Monday, April 5, 2021

Monday Mini-Reviews: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

I felt a little bit of a reading slump coming on after spring break. And then, I managed to hold it off by reading several middle grade novels - truly my sweet spot as far as reading goes.

Over the weekend I thought I would have so much time to read. But we got together with family, went to church in person, and also did some shopping. Plus it was beautiful outside and I enjoyed some nice long walks...which means, I didn't do a lot of reading. 

But...what I did read was really good.

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado was the perfect book to devour this weekend. Charlie has long felt like she lives in the shadow of her beautiful best friend, Amelia.  Her mom doesn't help things out, though, because she is constantly trying to get Charlie to lose weight.  Charlie knows she is fat, and one time her mom was, too. But after her dad died, her mom began dieting and lost a bunch of weight - and now seems intent on getting Charlie to do the same.  

Charlie doesn't necessarily like being fat, but she's tired of her mom treating her like she's not good enough.  Things were easier when her Dad was alive- he and Charlie really understood each other, but now it's just Charlie and her mom and they aren't always on the same page. 

Charlie also really wants a boyfriend. She's had a crush on a cute football player for a long time and she's ecstatic when he asks her to be his date at an award ceremony. But things don't go as planned, and once again Charlie is crushed.  

Thank goodness for Brian, the guy Charlie works with at an after-school job and who happens to be in her art class.  He never makes Charlie feel like she's not good enough, and as their friendship blossoms into romance things seem close to perfect.  Except Charlie learns that he actually asked Amelia out first.  And Charlie is sick of coming in second place behind her best friend.

I loved Charlie. And I loved Brian. Charlie's mom frustrated me, but I think she had her own unresolved issues that we barely got to see.  This was pretty close to a perfect rom-com for me.  I found myself thinking of Charlie and Brian the rest of the weekend, and couldn't really find another book I wanted to read after I finished this one.

If you love YA, or rom-coms, or just need a good book to read, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is the book for you.

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