reading with mamawolfe: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl

I actually didn’t think I would like this book.  It was the title.  Diary of a Mad Fat Girl.  Fat just isn’t a politically correct word, and I wondered how the author could get me past the initial stereotyped image she was presenting.

Honestly, it didn’t take long.  Once I got into the first few chapters I was hooked, and I didn’t care who saw the cover!  Stephanie McAfee’s skillful characterizations of protagonist Graciela “Ace” Jones, her best friend Lilly, mutual friend Chloe, their boyfriends, lovers, spouses and an adorable Chiweeenie dog named Buster Loo brought me right into their lives in current day Mississippi and I never wanted to leave.

Daphnee, a 3 ½ year old Miniature Dachshund / Chihuahua mix (Chiweenie)
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/chiweenie.htm

Ace Jones, the mad fat girl of the title, and her tall, willowy and beautiful BFF Lilly reminded me of girls I used to teach with when I was young, single and figuring out the world.  Ace and Lilly teach, live and love with passion.  Ace leads with her heart and not her head, a strategy which lends itself to poignant humor and situations the reader can imagine herself alongside the characters – well, maybe not the hilarious drag bar scene!

As if Ace and her pals weren’t enough, Stephanie McAfee’s addition of the fabulous Gloria Peacock and her friends Daisy, Birdie and Temple absolutely sealed the deal for me.  The addition of these mature, wise matriarchs provides grounding and depth for the story and characters.

I could just picture Ace and her girlfriends, desperate for advice on their love lives, grasping for advice from the more ‘experienced’ ladies: “I look at Gloria Peacock, who smiles at me.  ‘Follow your heart.  It won’t lead you wrong.’  ‘Mind did,’ Daisy says.  ‘More than once.’  ‘I think you were following something besides your heart, Daisy,’ Birdie says.

Gloria and her cohort represent female strength at a mature age, and highlight McAfee’s ability to create complex female characters.  Add in a bit of tragedy and a whole bunch of humor, and you’ve got a book to lose yourself in for an afternoon.

But Diary of a Mad Fat Girl isn’t a typical single-girl-finds-the-right-guy predictable type of love story.  Ace and her pals sample life with enviable gusto, and just when I thought I had it all figured out, I didn’t.  Kind of like life.

I’m still not crazy about the title, but Diary of a Mad Fat Girl has the ability to move the reader out of their own reality and into the lives of these strong women living in Bugtussle, Mississippi, and to let us know that stereotypes are meant to be broken.

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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15 thoughts on “reading with mamawolfe: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl

  1. Momfever says:

    I kind of like the title, but I don’t understand the cover! Why isn’t there a fat girl on it?

    1. Michelle says:

      I was thinking the same thing! Maybe that’s the BFF.

    2. Good point…although it that was the cover concept, maybe the publisher thought a miniskirt and heels with shapely legs would sell more copies??

  2. Leslie says:

    I haven’t been able to read a book in so long, and the sad part is, I love to read! We all know motherhood can put a damper on your hobbies 🙂 Maybe I’ll look for this the next time I’m at the bookstore! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh Leslie, I know exactly how you feel! When my kids were babies I would sneak in reading whenever I could…I get a bit more time now, but still not as much as pre-kids!

  3. Michelle says:

    Sounds pretty cool! I haven’t read a good “girl” book in a long time. I’ll have to look for it. Thanks for the review!

    1. You’re welcome. It was easy to read, and one of those books that could be picked up and put down without losing the plot line. Check it out!

  4. This definitely looks like a good read! 🙂 I am a big fan of books that help to eliminate stereotypes by putting the reader in other people’s shoes!

    1. I think you’d like it – give it a whirl!

  5. I need to read a book soon. I’ve been spending way too much time on the computer. This looks like a good place to start! Thanks!

    1. Yes, it would be. You can read a few chapters at a time and feel like you’re getting back into your old, good havits!

  6. –Mama,
    This is the second review I’ve heard this week about this book…

    I must say, I love the title, even though it is not politically correct.

    Sorry.

    I must order it immediately.

    Thank You. Xx

  7. Nothing to be sorry about…glad you’re interested in reading it! I thouight it was full of fun and laughs.

  8. Susan Kane says:

    Good to see a title that can appeal to a bigger range of readers. Timely.

    1. Yes, I think it would. I think it’s worth a try!

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