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Big Man

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Max Farrier wanted to follow in the family footsteps and join the Navy once, but he’s better off focusing on just surviving his last year of school and going to work in Aunt Donna’s shop once it’s over.

After an incident at school puts Max in the hospital, Aunt Donna’s had enough. She signs him up for private lessons at a Muay Thai gym. Boxing—she says—will change everythin
ebook, 210 pages
Published April 9th 2018 by NineStar Press
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  103 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Xan West
Mar 22, 2018 marked it as do-not-read
Shelves: nope
Edited 12/11/18 to add: Here is a review that discusses the fat representation in the book at length, and describes much of what I took issue with in the excerpt I read, in terms of the language of the book and the way the text itself was written in a way that was full of hate for fat people. It also gives detailed content warnings for the book.

My original review is here:
It is clear from the blurb and the excerpt posted on the publishers website that this book is full of really intense hatred o
Mar 22, 2018 marked it as to-read
Hey so...

Here's the thing. If you judge the book based on a blurb and a small excerpt, that's cool. But you aren't getting even half the story.

This is about learning to love yourself, no matter your size or shape. It's an own voices journey. It's been read by a fat sensitivity reader. It's hard and it's messy and it's a 15yo struggling with the hell that is trying to love himself and his body.

This book is me. This book is several of my friends. This book is valid.

But again, if you want to tell m
This was a beautifully written story. Only the second book I've read by Matthew J. Metzger the other one, Sex in C Major, was incredible as well and I highly recommend it.

The story of a horribly bullied 16 year old, Max is suffering from depression and body image issues. While he reluctantly accepts the support of his family and a new friend, in the end he's able to change his life and establish some goals and a future he can look forward to. Watching Max develop some self esteem over the course
5 Hearts

I am warning you now, this is going to be a ramble of epic redhead proportions. This book was so much more than I thought I was getting and I am head over heels in love with Max, Cian and Matthew Metzger for giving me their story.

From the blurb, one could assume this book would be nothing but the self-hate of an overweight boy who is bullied and made happy by losing weight and that would be dead wrong. This book is so much more than that because while all of that; the self-hate, bullyi
Kaje Harper
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Matthew Metzger always creates characters I care about, who feel plausible and real. This story, about a significantly overweight teen boy whose life is changed when his mom's fiancee sends him to learn Muay Thai boxing, is no exception. Max has been seriously bullied, verbally and physically, by the boys at his school. His "Aunt Donna" hopes that learning some self defense may change both his attitude and his risk, but it's meeting Cian - a mouthy, confident, trans guy - that really changes thi ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, reads-of-2018
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free copy in exchange for an honest review!*

"But Fatso Farrier hadn't put in his opinions form. Fatso Farrier hadn't graded yesterday. Fatso Farrier didn't have a reference from his boxing instructor for the Navy. Max had."

Disclaimer: this quote sounds offensive out of context, but actually is one of the most moving and heartwrenching moments in the book. So you should read it so you can understand it. :)

Let me start this review with six word
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, arc, lgbtq
I have to admit, I read the original blurb for this book and it intrigued me. Then I found out there was some controversy surrounding the MC's voice and the amount of self-hatred he felt because of his weight, and this book intrigued me even more. I'm so glad I gave it a chance. Matthew Metzger is a "new to me" author and I quite enjoyed his writing, but I don't really get the controversy. I found nothing offensive at all.

Yes, Max Farrier is fat. He's teased. He's called "Fatso Ferrier". He fac
Chris, the Dalek King
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: love-bytes
I just moved recently and don’t have internet yet, so I’m currently occupying a Peet’s Coffee so as to post this review…which I’m having to write on my Kindle. Which is my way of asking you to be forgiving of the spelling in this. I’ll try to catch the mistakes, but autocorrect can be a real birch sometimes.

My feelings coming out of this book are a bit mixed to be honest. The writing aspect, the storytelling and characterizations, were spot on as always. Metzger has always been, at least in my e
This book tries to be a story about a bullied fat kid learning to defend himself and love himself, with the help of his family and some new friends. But what it actually succeeds in portraying is visceral fat hatred, unnecessarily graphic violence towards a fat person, and a trans acceptance narrative through the point of view of a cis person.

