9 Books with Fat Representation

Hi everyone! Today, I bring you a new installment of a series that I write here on my blog. 9 Books Monday is a feature where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation of diverse experiences including the experiences of people of the LGBTQIA community, Native people, people of color, people with physical and cognitive disabilities or mental illnesses, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: 

Bisexual female main characters | Latinx main characters | Black main characters | Muslim main characters | Lesbian main characters | Asian main characters | Trans main characters | Anxiety representation | Autism representation | Depression representation

This time I talking about 9 books with Fat Representation:

5 BOOKS I READ AND LOVED

The Summer of Jordi Pérez by Amy Spalding

This book is about Abby, a pink-haired, fat, lesbian girl, who runs a  plus-size style blog. This is a cute story of summer jobs, friendship and first love. An interesting aspect of this book is that, while Abby is confident and comfortable with the way she looks for the most part, she still has her moments of insecurity because she knows how harsh the rest of the world can be. That aspect of the book felt very realistic.

Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes

This is the story of Analee, a fat girl who has self-esteem issues and social anxiety, and who is going through a difficult time dealing with her mother’s death. Throughout the book, Analee learns to appreaciate and love the people she has in her life and she also learns to accept and love herself more. If you like books centered around character development and growth, you will like this one.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

This book is about Chloe, a fat, chronically ill, Black computer geek and this is the story of Chloe being brave, loving herself and falling in love. Chloe’s weight is barely even mentioned, it’s not something she wants to change and it’s never presented as something negative. This book includes important discussions about chronic pain and abusive relationships, but it was also adorable, steamy and fun.

Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed

This book tells the love story between two fat, women of color. One of them is a really anxious makeup artist and the other is a model and actress, who is completely comfortable with the way she looks. This is an adorable and short novella, that doesn’t include homophobia or fatphobia. If you are looking for something low on the angst and high on the fluff, you will enjoy this.

b.b. free by Gabby Rivera

This is an amazing comic about a fat, queer, Latinx girl living in a post-apocalyptic world. While there are no comments about b.b. being fat, it’s amazing just to see a fat girl in a comic being brave and smart and fighting against the beliefs and conventions that other people want to imposse on her.

2 BOOKS ON MY TBR

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

This book is about Mila, a fat, Latinx girl, who practices Wicca and who ends up bringing a bunch of murdered teenagers back to life while trying to discover who killed her best friend. While this book has a strange premise, it also portraits some of the real daily microaggressions that fat people have to deal with.

If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

This book is about Winnie, a fat, queer, Black girl, who’s trying to win a televised cooking competition to save her grandmother’s dinner. In this book, Winnie doesn’t let anyone make her feel ashamed about her weight, even when people feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for “her own good”

2 UPCOMING RELEASES

I’ll be the One by Lyla Lee

This book is about Skye, who wants to become a K-Pop star, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for fat girls. While Skye is comfortable in her body, the fatphobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry still affect her and she has to deal with that. 

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

This book is about April, who posts a plus-size cosplay of a character from a beloved tv show that goes viral and after that she has to deal with trolls and supporters alike. Thanks to the attention, she gets to go on an unexpected date with the star of the tv show, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own.

What books with Fat rep have you read and loved? Which ones are on your tbr?

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6 Diverse YA Contemporaries That You Should Read: 2018 Edition

diverse contemporaries you shuld read.png

Hi everyone! Today I’m bringing you a list of diverse YA contemporaries that were releases in 2018 and that I read and loved. While these books touch on some serious issues, they all have in common that they aren’t dark and heartbreaking contemporaries. There’s sad things in them, but for the most part they are sweet and funny.

I mention each of the books, what type of representation they have in them and then I tell you why I think you should read them:

the way you make me feel

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Representation: Korean-american main character, Chinese love interest and a Latinx character.

I always say this, this book is a beautiful love letter to L.A. and to food, and with that as a background, we get an amazing father/daughter relationship, a wonderful female friendship and a cute love story. The love interest was so sweet and respectful and it was lovely! We also get so much character development and a really funny book. (Full review).

 

Analee in Real Life

Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes

Representation: Plus Size Cuban-american main character with social anxiety.  

Analee is dealing with her mother’s death by playing an online game all the time, but then in real life, a popular boy asks her to be his fake girlfriend and he starts to coax her out of her comfort zone and it’s such a sweet and fun dynamic. They had so much chemestry! BUT the real focus of the book is family, Analee’s relationship with her father, stepmother and stepsister develop in such a beautiful way.

 

Americna panda

American Panda by Gloria Chao

Representation: Taiwanese-American main character and Japanese love interest.

This is an amazing story about a Taiwanese-American girl that has to straddle two cultures. Mei is a interesting and relatable main character, the female friendship is lovely, the love interest is really undertanding and caring and there is a really good romance that doesn’t take over the story.  One of the most wonderful things about this is the development of the mother/daughter relationship.

