13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
Stories speak to me differently, at different times; I've often wondered how my experience of a novel or story might change if only I'd read it a month earlier or later. Debut novels are especially exciting; I enjoy discovering new authors and I requested a copy of this one some time ago. As its publication date approached, I felt some resistance to reading it; I think it's because I've been struggling with my perception of my body.
After I (finally) began reading, I devoured this remarkable debut; I had trouble putting it down. I found myself in another of those situations where I have to decide whether to wear makeup to work or continue reading for a few more minutes (the book usually wins). While I ate lunch in my office one day last week, I decided that I would read some of it; the portion I read was almost too relatable and I found myself crying at my desk.
The number of passages I've highlighted is laughable; it's like I've highlighted nearly the entire book. While it certainly had an emotional impact on me, due to its subject matter, the novel is beautifully written and the characters are spectacular. It's witty and snarky and sad and frustrating; through Lizzy, the novel's main character, readers are taken on a journey through what it means to search for the coveted prize - thinness - in today's society.
Organized in 18 short vignettes, Lizzy's story is told during alternating periods of her life; however, the format suits the need to highlight the varied ways in which Lizzie begins to comprehend that life and love can be full of joy, in spite of their complications. Awad has included something for everyone; I dare you to read this and try not to become invested.