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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  666 ratings  ·  254 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
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Holiday House
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Elena Maddox Yes, Baker & Taylor characterizes it for teens ages 15-18.

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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  666 ratings  ·  254 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
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Gabby
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 😍✨
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sol
Jul 22, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cover-porn
ARE YOU SEEING THIS COVER?
jesus christ.
I LOVE WOMEN.
Angelica
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!
Dayla
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
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Mimi
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
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Emma
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
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Oyinda
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.

Full review to come
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Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via the Publisher and Edelweiss Plus in exchange for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

This contemporary YA novel was EXACTLY what I didn’t even know I needed to de - stress with everything that’s been going on!

So many amazing and important themes explored in this light breezy contemporary YA novel - weight issues, anxiety and self esteem issues that result when one isn’t conforming to the “soc
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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
Ariel
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, ya, blog-tour
If this story wasn't about me...This book was sweet, honest, and oh, so relatable.

From page one, I was nodding along and laughing at how much I related to Charlie and what she felt/was going through. I remember having so many similar feelings about myself, my love life, and my body during the formidable high school years. It was so nice to see those thoughts and feelings penned on paper and worked through by a fictional character. I think the reliability and honesty of this book is what initiall
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Caitlyn DeRouin
Read the full review here: https://teatimelit.com/2021/02/10/blo...

From the second I started Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and saw that in her dedication, author Crystal Maldonado wrote, “to every Fat brown girl out there – I see you”, I knew that this book would be special to me. I found Fat Chance, Charlie Vega incredibly moving. In fact, 5 pages in I sent a text to Mary and Cossette that simply said, “Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is already making me very emotional and I’m like 5 pages in”

Charlie Vega
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Tomes And Textiles
This one releases soon and I'm wondering why you don't have it on your TBR yet. Will post the full review soon. ...more
Robin
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
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The Nerd Daily
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler

Readers, it’s been days since I’ve finished Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and my jaw is still aching from the amount of times I grinned but also cried while reading this book. So, let’s get into the review and let me convince you why you need the best debut I’ve read since Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue in your life.

First of all, in this novel we follow Charlie Vega, who is a lot of things – smart, brown, funny, a writer of b
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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?
zaira
tw: body shaming

YA books like this are the perfect kind to have me feeling giddy. This book said: validation should come from inside you and not from those around you!!

Charlie is such a wonderful character. She has so much self-awareness even though she’s 17 and still working through things. Her path to being kinder & loving herself is so so so admirable.

She has a complicated relationship with her mom. A lot of things her mom says are totally Not Okay and can be triggering for some (restrictive
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USOM
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: fatphobia, restrictive eating of a side character

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is an entertaining, hilarious, and heartfelt debut. I ended up reading this one in about a day because I was so captviated. Not only is Charlie incredibly relatable, but she is so endearing. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is a multi-faceted debut. Featuring conversations about Charlie's biracial identity, the way
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Kelly
A quiet, lower-stakes YA that gives a glimpse into the life of a fat brown girl living in the suburbs as she navigates accepting herself as she is with the pressures from her mother and greater society to shrink herself down or see herself as always second best. Charlie's best friend Amelia is a pansexual black girl, while Brian is Korean.

The theme of finding one's voice here is great, and Charlie's writing works well without overtaking the story. What she really wants is to have her first kiss
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Kris
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: published-2021
This was a fun read. It was a bit clunky at points. I can definitely tell it's a debut novel. But the emotional resonance of the characters was strong, and the tone was casual and quirky in a fun way.

I have 2 main criticisms:

1. There was a lot of telling, where there should have been showing.

Things would sometimes be blatantly spelled out in a way that a person, especially a teenager would not naturally think. (I haven't been a teenager for a while so I can't be totally sure of how different
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Angie Sanchez
Feb 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is equally cute and important. I wish I had it around when I was 16 🥺
Caro | sanjariti
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review will not be coherent because my heart and soul have been both destroyed and healed by Crystal and Charlie 😭😭😭😭😭😭

What I would GIVE to go back to 2015 and give this book to 15 year old me. What I would GIVE. I needed this book all those years ago, when I hated every inch of my body, every part of me, every single thing. When I thought I would never know what love was, because I thought “who could possibly love someone as fat and ugly as me?” “Who would ever choose ME?” When I had been
...more
Fatirah Murtaza
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Oh. My. God.

