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Fat Girl Finishing School

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  86 reviews
“Fat girls of the world will find their voice through Wiley’s brilliance, and we all owe her for that.”

-Jes Baker, TheMilitantBaker.com, Blogger, Baker, Advocate
Paperback, 65 pages
Published 2014 by Timber Mouse Publishing
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Sleepless Dreamer
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was trying to find something new to read and when I saw LGBT+ and poetry, I knew I had to read this. Eventually, I realized that I've heard Wiley's poems before in their spoken version so I was happy for a chance to read more of her work. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this in return for my unbiased review! 

This collection of poems is beautiful. These poems come across as symbolic and unique. It feels like they're telling a story, they let you into this world and it's so e
...more
Geoff
These poems were all very emotionally impactful with interesting similes and metaphors hammering themes of love (gay, straight, and self), body acceptance, race, feminism, and societal expectations. I enjoyed them, but it always felt like something was missing. Maybe it's that the author is an accomplished slam poet (see https://buttonpoetry.com/tag/rachel-w... ) and the poems on the page miss her cadence? Maybe they are overwhelming to read all at once and they lose some impact that way? Either ...more
Madara
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, poetry
It's really hard to review poetry. Especially if you've always had love/hate relationship with poetry.

While reading Fat Girl Finishing School I realized that I've heard some of the poems before! One Google search later I found multiple videos of Rachel Wiley reading her own poems and, oh boy, it only made reading this book better! I read her poems in my own voice and then listened to her reading them in her voice and she is so powerful and vulnerable at the same time and I love it so much! If y
...more
Natalie
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a beautiful and heartfelt book of poems about many different things so I felt the book title was unjust for the book of poems it entails.

My absolute favourite poem in this book was the Brass Knuckles one which I read three times and will read many more.

These poems are like a story unfolding within your heart and mind, some funny, some sad, some full of hurt and some
...more
Queen Cronut
Fat Girl Finishing School explores themes such as self-love, gender stereotypes, and fatphobia as well as making commentary on societal norms in blunt and lyrical verses that express Rachel Wiley's thoughts with no apology. An interesting contemporary poetry compilation though I feel some of these compositions would've been better hearing them spoken and not read.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Button Poetry publishers for providing a free ARC
...more
lu ☾
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, man, I loved this. Poetry is always a hit-or-miss for me, but lately I've been having a lot of trouble finding collections I really connect with, and this one was just what I needed.

In Fat Girl Finishing School, Rachel Wiley speaks about her experiences as a biracial, queer, fat woman. The collection focuses on self-love and self-acceptance, body positivity, the struggles and privileges of being a white-passing biracial person, queerness and relationships.

I love that most of it sort of read
...more
Mary Katerine
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. I love slam poetry. So when I found out that a poem collection by a slam poet was available for request, I had to read it. This collection was raw. It had some pieces that gave me chills. Some of the lines I've written down in my quotes notebook because I wanted to keep them forever. As an overweight queer woman this book made me feel seen. My favourite poems were: Love Letter To My Body #3: My Excuse Love Letter To My Body #7 10 Honest Thoughs On Bei ...more
CJ
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I need to preface this by saying I did really like Fat Girl Finishing School. Because I think my review is going to sound like I didn't, but that's not the case.

If I had found this book first, I'd probably be in love with it. Rachel Wiley's work is intense, personal, and her poems--specifically those about being a fat woman--strike a very strong chord with me. Unfortunately, I read Nothing is Okay first, which spoiled this a bit. In comparison, FGFS seems a bit unpolished. The poems are good, bu
...more
Kris Dersch
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing collection. I wanted to savor but found myself diving in deeper. Brutal, honest, no holds barred, but then at times truly funny (what does happen when the KFC runs out of chicken?) Do yourself a favor, big girls everywhere (and everyone else, too,) find yourself a copy.
Kyle
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and powerful words.

"My excuse is my body needs no excuse to be loved,
No excuse to be seen,
No excuse to be touched, enjoyed, celebrated."

Rachael Wiley speaks volume about body positivity and feminism in this beautiful poetry collection.
I loved her way with words and her unapologetic way of being. It's a thought-provoking collection that should be read, enjoyed and reread.
...more
Mariah
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

I first heard of Rachel Wiley when her poem "10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved By A Skinny Boy" went viral 7 years ago.
I was in my freshman year of college and I remember being in awe of this strong and honest woman.

Fat Girl Finishing School brings back that feeling with a beautiful collection of perfectly human and genuine moments, told through Wiley's very fresh perspective.

This the book for that bad day. The hand to hold your when when you feel alo
...more
Tadala Z
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
“Medusa was born so beautiful, made ugly by another’s demands”
Let me take a second and say I was snapping my fingers because I can relate so well to the words written in this book. It makes you say yes! with pride and feel happiness, it’s body positivity and I’m all for the movement. This book is an anthem and inspiration for the plus size, the. It’s the anger and shame they are meant to feel be put aside. It’s to tell all plus size people (the ones people call fat) that they are valued, they ma
...more
Raven Black
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A friend said some of the language and images Wiley presents is "vulgar." But in a matter of fact manner. And it is vulgar wrapped in beautiful words and language. She sharpens and softens the blows were needed. She speaks of her biracial privileges and struggles, her being plus sized, queer, shame, body positive, rape, love, hope, and more. Slaps you and hugs you. Raises her flag and finger. Language, sex and mature context. ...more
Jeimy
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The author is:
Biracial.
Fellow member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Fat.
Unapologetic.

