Big Fat Disaster is all about Colby, her perfect family that isn’t so perfect, and her weight. The story starts off by introducing us to Colby and her perfect (i.e. skinny and blonde) older sister fighting. During that fight, a drink spills and as Colby cleans up, she finds a picture of her father kissing a woman who is not her mother. Events spiral out from there and we follow Colby’s journey from a perfect life to a perfect hell. I don’t want to give too much away, but this is not a story about weight loss. If you are looking for an inspiring story of teen weight loss – look elsewhere (Fat Cat by Robin Brande, Skinny by Donna Cooner, or Forty-five Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson). This book covers heavier issues including verbal abuse (although it is never called that) and suicide.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it is well written and I certainly sympathized and empathized with Colby. It is difficult when you don’t feel like you fit in with your family or even your friends. I liked Colby even when I didn’t agree with her actions. On the other hand, there are very few likable people in this book. Even the people I’m supposed to like and want Colby to be near are iffy. Perhaps it’s my world view, but I can’t believe that in an entire town (no matter how small it is) there wouldn’t be people who are nice and supportive. Let me know what you think about that – I’m always looking to broaden my horizons. Another issue I had with the book is that it is very issue heavy. Not only does the book cover weight, self-esteem, suicide, and abuse, but it also covers rape. If any of these are trigger issues – don’t read this book.
Having said that, I feel better for reading Big Fat Disaster. It isn’t a book that I would pick for fun, but it is one that really opened my eyes. The writing is tight and nicely done. I admit that I cried through most of it and, while I won’t be rereading it anytime soon, I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to read it again in the future.
Have you read it? Tell me what you thought.