Review of Big Fat Disaster

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.
I didn’t really know what I was getting into with Big Fat Disaster but I liked the cover and had read some fairly good reviews, so I thought “why the heck not?” I have been trying to add more contemporary YA into my reading schedule to get some diversity.

  • I liked the view from inside the political family from Belle, so I thought this was really interesting to see it from another perspective.
  • Colby’s body images and eating disorder were real things and I think they were portrayed in a good way. I have struggled with food forever. I occasionally find myself running to food when I am stressed, upset or even happy. It is a struggle and I have always weighed more than I wanted to. I really thought the book brought out the issues in a real way and could make people who do not struggle with food realize what a battle it is.
  • Colby’s mom is awful, but a lot of people see binge-eating and overeating as a personal problem, not as a mental issue. She would tell Colby she needs to “push away” from the table or count calories. Colby was using food as a way to connect to her father, as solace when she was upset, not because she was hungry.
  • I really liked Leah’s character. She was strong, had been pushed down, but still stood up for herself when everyone, including her family, treated her awfully.

  • More and more bad kept coming to Colby, it felt like it was overkill. I think the relationship with her mother and her father’s scandal would be hard enough, it just seemed a little crazy to keep piling it on.
  • The whole situation that happened to Ryan (trying not to spoil here) seemed so unnecessary to me. I almost put the down the book because it was just not needed. It seemed to take the path in the book off course. I think the message could have been the same without that situation.


  1. I love that it's showing the other side of things, and not just eating disorders or bulimia or anorexia. It's just as serious and should be seen more as a disorder, because a lot and both come down to mental health issues, and once you start treating that, the rest will follow. It's a hard thing to do though, so glad it's reflected well.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

  2. I actually had my eyes on this book but I wasn't sure if I'll check it out or not. Cool review!

  3. I saw this one around a while ago, but was a little iffy on how the subject matter would come across. But it seems that wasn't the downfall of the book. Maybe I will check it out now. Thanks!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  4. This one sounds really good but the TOO many bad things might be an issue I would have as well. I'm still pretty curious about it though.

  5. I love your blog layout with good things and bad things. Great review!

  6. I'm so glad you felt the same way about what happened with Ryan - if I had been reading a physical copy and not an ebook on my phone, I probably would have thrown it. I just felt it was so unnecessary!

    I really appreciated the approach to Binge eating, rather than anorexia or bulimia like YA usually does. I think it sheds a bit more light on an often-overlooked eating disorder.

  7. I haven't read any eating dosorder book I confess but I can understand that sometimes it's a little too much. Thanks for the review, I didn't know this one.

  8. Mm...I'm kind of torn honestly! It does sounds interesting, and I haven't read many (or any??) books about eating disorders, so I'm keen to try one. OH WAIT. I read A Really Awesome Mess by Brendan Halpin. That was quite good, but the opposite end of the eating-disorder-spectrum.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

  9. As someone who has a love/hate relationship with food, this book has landed on my radar before. I haven't been sure about it, though. I may give it a chance. It sounds like a good read without too many glaring faults. Thanks for the review, Missie!

    Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

  10. Always love your reviews and format - thanks for breaking this one down do well. I've been wondering about this one for awhile now.

  11. I have never heard of this one until now. I know what you mean about TOO MUCH. There comes a point when you just have to say, "REALLY!?" But I am glad to hear the author handled the situation with her eating habits well.

  12. I'm curious but I'm not sure this is at the top of my list. Good review.


I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.