Author: Rae Earl
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Paperback, 350 Pages
Published April 19th, 2016
Summary: It's 1989 and Rae Earl is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint green bathroom and a refrigerator Rae can't keep away from. She’s also just been released from a psychiatric ward. My Mad Fat Diary is the hilarious, harrowing and touching real-life diary Rae kept during that fateful year and the basis of the hit British television series of the same name now coming to HULU. Surrounded by people like her constantly dieting mum, her beautiful frenemy Bethany, her mates from the private school up the road (called “Haddock”, “Battered Sausage” and “Fig”) and the handsome, unattainable boys Rae pines after (who sometimes end up with Bethany…), My Mad Fat Diary is the story of an overweight young woman just hoping to be loved at a time when slim pop singers ruled the charts. Rae's chronicle of her world will strike a chord with anyone who's ever been a confused, lonely teenager clashing with her parents, sometimes overeating, hating her body, always taking herself VERY seriously, never knowing how positively brilliant she is and keeping a diary to record it all. My Mad Fat Diary – 365 days with one of the wisest and funniest girls in England.
As for the story itself: I liked it. It was an enjoyable read, even if it wasn't anything mind-blowingly spectacular. But being that it's literally the journal of a teenager in England, I didn't expect it to be filled with a lot of the literary devices and shock mechanisms that fiction work has. But the main character (and author herself), Rae -- gosh, she was hysterical. Some of the things that she said and the jokes she made actually had me shaking with laughter. She's sarcastic, dramatic, and witty -- the three staples of being a teenage girl.
The story takes you through all of the drama that Rae faces throughout her high school years -- boys, her (lack of) sex experience, friend drama, backstabbing girls, her unstable home life, problems with her mother, etc. All of the people mentioned in the book are real, but they've either been given code names or had their names changed to protect the privacy of whoever they were.
Because -- this takes total guts -- Rae Carson took the plunge and published her entire teenage diary with little-to-no editing other than some name changes. And that's SUPER scary -- I couldn't fathom putting my personal teenage thoughts out there for the entire world to read. I don't let another soul read my journal, so I couldn't imagine sending it to a publishing company, and then even having it become its own television series! (Speaking of which, I might have to borrow somebody's Hulu account to check it out, because I'm kind of intrigued.)
What I found the funniest about the entire story was Bethany. She was just such a cliche mean girl, and some of the things that Rae said about her were pretty hysterical. I also enjoyed how quickly Rae jumped from falling from boy to boy -- something that happens a lot in teenage girls and was entertaining to watch from the spectator position for once. I read "I think I love him" more than a few times in this book.
All in all, My Mad Fat Diary was an entertaining read. It was funny to peek into the author's life and see how she survived high school and all of the friends and drama she had -- it was even funnier when you realized that stuff actually did happen. If you're looking for a good laugh within a light read, I definitely recommend this one!
I'd like to thank for St. Martin's for giving me the chance to review this book!