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My Mad Fat Diary: A Memoir

(Rae Earl #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,711 ratings  ·  427 reviews
It's 1989 and Rae Earl is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint green bathroom and a refrigerator Rae can't keep away from. She’s also just been released from a psychiatric ward. My Mad Fat Diary is the hilarious, harrowing and touching real-life diary Rae kept during that fate ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2007)
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Lucy Dawson Haddock is kind of Finn. He's probably the closest that any of the characters from the TV show get to being someone from the book. I also think that C…moreHaddock is kind of Finn. He's probably the closest that any of the characters from the TV show get to being someone from the book. I also think that Chop is very loosely based on Battered Sausage. (less)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
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Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This book was bit of a let down, really. I just finished the BBC series based on this book and it is brilliant and makes me cry and makes me laugh and I'm in love with all the characters and their realtionships, but the book was just...not enough. I am aware that these are Rae Earl's original diary entries only edited a bit, so I didn't a expect a story with an exceptional plot and no loose ends, but still, the abrupt ending was I bit weird.

Earl's style is enjoyable and I found myself amused oft
Reijilie Wynne
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
You need to go into this book separating it from the TV show. The show is sheer brilliance and the people reading this book because of it clearly agree or you wouldn't be making the effort. The book is the diary of a teenage girl - a 17 yo girl at that. We're all the centres of our own universe at that age.

In saying that, it was a particularly interesting read. Especially from the POV of someone so constantly bullied & harassed that she expected it, and made comments like "only one person had a
Rae Earl’s diary shows how universal teenage issues (and beyond) really are. You don’t need to grow up overweight to relate to her struggles. Everyone experiences self esteem issues, family problems, and the desire to be accepted. As it is with most personal diaries, Rae never holds back and pours out pure raw emotion and truth in every entry. This could easily be a very depressing book but it isn’t. Earl manages even in the darkest moments to maintain her hope and humour, allowing you to share ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars, read-in-2016
Quick review as this book took so much energy from me.

To start: I'm a fat girl. So is the girl writing this diary. I related so well to everything she is going through. Like her problems are ALREADY relatable but being the same size as her makes it so I relate extremely well. Almost too well. Which brings me to my first problem.
She spends the ENTIRE 346 pages hating everything about herself and all I felt the entire time reading it is that I should also hate myself. I should hate the way I look
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From my blog, The Writer Diaries.

Channel 4 has recently made a series based on this book – or shall I say, diary. It’s funny and brilliant and while the acting is not the best as Sherlock or Doctor Who, it’s real and raw. I watched the show and fell in love with it, and knew I had to read the diary it’s based off of.

First, I just have to say – take this at face value. There’s no huge plot line, and it’s not written as a story like Perks of being a Wallflower. It’s real. It’s an actual diary, so
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3 ½ stars. When I first started reading My Mad Fat Diary I thought I should stop. This is not a book for me. I’m not the intended audience. I really should just pass this on to my 14 year old daughter. But for some reason I just kept reading it to the end – laughing a bit, cringing a lot, and feeling somewhat sad and frustrated. My Mad Fat Diary is the obviously quite edited 1989 diary of Rae Earl. Earl was 17 years old in 1989. She was overweight, had just spent some time in a psychiatric hospi ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
Sabes ese momento en el cual lees no un libro cualquiera, sino EL libro. TU libro. Así me he sentido leyendo My Mad, Fat Diary. Simplemente no tengo palabras para describir todo lo identificada que me he sentido.

“No one is what you expect behind closed doors. And some brilliant people are eaten up by some terrible things.”
I started reading this with high expectations. I haven't watched the tv series, but I normally love diary style books because they're usually full of humour and they're light reads for me. There will be spoilers in this review.

A light read it certainly was, but I felt that the book was plotless and repetitive. I do realise that it's Rae's actual diary, and I admire her for having the courage to put it out there!

It started off well, but then it just went slowly downhill. The same things seemed t
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3/5 stars! i think watching the tv show first made me feel like this book was very anti-climatic.
it wasnt bad, just not what i was expecting! The writing was good and funny for a 16 year olds diary!
Honestly i think i will just rewatch the show instead of reading the sequel! Thank you Rae Earl for this funny diary!
Nicola Mcfall
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book because I had watched and enjoyed the recent Channel 4 series. I quickly realised though that the book is quite different from the series and initially felt a little bit disappointed. The appeal of the series for me was mainly that it was set in the late 90's when I too was a teenager. It brought back so many memories. The book however is set in 1989, when I was only 4. As I read on though and dropped my expectations I started to really enjoy it. It's completely 100% ...more
Amy Layton
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I never watched the series, so when I saw that it was originally a memoir...y'all know I jumped on it. Rae Earl is utterly hilarious, among poignant, unabashed, and a truly wonderful writer. As she catalogs one of her high school years, she shares with us all the taunts, gossip, and mayhem that surrounds her in both her private life and public life. She attends secret raves, cheers failed diets, and gets utterly pissed at the pubs.

And what a high school year it is! Though our experiences of it a
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second time reading this book and I love it more each time. It's so real and there's a part in the book for every person to relate to.

It kinda makes me sad for Rae and how things must have been back then, for people to laugh at her weight and use it as a joke like it means nothing. Even though she laughed along they still shouldn't have used her as a joke as much as they did.

The ending made me feel so frustrated for her and so sad - she genuinely thought that was good of him to say if
"(...) His girlfriend is lovely.

Yes, Teen Rae. Why are you fat? But you know, that question is irrelevant. That's like asking someone why the sky is blue. Answerless.

The year is 1989. Rachel "Rae" Earl has recently gotten out of the psychiatric ward. She was there, due to an undisclosed nervous breakdown and was forced to lie to get herself out. Rae overeats to find solace, goes to the pub with her best friend, Bethany, and is relatively boy-crazy.

