April 18, 2014 Title: Big Fat Disaster
Author: Beth Fehlbaum
Publisher: Merit Press
Available: Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository | Powell's
From the Publisher: Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.
I have issues with food. I don’t talk about them often – or ever, really. But they lurk under the surface, and even when I’m working really really hard to overcome them and build healthy habits they can derail me. Today was one of those days. And today was the day I read about Colby.
I didn’t expect her story to end up the way it did, but it didn’t surprise me. I did spend a bit of time thinking that there’s no way anyone’s mom would ever treat their daughter the way Colby’s mom treated her… but yes they do. And even without her mom as a motivating factor, everything else Colby was dealing with would have been enough to trigger the depression and self-loathing.
I have a mom who loves me very much and I still struggle (at 31) with self-loathing. There are times I self-medicate with food. There have been many days where I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore because the pain I felt inside was so bad.
When I read Colby’s story, I felt very connected to her.
At the end, the author reveals that she’s struggled with binge eating and knows exactly what kinds of emotions can come with it.
Big Fat Disaster wasn’t easy to read, but I’m glad I did. It was authentic, painful, yet still uplifting. Though I’ll warn you – most of the characters are unlikable and have zero redeeming qualities.
If you – or someone you know – are having thoughts of self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Need More Information?
- Chiquita Blogger: This book touched me in so many ways that all I wanted to do was reach through the pages, give Colby a hug, tell her she’s most DEFINITELY not alone…
- Howdy YAL: I do not recommend this book to anyone. Not even my worst enemy. You’ll feel horrible after reading it. It makes you hate humanity.
- Sunk Treasure: Big Fat Disaster will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and Maureen Johnson. It would be great as a book club selection; there’s so much in this book to discuss and build on.