13 Ways of Looking at A Fat Girl

13 Ways of Looking at A Fat Girl

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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Winner of the Amazon.ca First Novel Award
Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
Longlisted for the 2017 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
Longlisted for the 2018 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks--even though her best friend Mel says she's the pretty one. She starts dating guys online, but she's afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend China does her makeup: she knows no one would want her if they could really see her. So she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged, pounds dropped. She fights her way into coveted dresses. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?

In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside their physical appearance, and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.
Publisher: Penguin Canada, 2016
ISBN: 9780143194798
0143194798
Characteristics: 214 pages

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j
January1545
Oct 23, 2017

To be honest, I could not read this book. I finished two chapters and couldn't go on -- to painful. I am not a "fat girl," but I was miserable in high school and this brought back really difficult memories. Very well-written and powerful, but too much for me!

l
lizhelboe
Jul 24, 2017

I was interested in reading this book that was short-listed for the Giller. It is a short novel divided into 13 Chapters that follow Lizzie (aka Elizabeth and Beth) from her teenage years to adulthood. The book is well written and I'm sure there are themes in the story that people can relate to. I just found that the main character was frustrating because her self esteem is so low it affected every aspect of her life but she didn't seem to grow much over the course of the story.

c
Crystaljocille
Jun 07, 2017

I was so very disappointed in this book. As a "fat person", as some of you have described me, this was not reflective of my life. This was however reflective of a shallow, insecure, miserable person that no matter what they looked like, would never have been happy. This book was depressing, offensive and was sloppily written. Using every stereotype to describe a miserable existence is lazy. I wonder if this is derived from her own experiences or just an outlook of a thin girl at a fat girls life.
This was a waste of my money (yes I bought this piece of trash) and time.
DO NOT READ!

e
Eosos
Feb 13, 2017

Wow, how depressing. I'm not sure what the intent of this book was, if there was supposed to be hope or humour, but all I got was self-loathing and heart-breaking. That this obsession with looks and weight should essentially ruin her life, destroy her marriage, affect her friendships and turn her into a obsessive compulsive food denier.
It was really too much for me, I don't like stories without hope, characters without pep and maybe most of all, I don't like that this story is probably all to common.

c
chloecat
Dec 25, 2016

A sad but probably realistic account of how a fat person lives......poor self image, poor self esteem, the relentless journey to get thin and stay that way. Perhaps you have to have lived the life yourself to identify with Lizzie. I found it a sad book.

GSPLanna Oct 12, 2016

A great read - with real insight into being a woman and our image obsessed culture.

l
LexiLou2
Aug 17, 2016

The synopsis is incredibly misleading. This novel has an inordinate amount of sexual content which does not particularly epitomize the premise of self-loathing due to figure; instead, it is redundant and painful to read. You may enjoy it, but I did not. Actually, I didn't finish the book...

a
allisonanne
Aug 13, 2016

Absolutely loved this book! very truthful description of what it is to live in your body.

KateHillier Jul 13, 2016

For lack of a better word, this book is gutting. If you're a woman who has ever struggled with your weight, this book is just searing in some bits. It also takes place in Mississauga so growing up in the suburbs is also a theme here and man was nostalgia hitting me hard in the first bit.

You follow Liz (or Beth, or Elizabeth depending on what she likes being called) through various parts of her life and what decisions or in decisions she makes. Is her weight a factor to those choices? To how people see her? To how people treat her? Yes, I would argue, would be the answer.

It's a quick read but it's not one you'll forget quickly.

m
mclarjh
Jun 20, 2016

A series of interlinked stories. Juvenile, perhaps a teenager would appreciate it. Very bad writing, slim evidence of talent. Hyper consumerism is promoted non stop.

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