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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  8,655 ratings  ·  1,861 reviews
Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard.
Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it's hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Holiday House
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Rachel No, this story is quite different than "Fat Chance" by Lesléa Newman. In FCCV, the protagonist struggles with feeling the fat shaming that is so awful…moreNo, this story is quite different than "Fat Chance" by Lesléa Newman. In FCCV, the protagonist struggles with feeling the fat shaming that is so awfully present in today's society, but she never truly caves into the diet plans and weight loss plans shoved at her, while in FC, Judi does.

Bottom Line: Charlie Vega believes she is beautiful just the way she is. Judi Liebowitz believes she has to change herself to be beautiful.

Also, Charlie Vega is a junior, as opposed to Judi Liebowitz's eighth grade.

Full disclosure: I have not read "Fat Chance" by Lesléa Newman, and the facts I gleaned from it I read from the synopsis. Perhaps someone who has read both books could give a more accurate answer if this isn't what you're looking for. (less)
Claire No, but other prominent characters are

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  8,655 ratings  ·  1,861 reviews

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Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Hello I am crying this book was EVERYTHING. I loved it so damn much and related sooooo hard to everything that Charlie went through and I just want to give her (and high school Chelsea, tbh) the biggest hug. I cannot wait!!!! to read more from Crystal Maldonado in the future. What a fantastic debut! Also, unrelated to the actual content of the story but demands to be said: this is my absolute favorite cover of 2021 and I will NEVER BE OVER IT. SO GOOD!

CW: fatphobia, dieting, toxic mother/daughte
Jul 22, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cover-porn
jesus christ.
This book was cute, it’s a really soft YA contemporary about learning how to be happy in your own body. I think this book has a really important message for young adults, but some of this book just fell flat for me. Charlie could be so naive at times it would have me rolling my eyes, but that’s probably just a me problem since this book is intended for young adults. I guess I was just a bit underwhelmed by the end of it, I just wanted more from this story.
— Massiel
Okay but... Why do I feel so powerful just by looking that cover??

I can't wait to read this 😍✨
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
TW: Fat Shaming, Gaslighting

I absolutely loved this book, not just because of the amazing representation, but because I saw myself in Charlie. I grew up as the fat friend. I lost my father when I was young and grew up with a mom who didn’t always say the right thing about my size. My mom and I are in a much healthier place now, but seeing Charlie experience the feelings she does brought back a lot of memories and endeared her to me in ways I can’t ever explain.

Her relationship with her best frie
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
Ugh. I wanted to like this so much but unfortunately I had a lot of issues. But first the positives; the writing is great in terms of capturing my attention, and keeping me somewhat interested, at least at the beginning. The conversations about fatphobia were important, and I do think this book could help a lot of young teens become more self accepting of themselves and others.

Now, the two main issues I had were the main character Charlie, and the fact that she starts to feel like she’s worthy
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐️

pls check back tomorrow for the review bc my brain is fried 🤪



a great book not only for body positivity, but also for the internal struggle girls face--Charlie often compares herself to her best friend, Amelia, because they're two different sizes. Charlie is plus-size and Amelia is on the skinnier side. Amelia gets all of the attention and Charlie feels like she blends into the wall. Amelia is popular and has a ton of friends while Charlie's the one wh
We should probably talk about the fact that I finished this book in one day and how it almost had me tearing up at my office desk. I wasn't sure what to expect, but Maldonado did a wonderful job with so many different components of this book. 4.5 Stars

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega focuses on Charlie who is a plus sized high school student. Although Charlie attempts to enjoy school and her personal life, it's clear from her internal dialogue and interactions with others that she struggles with her sel
Jul 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!
Jul 24, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I love this cover.
I love this title.
I love this synopsis.
2021 needs to come and save us from the mess of 2020 and this book is the first step to recovery!
The way I want to scream about this book from the rooftops but also I don't anyone to read it because that would be like baring my soul. Raw. Unedited. Unfiltered.

The way all I want in this moment is to find a time machine so I can send this book back to my sixteen year old self and hold her tight.

The way I managed not to cry during this book but now that it's over I am so overcome.
Ok so I'm not a huge YA reader, but every now and then I'll pick it up for a change of pace. I really enjoyed this book! 4.5⭐ for me!

Charlie is 16 going on 17, she's an overweight brown girl living in the white Connecticut suburbs. She lost her father a few years ago, and her mother is all about getting skinny, and they argue all the time. Her best friend Amelia is beautiful and perfect. Amelia is such a great friend to her though.

Charlie is very self conscious about her weight and always feels
Apr 07, 2022 rated it really liked it
TW fatphobia from family and strangers

This was a very emotional story exploring important social and coming of age themes that I enjoyed all the more knowing it all came from an author who was speaking from her own experiences by way of our main character.

The plot of this story was really quintessential of high school and that period in our lives where we've all struggled with our identities and being comfortable in our bodies. And I think this book did such an amazing job depicting that. I will
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
I'm torn on this because I liked a lot of this book, but I wanted a lot more from it too. Charlie is a great character and really gets to go through a lot of growth and self acceptance through the story. But I didn't feel like I go to go through it with her. There's a lot of drama, insecurities, and conflict in the story between Charlie and her mom especially, but all the development and resolutions felt weaker and a bit rushed. I think the balance of the story was off for me, so that's why I wa ...more
Do you ever read a book that makes you feel so much, pulls at your heartstrings so hard and makes you wish more than anything, that you could place it in the hands of your teen self because you know it would mean everything to her? Yeah. This is one of those books.

