Sunday, January 5, 2014

Big Fat Disaster

Title: Big Fat Disaster
Author:Beth Fehlbaum
Published: Merit Press, 18 April 2014
Genre:Young Adult
Source: NetGalley*
From Goodreads:

"Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new."

WARNING; This book has triggers regarding suicide, abuse, eating disorders, and rape.

I didn't know what to expect from this book.  I must not have read the description very well because I thought it would be a a bit more light-hearted.   Okay, I admit that I went into this book thinking she would have something bad happen to the family and she would love herself and lose weight and the story would have a happy ending.  I probably would not have read it if I would have read it if I had read it if I had paid attention to the blurb.

This book doesn't pussyfoot around the issues covered.. Rape, bullying, fat-shaming, depression, suicide, disordered eating.  I had some triggers and admit that I was up at three in the morning crying because of the raw emotion regarding the main character Colby's depression and suicide attempt.  It frightened me how easily I could identify with Colby and her feelings.

I was hooked from the get go.  Even with the difficult content, I was rooting for Colby and hoping she would find a happy ending.  Her dad basically abandons her and her mother and sisters after his affair and embezzlement come to light.  Her mother constantly fat-shames her and very obviously favors Colby's thinner sisters.  She's bullied at her new school.  Her cousin shows open disdain for her.  It's a lot to put on one person's shoulders.   In the end, there wasn't the happy ending I expected but there was plenty of hope for Colby to have a good life.

*I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.  Any opinions are my own.

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