Fans of Scarlett Epstein
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unlike many others, I haven't actually watched My Mad Fat Diary. It was something that I was really interested in watching as it has themes of Mental Illness which I'm interested in and is very stigmatised in society. So I thought I'd give the book a go before I catch up on the series.

First of all, I would say that I enjoyed the writing of the book (composed in journal entries). It was a very relevant and realistic teenage voice, that was relate able and sometimes hilarious. Unfortunately, this
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2016-reads
Most people would be mortified if someone read their diary – especially their teenage years diary.

Rae Earl has published hers.

Granted, at one point in her life she wanted to burn it on the barbecue and they are now 25+ years old, but some of the issues are still relevant today. Give this book to teenagers and hope it becomes a jumping point for some important conversation.

When Ms. Earl began writing in her diary she was 17 years old, attending a private secondary school on a “scholarship scheme”
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the TV show, misfits, parents
I read Orange Is the New Black in 2013, and because of that book, I figured that My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary would bear only a vague resemblance to the TV show. After all, the diary is based on the experiences of Rae Earl, who has at least one brother, in the late 80s. The TV show, on the other hand, is about single child Rae Earl in 1996.

To my surprise, a lot of situations, anecdotes, characters and even dialogue were, if not exactly the same, then obviously based on Earl's real experiences.

Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it
When St Martin’s pitched me MY MAD FAT DIARY I was sort of on the line about it. It’s not something that’s in my normal wheelhouse but if it’s pithy and funny and quirky, I can usually appreciate it. So I accepted and now . . . I’m not too sure how to review it. I definitely didn’t like it like I thought I would and now I’m kind of stuck. It’s a real diary written by a seventeen-year-old. What am I going to comment on? The writing? The realism? The authenticity? I don’t even know.

It reads like a
Jen Ryland
I'm not a huge fan of the diary format, but I've had good luck with British diaries-as-books. Remember The Adrian Mole Diaries? I read those years ago. And of course, there's always Bridget Jones's Diary.

My Mad Fat Diary was entertaining and touching. It's the story of Rae Earl, a teenage girl who's just been released from a stint in a psychiatric hospital and is trying to sort out her life. She's desperate to lose weight, and desperate to have a boyfriend, and isn't having a ton of luck with ei
Literally just a year in a life if a girl. It doesn't have a traditional story arc, but is funny, entertaining and at times heart-wrenching.

Really glad I decided to read it.

Review to come!
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i had high expections about this book since i loved the tvshow so much, but this story was the same from the start to the end. THE SAME LAME STORY about rae who wants to loose weight but she doesn't do anything for that. i know she have problems, and that this is a real diary but, dear god.. we really needed this story to be published? ...more
Devon Munn
It was ok. I would say don't expect there to be a overarching story cause basically it's a non fiction book compiled off the authors diary over a year in her life (in this case when she was 17 going on 18 in 1989). I read this so i can watch the TV show adaptation so i will say this isn't a horrendous book to read if you want to familiarize yourself with this before you watch the show ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At times I related to the main character and then other times I really hated her. I really wished I liked this book more, since the description sounds amazing.
Raiqua ☾
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
↠ 4.25 stars.
Laura Stevens
Jun 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
TV how was far better
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
I’m not sure where to begin with this. Do I talk about the show first or the book first? If you don’t already know, I’m obsessed with the E4 show My Mad Fat Diary. Obsessed! I’m about to re-watch season 1 again for the fourth time since April. You need to watch it. I went into reading this book not having really high expectations since I heard that it wasn’t as good as the show but I think it’s important to remember that with anything that goes from book to the big screen there are going to be d ...more
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book twice over, and still, I can't bring myself to nudge the star rating up one. The whole book just gave off the air of hit and miss, don't get me wrong I loved the book, but there was just something that wasn't quite... well, let me put it this way: it was like watching a 'hefty' ballerina giving it her all dancing around an empty stage, it was cringey to watch.

But despite this, I fell in love with this teenage Rea Earl and honestly felt like when read through the various ent
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I admire Rae Earl, but her story is one that is better dramatized. I'm a big fan of the MMFD TV series; it is a powerful voice for overweight youths who are struggling to accept themselves. This original memoir is good, but it lacks punch.

I kept thinking that MMFD was a YA novel, not a memoir. It certainly reads like a YA novel, yet with considerably less plot and detail. It is composed of a year of Rae's journal entries--which are simultaneously hilarious and full of self loathing--and as much
This book is SO RELATABLE. Almost every situation Rae talked about, I've been in.

Fat friend - check
Poor friend - check
Funny friend - check
Crush dating your friend - check
Being loved 'like a sister' - check

Even the non-teenage-fat-girl-problems like (view spoiler) at the same time of the year and at the same age. It's crazy!

The only thing I haven't personally had to deal with is the mental health side of things. Slowly through out the book Rae opens up mor
I'm surprise I likde this book. Maybe it was because I understood her so much.I know what is like to have difficult friends and to be the only one without a boyfriend. Unfortunately or Fortunately (don't know which oneis more appropiate) if I had a diary on my teenage years it would be something like this.


I like it shows the sincerity of a girl whith depression in the rawest form, without caramelizing any details. And it also shows how a book can end without love but with really sincere, cool fr
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I come from Stamford in Lincolnshire. It’s where a lot of TV and films are shot because it hasn’t changed much in 500 years. My childhood was like most people’s – a mixture of lovely and very odd. Lovely because I spent a lot of time with good friends, music and tadpoles. Odd because I spent a lot of time worrying about everything – like war, murderers and poisonous mushrooms (don’t ask). I was a ...more

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