 

the summer of jordi perez

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding

Representation:  Plus Size lesbian main character and mexican-american lesbian love interest

This is such a fun book, the main character is a pink-haired girl who loves fashion and blogs about it and wears colorful clothes. While the love interest is a girl who loves photography and dresses all in black. Abby and Jordi are incredibly cute together and there’s so many sweet moments between them. Also, this book has complex family dynamics, a lovely female friendship and cool guy/ girl platonic friendship. (Full review)

 

pride

Pride by Ibi Zoboi 

Representation: Haitian-Dominican main character and black love interest.

A Pride and Prejudice retelling! Zuri and Darius are always bantering and bickering and it is a fun dynamic to read. But the main reason this book is good is the way it dicusses gentrification and class, including these subjects adds to the original story and make it more relevant to our time. Also, the representation of a Haitian-Dominican family, in terms of the religion, the food and the family dynamics is so fascinating to read.

 

The Poet X

 The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Representation: Dominican-american main character

This is a story told in verse, it’s touching and powerful, and it explores a Dominican-american girl’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so and it’s fantastic. (full review)

What are some diverse contemporaries that you would recommend? Have you read any of these books? Are you interested on reading any of them? 

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Book Review: The Summer fo Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding

the summer of jordi perez

Title: The Summer of Jordi Peres (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)

Author: Amy Spalding

Publishing Date: April 3rd 2018

Published by:  Sky Pony Press

Genres: Contemporary, YA

Pages: 224 pages

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby has stayed focused on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a prized internship at her favorite local boutique, she’s thrilled to take her first step into her dream career. She doesn’t expect to fall for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Abby knows it’s a big no-no to fall for a colleague. She also knows that Jordi documents her whole life in photographs, while Abby would prefer to stay behind the scenes.

Then again, nothing is going as expected this summer. She’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win a paid job at the boutique. She’s somehow managed to befriend Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro type who needs help in a project that involves eating burgers across L.A.’s eastside. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel like a sidekick. Is it possible Abby’s finally in her own story?

But when Jordi’s photography puts Abby in the spotlight, it feels like a betrayal, rather than a starring role. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image that other people have of her? Is this just Abby’s summer of fashion? Or will it truly be The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles)?

Goodreads | Amazon

The Summer of Jordi Perez starts with Abby, the main character, on her way to her first day working at her favorite boutique. I feel like the first few pages are not the best introduction to Abby as a character. Abby is very, very disperse at the beginning, she gets distracted way too easily and it’s a bit annoying because we’re reading the story from her perspective. But if you give it a few pages that distractiveness isn’t a big character trait in the rest of the book.

After that rough start, I actually got to like Abby. She is a pink-haired, fat, lesbian girl, who loves fashion and blogs about it and is always dressed in colorful clothes. Then there’s Jordi, the love interest, a talented mexican-american girl, who loves photography and dresses all in black. The amount of good representation in this book, in terms of sexuality, body-positivity and ethnicity is lovely to see.

From the start, it’s easy to tell this is the story of a first love, there’s certain innocence to the relationship and the romance that made the story sweet and put a smile on my face. There’s instant attraction between the characters, but the relationship development is organic.  They like each other, they go on dates and it doesn’t take forever for them to get together. Abby and Jordi are incredibly cute together and there’s so many sweet moments. The conflict that surges between them is very predictable, there’s a lot of not so subtle hints about it, and it’s not the biggest conflict ever, but it’s easy to understand where the characters are coming from. At the end, this is a very adorable story, so don’t expect lots of angst and drama when it comes to the conflict, which to be honest is something I really like about it.

I was expecting the whole best burgers of Los Angeles plot to be a bit more important since it’s on the title of the book. The reality is that Abby and Jax go eat burgers together in several ocasions throughout the book and they become friends because of that. They are very different people and they have very different perspectives and it is interesting to read their conversations, which  are hilarious, and the burgers are more an excuse for their friendship to develop that anythig else. Don’t go into this book expecting amazing food descriptions because that’s not what you’re gonna find. Instead, you’ll get an amazing and compelling friendship, that will keep you entertain. It is one of my favorite parts of the story.

Other interesting subjects and themes that are present in this books are: complex family dynamics, especially between Abby and her mom; then there’s female friendship, Abby has 3 friends who are not perfect, but they are supportive, encouraging and loving; and also there’s abby’s work in the boutique, which revolves around social media, it’s really great to see the real applications of social media in buisness and the importance that it has, because it’s such a big part of our world.

Overall, this is short, cute and funny story with a diverse cast of characters, that addresses important subjects and that will have you smiling the entire time. 

Rating: 4 stars

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?

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