Chubby & Charming by Mary E. Thompson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This was really a zero star book for me and I'm going to tell you why.
I love books about fat women doing their thing, living their lives, and getting the man (or woman) of their dreams. I live for this. This is my life, you feel? What I am not here for is fatphobia towards men, "casual" homophobia, and putting down other women to lift yourself higher. Not into it and this story is full of it.
Here's the deal: You cannot write a story about how fat bodies deserve love and respect and then have lines about how fat men are unattractive. You can't. That's a contradiction. Either all bodies are good or you're wrong. Sorry not sorry. So while I did like that the women complimented each other, their conversations about fat men were troubling. It's also troubling that each one of them complains about being lonely but then explicitly expresses the desire to only be with HAWT and built men.
Then there was the "casual" homophobia. One character states that she could never be with another woman. Ok, that's fine. But then the others chime in about how gross it is and one of them says the thought of touching another woman makes her want to vomit. Ok, that's not fine. You can have your sexual preference without degrading someone else... I wonder if the author is aware of that?
Then there was the line that completely fulfilled my hatred of this book. "You're better than all those skinny bitches."
Nope. Uh uh. Not happening. You do not get to degrade thin women to raise fat women up. I'm not better than someone because I'm fat. They're not better than me because they're skinny. Stop pitting women against each other. Stop writing male characters who only know how to compliment but comparing one woman to another. It's lazy writing and it's harmful to women. Other women are not our competition, ok?
There were a few other scenes that bothered me. Particularly a scene where the male MC buys pizza for the female MC and her friends... and then watches them eat. And then brings in cupcakes, popcorn, and raw cookie dough and watches them eat. Afterwards, he takes her upstairs and tells her how "turned on" he was all night. It skeeved me out because it was very fetish-y sounding and while whatever two consenting adults want to do, involving her friends who had not consented was too much for me to handle.
Excluding those things, I still probably wouldn't have given this over a 2 star review. The plot was thin, the dialogue was awkward and unbelievable, it needed heavy editing, and I was pretty bored during the whole shebang.
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