That's basically my reaction after reading this book. Have you ever experienced this kind of feeling? Like when you see yourself in one of the fictional characters and you just couldn't help but resonate with the said character based on experiences that you once have gone through? I'm literally dumbfounded in a good way as if the author herself knew what I have been doing with my life. Omg, if I were to list things that I find myself being seen in this book - it'll be endless, perha
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Hayden (bookish.hayden)
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow wow this book blew me away. I ended it with tears in my eyes and my heart soaring.

Charlie Vega is a lot of things: smart, funny, ambitious, also, fat. That last one leads to a strained relationship with her workout obsessed ex-fat mom. But luckily Charlie has Amelia, her popular, track running BFF. When Brian, a cute classmate, shows interest in Charlie, she is over the moon. Until a secret about Brian and Amelia comes to light, and Charlie is left wondering if she was his first choice, or
...more
Toya (the reading chemist)
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Charlie Vega is a plus size Puerto Rican girl who has always been fat. Charlie is an aspiring writer, has an incredible eye for fashion, and has a kick ass best friend (Amelia) who is walking perfection in the eyes of society.

What Charlie doesn’t have? A mother that supports Charlie for who she is. Charlie’s mother is toxic and embodies those who refuse to accept people outside of what “society” deems as beautiful. So many of the scenes between Charlie and her mom were heartbreaking to read.

My
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Emma
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega was an emotional rollercoaster. I really loved seeing Charlie grow and come into her own over the course of the story. The mixture of friendship troubles, romance, and mother-daughter conflict made for a compelling story. The pacing was a little wonky at times -- it definitely took me a while to get invested in the story -- but it didn't dampen my enjoyment of the book. It was great to read a story that grappled with some big topics but wasn't an "issue" book; the story ...more
Amber
This is an absolutely relatable book. This book perfectly encapsulates so many feelings I have had with an absolutely fantastic protagonist in Charlie Vega. I can't wait to read more by Crystal Maldonado in the future. A new favorite for sure.

I received an ecopy of this through Edelweiss; however, all opinions are my own.
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julia
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
this book was such a lovely read—honest, a bit heartbreaking, funny, and just perfectly genuine. charlie was a character that i found myself endlessly enamored with and was so grateful to witness her growth and journey throughout the story. i loved amelia and brian, too, but the firm focus on charlie was what i really appreciated about this story—it all comes back to her, whether it be joy or anger or humor or frustration or love, love, love. not every high school coming-of-age novel does that, ...more
Julianne
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When I tell you that I loved this book, I mean it. I have dyslexia and read slow, I finished this book in one day meaning I read waaaaaay past my bedtime to finish this book. Reading about Charlie made me feel like my teen self had been seen, from dealing with issues of shopping for plus size clothes and friends not understanding, body positiveness, to not quite feeling latina enough, and being bullied. Crystal Maldonado somehow includes all the insecurities that high school brings but also show ...more
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Diverse Book Club: YA Mar 2021 - Fat Chance, Charlie Vega 1 2 Mar 03, 2021 05:36PM  

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124 followers
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA (Holiday House), will be released on Feb. 2, 2021.

By day, she is a social media manager working in higher ed, and by night, a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, the internet, and being extra.

She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
59 likes · 9 comments
“Truth be told, I sometimes even felt like I was better than them—getting a better education in my white-ass town, speaking perfect English. How messed up is that? They knew two languages and there I was thinking I was hot shit because I knew what an Oxford comma was. Hey, internalized racism. How you doing?” 1 likes
“Actually…someday I’m hoping to write a book about a girl who looks like me.” What I mean is a book specifically about a fat Puerto Rican girl with glasses. I’ve never once read a story about one, and something about that has always made me feel devastatingly alone.” 0 likes
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