Fat Angie

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Diverse Voices / Young Adult - MYA ALEXICE

Rebel Girl Rev­o­lu­tion e.e. Charl­ton-tru­jillo Can­dlewick (MARCH) Hard­cover $16.99 (352pp) 978-0-7636-9345-9, YOUNG ADULT FIC­TION

A se­quel to Stonewall Book Award Win­ner Fat Angie, e.e Charl­ton-tru­jillo’s Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Rev­o­lu­tion finds Angie grap­pling with a new set of cir­cum­stances. Quick, com­pelling prose pro­pels the of­ten poignant nar­ra­tive about one girl’s per­se­ver­ance de­spite suf­fer­ing.

Angie’s girl­friend has bro­ken up with her, her best friend Jake is drift­ing away, and a cruel bully sets Angie in his sights. All of this ex­ac­er­bates a host of men­tal health is­sues that Angie can’t shake, de­spite her new ther­a­pist’s help. It seems noth­ing is go­ing right for Angie, and it doesn’t help when she punches her bully in self-de­fense. Threat­ened with ex­pul­sion from school or be­ing forced to at­tend an eerie “treat­ment” cen­ter by her mother, Angie cracks un­der the pres­sure. In­spired by an old let­ter from her de­ceased sis­ter de­tail­ing all the fun things they would do to­gether one day, Angie de­cides to run away. Along the way, she aims to com­plete the list from her sis­ter, find clo­sure, and maybe even dis­cover some­thing about her­self to help her sur­vive the tough life she’s been given.

The book moves fast thanks to Angie’s sar­cas­tic, but still heart­en­ing, voice. At times, her voice seems much younger than her six­teen years. Fun lists and im­promptu def­i­ni­tions of words are in­ter­spersed with the reg­u­lar prose, mak­ing Angie’s jour­ney en­joy­able even through all her tri­als and tribu­la­tions.

Even if you missed the first novel in the se­ries, Angie builds into a sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ter quickly. Read­ing about her strug­gles is some­times hard; she goes through so much pain all at once. But this makes the book’s cathar­tic mo­ments all the more pow­er­ful. The best parts of Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Rev­o­lu­tion hinge on th­ese in­stances, where un­ex­pected ten­der­ness breaks through Angie’s cold, un­for­giv­ing world.

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