Read the full review on my blog.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laina SpareTime
Mar 23, 2018 marked it as not-for-me
I don't have time for fat hate books from thin authors tbh
This was a really nice book. It addresses a topic that a lot of people probably don't think about. What if the girl you're attracted to ends up being a trans-boy? He still looks like a girl (more or less), he still has all the female "layout", but he identifies as female.

The entire book is about body issues, both for Cian, in his desire to look more like a male and Max, in being obese and heavily bullied for it.

They're both uncomfortable in their bodies, and need to do very different things to b
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, net-galley
Honestly this was a do not finish (dnf) for me. As a plus size girl i can relate with the bullying although it never got physical thankfully but i just could not connect with the main characters. I really tried but got maybe 3 chaoters in. overall it was a very good book. Maybe it being a british book the slang threw me off? i really wanted to like it. The idea was really great and it was very well written. Still going to give it 3 stars.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, 5-stars
Loved this book. I did read it in December but I finished in less than two days (pretty normal for me with a Matthew Metzger book). I'm really confused by all the "fat hatred" comments here. I'm a fat person, have been since I was a teenager and at no time do I remember being offended by the writing. And since Matthew is my fav. writer I know I'd be very aware if that happened. I do hope everyone will keep on open mind. Matthew characters are always so beautifully real and therefore not perfect, ...more
Max is incredibly uncomfortable living in his skin, and has reached a place in his high school life where depression and anxiety have kicked in. He is a victim of school bullying, his perpetrators becoming more physically violent, and relentless. There doesn’t appear to be any action from the school, and he has decided that rather than continue being attacked, he’ll finish off the year and do an apprenticeship instead of two more years of torture.

After a particularly vicious attack, his step-mu
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
this book could’ve been a 3.5, maybe even 4 star book if it wasn’t such a fatphobic, transphobic mess.

the word fat or some variation of it (i.e. fatso) is used 142 times. in a 210 page book. so essentially one mention on almost every page. the readers are left with the impression that max, the 15 year old protagonist of the book, is bullied because of his weight. sure, that’s some of it, but his own self-loathing surrounding his weight has unknowingly for him made him a target, and he’s just en
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
There are a lot of things to be said, as the book deals with very sensitive topics.
I am going to focus on the things I liked about it.

I am not going to say it's a story about self- discovery, because to me, this is every single character, it's just presented in different ways.
It's a very YA book, and the good thing is characters act age-wise. Their reactions, the way they express themselves. The questions they ask.
I liked the way the parents' figures were presented and the sub-message how im
Ije the Devourer of Books
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Max Farrier has no love for himself. He is bullied because of his weight and because of this he has changed school two times before. This hasn't helped and he is severely bullied in his present school. Max sees himself as a failure. He is 'Fatso Farrier' and he will never amount to anything or become anyone. Worst of all he will never get to join the navy like the men in his family. Max grieves for the father who died when he was a child and he grieves for his grandfather who was always there fo
Stacey Jo
Big Man is the story of two teens who learn to accept and love themselves by loving each other, making it possible to overcome the things that stand in their way. It's a very heartwarming coming of age story. It's empowering.

Max is overweight and he's bullied because of it. So much so that he has to change schools. The abuse is not only mental but it gets physical. His aunt finally has enough and enrolls him in Muay Thai so he can learn self-defense and build confidence. It's here that he meets
Samantha Cato
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I know there has been some controversy regarding the possibility of "fat shaming" the main character is this book but that is NOT the case! I thought the author handled how most overweight people feel every day of their lives...and I am speaking from experience. Matthew handled this wonderfully...I WAS Max in this story as I read it! I thought this was a beautiful coming of age story and the romance was woven throughout the book deftly and surprisingly sweetly! I thought that Cian's personal iss ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a great read, informative, funny, heart wrenching and well written.

A really interesting story, and one that young adults and older adults should be encouraged to read, appreciate and understand.