The poems are in-your-face and you do not need to have heard the author perform to understand their cadence. These are poems that ask to be read aloud and shared with the world. As of today, i have done both.
Jaime
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ally
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
Some of these poems really spoke to me and others did not at all. I really liked The Circus Fat Lady Eulogizes Mary The Elephant.
Sinamile
ARC Review: Received for free via Netgalley for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

CW/TW: fat shaming, racism, racial slurs, grandparent death, slut shaming slurs, mention of vaginal infection (yeast), mention of blood, catcalling,

I can't really comment about the poems because they're personal. Some of them resonated with me—the ones about being fat in a society that thinks it's a tragedy—but some of them went over my head.

I like the way Wiley puts her words together to create so
...more
Skip
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t normally read poetry but was intrigued enough by the cover and title of this collection to want to explore and I’m really glad I did. If all poetry was like this, I’d read a lot more of it.

The depth and the imagery speaks to me. The poems are no holds barred and I appreciate that. As a reflection on gender, colour, size and many other social issues it’s not an easy read at times, but in that regard it’s reflective of a time and place and has many things that need to be said.

The collectio
...more
Sophie
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
It's rare for me to read something that truly captures and represents my experience. This made me cry and also highlight the shit out of it. I will always be thankful for Rachel Wiley for putting this out into the world. It is badass and truthful and honest. ...more
Mary
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018, poetry
Not as good as "Nothing is Okay" but I did like the line "Luck is nothing more than Faith rolled in body glitter." ...more
Edmund Davis-Quinn
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good work. I really appreciate Rachel Wiley's powerful voice. And fat activism and acceptance are incredibly important. I do wish it had a bigger typeface though. It's absurdly small. ...more
Uma Maheshwari Ramesh
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fat Girl Finishing School, a book of poems by Rachel Wiley, uses tender and confessional language to create a space for self-love. Wiley's poetry plainly acknowledges how terrifying it can be to love yourself and tells you that you're worthy of it anyway. Her poems aren't as consistent in quality as I would like, but I can't recommend Fat Girl Finishing School enough.

One of the things I loved about Fat Girl Finishing School was just how many things I felt when I was reading it. As I read "Naked
...more
Laura
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Button Poetry Books for the arc ebook of this poetry collection!

If you want to read poetry with a strong and different use of metaphors, this is your collection! Also, if you are interested in body-positivity, poems written from the perspective of a fat person, and some poems on unusual topics!

Best things about this poetry collection (and what I have learnt from it):
-Rachel Wiley has very different and unique poems on topics I usually don't read about, there
...more
Annette Jordan
This new edition of Rachel Wiley's Fat Girl Finishing School from Button Poetry could not have found me at a better time. It is feminist, fat positive and full of social commentary that feels just as valid today as it did in 2014 when the book was first released, if not even more so. The cutesy cover with its delicate pastel shades belies the powerful messages that almost leap from the pages. This is a book that I would encourage every young , and not so young woman to read. Among the issues tou ...more
Amanda - abundantlyamanda
I first heard of Rachel Wiley in 2012 when I saw a video recording of “10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loves By a Skinny Boy”. I was in a loveless relationship with a skinny boy at the time and thought, “If she could write something like that, I could find a boy to love me like this.” So I ended my relationship to one day find a better one. I’m still waiting.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I adore Rachel Wiley. Her beautiful words connect with my inner most thoughts and help me feel less alon
...more
Dana
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Thank you Net Galley and Button Poetry for this advance copy*

As someone who loves reading and writing about body positivity and acceptance, the title of this book grabbed my attention. In this anthology, Rachel Wiley covers societal and personal issues (body images, race, feminism, relationships, family) from multiple perspectives. The poems that I enjoyed the most were written from her perspective. In Paper Babies, a poem about feminism and motherhood, Wiley recalls taking her first pregnancy
...more
Miguel Vega
I was given a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

It's very hard to correctly review a book of poetry, but if I had to give this a review it would range from 1 3.5-4.
Wiley is a popular poet in the smash scene, so it makes sense to me how some of these poems are better heard, not read. Regardless, many of these poems are written with a brutal honesty and transparency. The themes can range from love, to sex, body image, feminism, hope and the lack thereof of hope.

In her poem, "Dem
...more
Wendy
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love discovering new contemporary female poets, so I was really excited to pick up this book. Honestly, I was stunned at the boldness of Wiley's writing. It really feels like she's shedding off her skin and opening her heart. I don't often find that kind of honesty, so it made me feel intimidated and, frankly, a bit embarrassed. This is how you know the poet reveals the deepest parts of her. And it's brave and absolutely beautiful.

However, I have to reveal a bit of a dilemma I had with the tit
...more
Lena
May 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Wiley's style is quick-witted, to the bone honest, evocative and memorable. There were many passages in her poems that I've highlighted to go back to because they struck a chord in me, from:

No, I have earned each one of my sins and I will keep them

to
You are deserving of war cries and soft love both,
of gentle hands and unbracing,

Wiley's poetry worms its way into your heart.

Her series of love letters to her
...more
Bel Riddle
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So. I’m not much of a poetry reader, and I’m trying to change that, so when I saw this book and its themes and its author I went all “yassss my kind of read, I gotta”.

Poetry is a hella weapon for speaking up and this book DOES THAT. Racism, fatphobia, misogyny, gender roles, social expectations. Womanhood. Abuse. It touches everything, and it does it beautifully.

(It even mentions KFC chicken. And like.. maybe I need
...more
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