There are about 10 billion things I need to do before the weekend begins for me. (You too?) Among them, share a review of Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee. This is the latest selection of the BlogHer Book Club and it comes with an interesting back story: Stephanie McAfee originally self-published this book and it sprang to popularity, garnering her a literary agent and a traditional publisher in the process. It’s one of those awesome modern stories of self-publishing and traditional publishing colliding.
This story is set in the town of Bugtussle, Mississippi, where Gracelia “Ace” Jones is an outspoken high school art teacher who lives in the home she grew up in with her grandmother. When her two best friends find themselves in trouble — one accused of sleeping with a student and the other a victim of an abusive husband — Ace naturally steps up and helps them both. There are some themes of love and espionage too …
This is a light reading book. Really light. It’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of story. The characters aren’t well-developed. Their backstories, when presented, don’t seem to influence them. And things like heartbreak and weight issues are occasional themes, not constant ones. And the dialogue. Oh, the dialogue. Sometimes, it felt more like what someone might imagine saying rather than what they really did.
Still, and this is especially hard to believe for me, I found myself looking forward to digging into a few more pages every time I glimpsed the cover. And though the story was predictable with foreshadowing practically encased in neon lights, I looked forward to seeing what happened in the end. I’d be lying if I said I connected with the characters. I didn’t. And the prose in this book were just okay … it has nothing on any great works of literature. Still … This wasn’t a me book, but I still enjoyed it. It was a fluffy, fun read.
I guess what I am saying is that sometimes an ultra-light book can capture my interest and make me smile a bit. That’s not a bad thing. Just don’t look for any deep themes or a solid connection with this book.
Be sure to hop over to the BlogHer Book Club page for Diary of a Mad Fat Girl to read more about this book and join the discussion.
Disclosure: This review was created as part of the BlogHer Book Club program. I was provided with a copy of the book and am compensated for my participation. However, all opinions are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.