Sweet and optimistic - a good escapist read. Charlie loves her best friend, Amelia, but she's always felt jealous of her. Amelia is athletic, popular, and thin. Charlie is...not. So when Charlie finds out that her brand-new, first-ever boyfriend asked Amelia out first, it feels like the whole world is telling her she's less than - even the people who are supposed to be lifting her up. The fact that her mom is always nagging about her weight and leaving diet shakes around the house in lieu of real food only adds to the burden. Charlie has always been the quiet, polite one, but she's going to have to make some noise if she's ever going to shed the weight of other people's opinions. This is a great pick for 12-15-year-olds who are getting into romance but aren't quite ready for the sex, drugs, and rock n' roll prevalent in upper YA. — Nadja Tiktinsky
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