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.