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Charlie struggles to find her exact place in a world that wants her to be thinner, whiter, and quieter. This endearing debut will tug at your heartstrings and make you giggle all on the same page. I thought about Charlie for days after I finished her story.
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 loss shakes on her dresser doesn't help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there's one person who's always in Charlie's corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing--he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her?
Because it's time people did.
A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.
About the Author
Crystal Maldonado is a writer by night and a marketer and social media manager by day. She has been published in Latina magazine, The Hartford Courant, and Dogster, and is the co-founder of the online magazine Positively Smitten. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is her debut novel, and was bought in a competitive pre-empt as part of a two-book deal. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, her dog, and her super-duper adorable baby daughter.
A Cosmopolitan Best New Book of Winter 2020
★ "Charlie's struggles are authentic and raw while Maldonado's bright prose makes for a page-turner. . . . An overdue and welcome ingénue."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Charlie's emotional arc hits all the right notes, resulting in a warm and insightful coming-of-age tale."—Publishers Weekly
"Sweet and sincere, Charlie Vega's journey is a delight."—School Library Journal
"Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is an accomplished debut, and its nuanced depictions of first love, a complex mother-daughter relationship and fat acceptance make it stand out." —BookPage
"With a memorable cast that brings fresh faces and voices to a typically homogenous genre, this title focuses on the positives of the often difficult and confusing high-school experience: genuine friendships and allies, powerful first crushes, and discovering oneself. . . . Charlie’s optimistic outlook, despite the challenges that come with her identity, will attract a widespread audience of romance lovers and expand their idea of what a romantic lead can look like." —Booklist
"We're so excited to get our hands on it."—Buzzfeed
"Readers will appreciate Charlie from the get-go and rejoice when she herself begins to see the Charlie-celebrating light."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is an utterly heartwarming story of love--of friends, of family, of romance and, most importantly, of oneself."—Shelf Awareness
"Issues of body positivity and racial and gender identity are dealt with in a light, positive, and totally engrossing manner. This novel is perfect for fans of Julie Murphy's Dumplin' (Balzer + Bray 2015) and for any reader who struggles with feeling like they are 'not enough.'"—School Library Connection
"This book feels like your best friend giving you a hug—it’s warm and sweet and healing."—Mason Deaver, bestselling author of I Wish You All the Best "A sweet and cheerful debut, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega moves with rom-com energy and a whole lot of awkward, goofy, chubby-girl-with-a-crush-on-a-boy vibes."—Gabby Rivera, author of Juliet Takes a Breath and Marvel’s America