I recently saw a post on Twitter by @ShruitRamanujam about upcoming books featuring fat main characters and I wanted to share them here (plus an extra one I’ve included in previous posts), because as a fat person we are treated terribly and I really want to promote these books because we deserve representation! I’m also just really excited for them, in general, and I want people to share them with who may share my excitement.
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
by Crystal Maldonado
Release Date, February 2nd 2021.
Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat. People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter. But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.
I’m so, so excited for this. First of all, it talks about the toxic and sometimes abusive behaviour we receive from our loved ones who frequently act like they care about our weight but what they’re really doing is causing significant damage to our mental health. It’s something a lot of fat people have to deal with, so I’m glad it includes it. I’m also excited that the fat girl gets her romance arc, which a lot of us don’t get to see unless we lose a lot of weight first. I’m hoping this will be feel good but will also present some very real things that we, as fat people, have to go through.
by Lisa Fipps
Release date, March 9th 2021.
Nancy Paulsen has bought Lisa Fipps’s Starfish for her eponymous imprint at Penguin. The middle grade debut in verse follows Ellie’s journey as she struggles to stand up for herself in a society that belittles fat girls. Publication is set for 2021
Both Goodreads and Amazon/Waterstones don’t have a lot of information on this book at the moment, even though the release date is coming up pretty soon, but I’m excited that this is both a debut and a middle grade. It’s even more reason to support it because fat children deserve to know they are beautiful, too, and loved. I hope it teaches young readers that, although we are taught it is, the way they are treated isn’t okay and I hope it encourages them to stand up for themselves and to encourage others to stand up for them, too, as the weight shouldn’t always be on us.
by Olivia Dade
Release date, November 12th 2020.
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately. April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction. Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her. With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
This one sounds SO fun and I’m so excited that it includes a very real thing plus-size POC go through. Especially in the cosplay community, fat people receive waves more hate than anyone smaller than them would, especially when they’re POC. I hope this book shines a light on what we/they deal with, and I hope it encourages people to think before they speak and that the false “I’m doing this because I care about your health” is actually causing a lot more harm than help.
by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore
Release date, September 22nd 2020.
There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.
I’m SO excited for this. I’m already rooting for them and I hope they get to win and be a part of something that so many other people take for granted. The rules for what is beautiful and what isn’t is so narrow, it’s harmful to thousands of people, and the rules we as a society have just made up cause real mental and physical harm to people so I’m hoping this book discusses these topics.
One to Watch
by Kate Stayman-London
Release date, January 7th 2021
Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.
I’m not going to talk too much about this one as I’ve already spoken about it in my previous upcoming releases posts, but I’m still extremely excited for it and I’m jealous of every Goodreads reviewer who got their hands on an ARC of this early.
Here The Whole Time
by Vitor Martins
Release date, January 21st 2021.
What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush? Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice. But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks. Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.
This sounds like it’s going to give me allllll the feels!! It’s queer AND it talks about being fat and male, as well, which isn’t a perspective I hear from often. I’m so excited to see him as a person who struggles with his body image but goes to learn more about himself and his relationship with his body where he finds he doesn’t need to lose weight or change his self image in order to be loved or appreciated by himself and other people. I think it’s going to be an adorable and emotional journey, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
Hopefully this has encouraged you to preorder them or add them to your TBR/Wishlists because they all sound amazing, and the representation deserves to be promoted. I hope you give at least one of these a go. I also love how these deal with intersections, which I’ve not seen really any fat representation from so far in my reading experiences. I’m probably going to preorder these, soon, but first I have a lot of personal things going on in my life (that I’m going to share with you soon in a future blog post!).
BLACK LIVES MATTER