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. 







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12 comments

  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

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

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  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

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  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.

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

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  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.

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  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.

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  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!

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  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

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  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.

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  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.

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

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