13 Ways to Look at a Fat Girl, by Mona Awad was the most recent pick for our book club. In all honesty, I would have probably never picked up this book without our book club reading it. And although the content was a hard read, I think it’s an important book for EVERYONE to read.
Here’s some things you should know about this book:
- There are some trigger topics that include disordered eating, swearing, and some promiscuity.
- It’s a short, fast read.
- Mona Awad is Canadian.
- This book was a Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist.
- It’s a short story collection of the main character’s, Lizzie, life.
You are first introduced to an adolescent Lizzie who is growing up and spending a lot of her time with friends in Mississauga. She has never felt secure, and also never liked the way she looks. As she enters into the online dating world, she becomes consumed with the thought that no one else will like what she looks like either. So she starts to lose weight, becoming consumed by calories, exercise, and the war of her weight. You see her get thinner, and other people validate this big life change. But unforunately, no matter how much she loses, her perception of herself will always be the fat girl who is constantly trying to fit into a different size that never will fit.
Later on I’m going to be really fucking beautiful. I’m going to grow into that nose and develop an eating disorder. I’ll be hungry and angry all my life but I’ll also have a hell of a time.
This book was a rough read. The above quote is a very accurate indication of just how tough it was. The main character was not reliable at all, and at times you just wanted to shake her, and tell her YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
Like I said earlier, this is an important book in the same way Hunger, by Roxane Gay is. I think it does a great job of showing readers that the only way to validate yourself, is through yourself. You will never be good enough for anyone else, but you can be good enough for yourself. And it may require digging down into the depths of yourself to find what truly makes you happiest each and every day. I have read/listened to a lot of reviews of this book since I finished it and it was very divided on their feelings of it… but every reviewer agreed the writing was exceptional!
Anywho, overall it was a great pick for book club as we had a lively discussion about many of the themes, and topics that were included in this novel.
Until next time, happy reading, friends!