Book Review

Book Review: Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Crystal Maldonado
Publisher: Holiday House
Release Date: February 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard.
Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.


I flew through this book quickly. The writing led to a easy and great paced story for a coming of age teen, Charlie.

The conversations throughout hit me deep in many ways. Some I could understand and connect with and others I won’t ever be able to understand, but appreciated seeing it in a book to help me understand more. There was a lot of great dialogue here and I’m grateful that I had the chance to read this.

Within the bigger and tougher discussions was an adorable romance. I thought Brian was precious and I loved all of the dates and interactions and the chemistry between him and Charlie. Some of the dialogue is very high school, though I wasn’t too affected by it. I thought everything felt pretty authentic to a 16/17 year-old without being over the top.

What I didn’t love was how the conflict went down with Brian. It just seemed liked it could have been addressed better and not dragged out as long as it was for the sake of the drama. A conversation after cooling down would have nicely moved things along rather than trying to force a grand gesture at the end.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs; discussion of sex
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: fatmisia, body shaming, diet culture, disordered eating

Instagram || Goodreads

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