This book made me want to cry with anger, happiness and pain. It made me want to shove it into the hands of every teen who's ever felt 'other' or 'less than' because of their size. It made me smile and squee. My heart is so happy that
Joce (squibblesreads)
Mar 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars! So good :’)
How this book left me simultaneously GUTTED and GRINNING so hard my jaw is still aching I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND.

Seriously. This book is my personality, all my fears and dreams and hopes wrapped into one and I kinda wanna sue the author for making me EMOTE when I'm supposed to be a fierce, fabulous ice queen but I can't because I need ALL OF MALDONADO'S FUTURE BOOKS RIGHT THE F NOW.

I just. gah. I beg of you, read this book. You won't regret it. Charlie Vega will steal your heart and you'll end up
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! I adored this book so very much. Thanks to my Storyseekers anon for recommending it to me!

tw: fatphobia, mentioned death of a parent, mentions of sex, underage drinking, strained relationship with a parent, toxic diet culture, emotional abuse + manipulation, racism
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Book 73 of 2021 and my first read of March, 2021

I loved this book a lot and it's such an amazing, important, and beautiful book. Lots of serious issues are discussed here, and it's done in a serious tone, but still written in language that's perfect for YA readers.

TW for fatphobia from family and strangers

This was such a cute and important book. An anticipated book that loved up to all my expectations, I'm glad this was what I started my March with!

Charlie Vega is a 17year old fat Latina in hig
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I was very interested to read this new YA novel. I wanted to love Charlie Vega and her story with all my heart, but some parts of it just fell flat to me.

Charlie is a smart, caring, strong-willed, and confident girl who truly has a lot to deal with. At home things with her mother seem to be very difficult, the two are drifting apart due to several reasons. Her mother is constantly making remarks
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: march-2021
I'm sorry but I just did not like this book. I'm definitely not the audience for it because while I consider myself to be a curvier girl, I don't think about my body size, appearance, and have a toxic relationship with my mother everyday. Since the majority of the book focused a lot on her hating herself and her relationship with her mother, I could not relate. It is not the reason why I'm giving it a low rating though but because the conflict resolution in the end and how horrible the character ...more
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Wow! This book made me sob at some points because I related so hard to Charlie's experience as a fat teenager. I really loved Charlie's friendship with Amelia and her budding romance with Brian. There were lots of moments here that were so raw and emotional. I'm thrilled teens have more and more books about fat teenagers.

I also want to say that the audiobook performance was wonderful. Carla Vega full embodied Charlie's voice.

Content notes: fat-shaming, diet talk, toxic parent, racial microaggres
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya, coming-of-age

‘That seemingly small moment made me acutely aware of my body and its bigness, and it was then that I realized that being fat is a thing: A Very Bad Thing, according to most.’
So can I just say how absolutely relatable this is? Being fat or “plus size” isn’t something you notice until its brought into your attention. Most importantly, its not something you exactly care about or think its necessary to care about until someone comes up to you and says “you’ll look so
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-reads
review to come!


dude, this cover
do you ever just say fuck it and post the entire rambly review that you wrote late at night?? anyways, vulnerability:

“shoulders back. head held up high. fat, beautiful body and all.”

this book!!!!!!! charlie vega was honestly a book that hit so close to home. i feel like i’ve posted quiet a few reviews lately where i say i felt seen, but this book wins. this book was everything i needed it to be, and though it was quite painful to read at times, i smiled so much. charlie is a fat teen, like me. s
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much. It is just such a stunning coming of age about fat brown girl just trying to figure life out. Charlie is an incredibly relatable character and you just feel for her at every turn. This is one of my favorite books with fat rep because it's just done so incredibly well. It is a major theme of the story, and there is fat phobia, but the overall theme of this book is fat joy and thriving while fat. It's about falling in love and getting through high school and tryin
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
↠ 4 stars

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing this arc for reviewing purposes. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega was exactly the kind of insightful and thought provoking read I needed to close off my July. There were so many important themes explored within this story and I enjoyed it all the more knowing that the author was speaking from her own experiences by way of this character.

The storyline and plot were really a testament to high school and that period of time where we all strug
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
No matter your body size woman always have issues about what is the perfect body. As a plus size woman we feel so insecure, not good enough and shame. That is what Charlie goes through. She feels so used by people and so out of place. I really love her story. I loved how real it felt. The mother and daughter relationship bothered me a bit. I could never imagine my mother not being supportive but I know there are some out there who are not. A-
lola :D
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
a bit cheesy and juvenile for my taste but also really sweet and truthful and just...needed?
Jodi Meadows
A delight.
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Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is a 2021 New England Book Award winner, a Cosmopolitan Best New Book, and a POPSUGAR Best New YA Novel. Her next novel, No Filter and Other Lies, explores teenage life in the social media age—and the lies we tell to ourselves and others.

By day, Crystal works in higher ed marketing, and by

Articles featuring this book

  Ellen Oh is an award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels such as Spirit Hunters, The Dragon Egg Princess, and A Thousand...
52 likes · 11 comments
“Just—promise me girls you won't devalue yourselves for anyone. And I mean anyone. You can't. You have to really be kind to yourself and look out for yourself because the world can be cold and cruel. Don't feel bad, ever, about putting yourself first.” 6 likes
“You can’t. You have to really be kind to yourself and look out for yourself because the world can be cold and cruel. Don’t feel bad, ever, about putting yourself first. Promise!” 4 likes
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