fact, she is Fat Girl, author of the Fat Girl features in her school newspaper, The Wire.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Eh. Narrator is tired of everything, all the time, being about how fat she is ... so she starts writing a column for her school newspaper about being fat. She hopes the column will be enough to get her a scholarship for college, because there's no other way she'll get to go, and I'm like, there are these things called student loans that are not hard to get, and yeah, you don't want to go into crazy debt, but don't act like this one particular scholarship is the only possible way you can pay for ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars

I had high expectations for this book, and was sorely disappointed.

The author was whiny, and I swear to god, every time she talked I wanted to violently hit my head against the wall

A better, more thorough review later
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-classes
I'm reading 5-6 YA books about body image and eating disorders for an honors course. I was probably most excited about this one, and I took two pages of notes as I read it. I'll try to compress them here.

- Jamie is a confident fat girl whose confidence doesn't magically free her from cultural fatphobia, so sometimes she still struggles (e.g., fitting room cries)
- Introduces readers to the idea that most of the "misery" that comes with being fat is society's fault, not the fat person's
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was fabulous. It completely captured the truth of most teens, who pretend to be fine with who they are, even defensive of it, but deep down hate everything about it and want nothing more than change.
Jamie sets out to break myths about fat girls, and denounces several myths through out the book in her Fat Girl's Manifesto articles, but also reveals several of her insecurities about whether or not 'normal' people really want the fat girl to be their friend or girlfriend.
The only reason
Unabashedly brilliant. I love the complexity, strength, and voice of the main character. Jamie is snarky and sassy, a teen activist for fat rights and fat acceptance... but no matter how strong a person's convictions, life always has a way of making her question the things she is most sure of. What I love about this book is how it acknowledged Jamie's struggles with her identity as a Proud Fat Girl without in any way taking away from that identity and her main message. You get to know the real ...more
Denise Vega
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A big departure from TRIGGER, BIG FAT MANIFESTO tells the story of Jamie, who writes a "fat manifesto" for the school newspaper, detailing the prejudice against fat people and her own experiences. When her "large" boyfriend decides to get surgery to shrink his stomach, Jamie goes through a lot of soul-searching to figure out who she really is and how she feels about herself. Jamie is a funny, strong, fabulous character and the book is a wonderful read.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn in by the main character, who starts out with an "I'm fat and I don't care who knows it" attitude, but during the course of the novel, reveals progressively more of her true feelings and vulnerability. A great lesson in how to effectively use a first-person narrator.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Not bad. I enjoyed the story, but was irritated by a lot of fence sitting over fat politics. Particularly annoyed by the suggestion that fat activists are somehow aggressive or extreme.
Caitlin Marie
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Best YA book I've read in a very long time, wonderful characters and great plot.
Part of me really liked this book, but the part that made me give it less a star was the romance -- or should I say, cheating?

I was already intrigued by Jamie, our main character, upon the first few pages. I loved her attitude and confidence, and her two best friends, Freddie and NoNo. I appreciate this story for showing how obese people are discriminated, looked down upon, humiliated and so forth, including during a visit to the doctor's. As with Jamie's boyfriend, Burke, it was gripping, if
Kristi Hackney
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught is a great read. The main character Jaime is really easy to relate to and put yourself in her shoes. The book is in first person from Jaime’s point of view, the way she explains things gives the reader the opportunity to put their self in her shoes. She explains what it is like to be a fat girl in modern society and what effects it has on her day to day life. Jaime is a senior in highschool trying to go to college and get scholarships. The main scholarship she ...more
Lani Siale
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an AMAZING book!

Susan Vaught is an amazing author! Her words are so strong and heart felt. I used to hate reading but when I read the first page of this book it opened my eyes to the new world of books. I'd like to say that I discovered my genre thanks to this great book. I found it relate-able in so many ways even though I don't consider myself as fat.

If you have no idea what its like to be a fat girl or want to know what they think about themselves then I strongly suggest you read
Casey Jo
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked how Vaught incorporated fat positivity into YA, and the use of the column as a place to get in those needed rants without feeling quite so didactic. WLS is so rarely discussed and critiqued, so that was lovely to see.

(view spoiler)

That said, as other reviews have noted, the boyfriend is Black, but
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a book!!! By the second page, I was hooked. This was written in 2008 but it sounded like a book that could’ve been released today, because of the body positive language and beliefs. Really great story and protagonist! The only thing that bummed me out a bit was that towards the end, there was quite a bit of the belief of: I’m fat and I will stand up for my dignity but yes of course I’d rather be skinny.
Which to me is not really part of BoPo. Wanting to be skinny still instills feelings
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I had a hard time deciding how to rate this book. Maybe 3.5?

While reading I felt a push to keep reading! I wanted to find out what was going to happen, but by the end I'm not sure I felt satisfied. They was also A LOT of PG 13 language that wasn't making me love it. But I felt I learned a lot about the life of obese people and what they have to deal with. I go away a better person with that knowledge so that I can have more compassion.

The love triangle was entertaining.

So would I recommend
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't know what I think about this book. On the one hand, it's an important thing to have books like this and I recognise that and appreciate the author writing it. On the other hand, there's (view spoiler) and the main character being horrible to her friends. (She does recognise and apologise for this. Eventually.) I don't know! Another part of me feels like I don't have the right to say anything about this book because I'm coming from a place of skinny privilege. But ...more
LOVED IT - where the hell was this book when I was in high school? A fat character who both embraces her fatness but deals with shame that ultimately everyone deals with. And she has boyfriends and is the lead in musicals and can write and made me think about body positivity, although it’s very ya- not much drama, but so much there about fatness and health.
Hannah Barnes
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this very typical of a YA novel. Some of the points were predictable, but it did have a fresh spin with the main character being a fat girl. The humor and Jamie's column are two of the things that really make this novel shine. I also love how real statistics and facts are woven into the story.
Kira Brighton
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot reading this book.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely think that this is a great book for teens. It has a positive message and also shows the growth a young woman goes through while figuring out who she is.
The Carrion Librarian
This one is a hard read and triggering in places. I do wish more thin people would read this though, especially Jamie's column.
Angie Fehl
I was rooting for this one in the beginning but Jamie's whole attitude / voice of trying too hard to be unaffected & edgy was just too damn obnoxious for me to get very far with her story.
Laura Rasmussen
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A coming of age novel about an obese teenager. Lots of fat issues are brought up - fat acceptance, self esteem, fat discrimination, bariatric surgery (and it's risk), and more.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • 45 Pounds (More or Less)
  • Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have
  • The Watcher
  • The Opposite Of Music
  • Winter's End
  • Slumming
  • Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip
  • Memory Boy (Memory Boy, #1)
  • A Step from Heaven
  • The Survivors (Memory Boy, #2)
  • Letters from an Astrophysicist
  • A Crack in the Line (Withern Rise, #1)
  • Sight
  • Saving Grace (Saving Grace, #1)
  • Exposure (Paul Faustino, #3)
  • Blind Faith
  • Freshman
  • The Last Exit to Normal
See similar books…

astrology sign: Libra

favorite book: Harry Potter (all of them) and His Dark Materials
(all of those, too)

favorite song:I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

current pet total:12 if you don't count the chickens, peafowl,
turkeys, ducks, geese, pigeons, or guineas.

names of my schools:
Vanderbilt University (MS, Ph.D.)
University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)
“Is it how it feels to do the right things? Because it sucks!” 1 likes
More quotes…