I was given a copy of this story by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Dannica Zulestin
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this one :) Might up the rating later, I'm sitting on it a little bit. Read it all in one day so I'm having a bit of a book hangover lols.

Disclaimer: I'm a skinny cisgender woman reviewing a book with fat and transgender rep (as fairly focal plot points), so. Take anything I say with a grain of salt.

The Premise
Max is a fifteen year old boy who gets bullied by a group of kids at school for being fat. He's dealing with a lot of self hate because of his weight issues. So, his Aunt Donna (hi
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Max comes from a family of Naval officers and he wants nothing more than to continue that legacy and join the Navy. In reality, he’s bullied so often and so badly at school that now all he wants is to make it out of there alive. When his mother’s fiancé, Aunt Donna, decides enough is enough after Max is kicked so hard in the head by a bully that he ends up in the hospital she calls in a favor and gets Max set up with Muay Thai boxing classes. Aunt Donna knows what she is talking about, being a v ...more
5 stars

Max is 16, and hopefully in his last year of school. He’s planning on starting an apprenticeship working for his soon to be stepmother, because he is severely bullied at school. He is bullied badly enough that he ends up in the hospital, and the woman he calls Aunt Donna pays for boxing lessons for a couple of months because she wants him to learn to have pride in himself.
Max doesn’t believe in himself, or have pride, because he is fat, and he believes that is why he is bullied and he has
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but what I got was a moving story of self-acceptance.

Max “Fatso” Farrier is fat and bullied for it, and he doesn’t expect that to change. All he wants is to keep his head down and finish his compulsory schooling so he can get away from his tormenters. However, when Max is injured by one of his bullies to the point of being taken to the hospital, his mother’s partner signs him up to learn Muay Thai. Max is horrified by the prospect of learning to box,
Suzanne Ellis
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
15 year old Max Farrier is the poster boy for the type of person who is a perfect target for school bullies. He is a big guy, but he carries an unhealthy amount of extra weight that has earned him the moniker "Fatso Farrier". He has a trio of tormentors, Jazz, Aiden and worst of all, Tom. When another altercation with them ends with a kick to the head by Tom, Max has to go to the hospital for an overnight visit.

This is the last straw for his "Aunt" Donna, who is really his mother's fiance. She
Joyfully Jay
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

I feel I should begin this review with a disclaimer—I love this author. Matthew J. Metzger writes characters that most assuredly resonate in my heart and leap off the page for me. I am thrilled that he also consistently includes trans and bisexual characters who often don’t fit the nice, careful boxes we cisgender folk sometimes think we can put them into without remembering how unique each individual is in real life. With his latest release, Big Man, Metzger takes
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok

It is so much more than the blurb or the summary even tells you. The meaning of the book was really impactful and I think everybody should read it. It is about a young man who comes to accept himself as he is and stand up to bullies while also figuring out his sexuality and his future. It wasn't just about a kid who loses weight and accepts himself. He learned to accept himself that he is a big man, not a fat one.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another Metzger book that just drew me in.
I wasn’t sure as Max only turns 16 quite a way through the book and I’m not so keen on YA. But I did get involved in Max - he has his issues with his size which have been compounded over the years by the vicious comments and actions of the school bullies. God, it’s over 30 years since I was at school and those sort of people still rile me up. Too tall, too short, big boobs, no boobs, curly hair, straight hair, fat, thin, glasses everything was up for bei
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one just took my thoughts and feelings and chewed them right up. Would have liked to know more of Cian's story but it wasn't needed for this book, I just liked him so much. Really identified with Max and wished I'd had this to read when I was a teen. Writing and characters spot on as always.

Re: the fat hatred mentioned in other reviews. Yes. If this will be triggering for you don't read. I will just say that as someone who has been fat and not and fat again and thought I was fat at times wh
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Matthew is an asexual, transgender author from the wet and windy British Isles.

Matt writes LGBT novels, both adult and young adult, and particularly enjoys digging into the weird and wonderful diversity of people all across the sexuality and gender spectrums. When not writing, Matt is usually asleep, or crunching numbers at his day job. Free time is not really a concept here.

He is also owned by an

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