This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous

This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous

4.3 13
by Nina Beck

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KIRKUS REVIEWS called this winning tale of a queen-sized queen bee "Hilarious and fresh." Manhattan It Girl Riley Swain is no pudgy wallflower. She's brash, bold, fashionable, and yes, fabulous. Riley has no qualms about kissing her best friend's crush, or bribing her dad's lawyer. But this spring break, Riley's dad and wicked stepmother are shipping her off to New


KIRKUS REVIEWS called this winning tale of a queen-sized queen bee "Hilarious and fresh." Manhattan It Girl Riley Swain is no pudgy wallflower. She's brash, bold, fashionable, and yes, fabulous. Riley has no qualms about kissing her best friend's crush, or bribing her dad's lawyer. But this spring break, Riley's dad and wicked stepmother are shipping her off to New Horizons, a two-week fat camp in upstate New York. And it's miserable: like military school without carbs. But then Riley gets to know adorable Eric, who sees beyond Riley's tough exterior. Soon, Riley might just realize that maybe it's not her shape that will change at New Horizons. . . but her heart.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Sixteen year old Riley Swain has an "attitude" that amuses her peers and irritates the adults around her. She is at war with her soon-to-be step-mother, who, Riley believes, has conspired to have her sent away to a fat camp in upstate New York over spring break. Riley lies to all her friends, including her best friend "D" (short for Michael D. Hammond III) about why she isn't coming along on the class trip. She's been in love with "D" forever until she kissed him the night before she left and now she's not so sure. And then Riley meets her verbal jousting equal in Eric, the son of the fat camp director, and he's kind of cute in a strange punk sort of way, so now she's really confused! The story is not deep on plot but introduces a likable character who comes to some new realizations about herself and her most important relationships. Riley's narrative is humorously punctuated by facsimiles of correspondence with her father's attorney, a regional head of the FDA, and a representative of the CIA, as well as her e-mail exchanges with THEBIGUN17. This might be a particularly appropriate recommendation for teens with body image/weight concerns. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

During spring break, overweight Riley Swain, 16, is headed to New Horizons, a school "for young ladies" specializing in body-image issues and eating disorders. Despite her best efforts to hide the truth from all of her rich Manhattan friends, a rumor has circulated that she is going to fat camp. She even lies to her best friend, Michael, with whom she is in love, about where she is headed. Upon her arrival at New Horizons she meets Eric, the son of the program director who is totally not her type, but to whom she is attracted. As she and Eric begin to develop feelings for one another, she begins to question her relationship with Michael. Riley is not a likable character and even though she changes drastically, her transformation seems forced. She has been painted as so shallow that it is hard to imagine her doing any type of soul searching. The plot is full of holes, and it becomes confusing to keep track of which boy she likes and why. The author never really addresses the issues of body image, and the story about this teenage love triangle is disappointing at best.-Julianna M. Helt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Kirkus Reviews
From a wealthy, snarky social scene to a fat camp resembling "a foreign country filled with geeks," 16-year-old Riley's narration is hilarious and fresh. She's busy being in unrequited love with male best friend D (who doesn't even have the "decency" to be gay) and IMing with a stranger online when her distracted father and almost-stepmother "Elizabitch" exile her to fat camp. Saucy Eric, the camp director's son, picks her up from the train station and they begin to trade barbs full of delicious sexual tension. Why is her picture already in his pocket, and should she say "You're a freak" or "Let's make out" or "I like your nail polish"? (It's red.) Lying is a big theme; Riley knows all along that she's fabulous and fine without any weight-loss lessons, but a major crying meltdown helps her open up emotionally. Despite a few narrative glitches (the fat camp's brochure erroneously and inexplicably claims that it "specialize[s] . . . in eating disorders"), this girl has flair. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Nina Beck spends most of her time reading, writing, reading about writing, or writing about things that happened to her in high school. She pretends it is all fiction.

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This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Okay, so very different cover and title- and very different YA inside. PICK IT UP. It really is fabulous. Riley, the main character is funny, authentic, snarky, and has some important (and not so, lol) things to say. I love that she knows what she wants, and if she doesn't she figures it out and goes after it. This book deals with the issue of not being 'perfect' size, but being okay with it. It has an important message and more people should listen! The side characters are rich and have personality. They all have a purpose and something definite to bring to this book. From her frenemy, to her roomate at camp. I also like D, the best friend. It is fun to go on that journey with her and discover things about friendship and love. Eric is amazing- he is funny, easy to like, and has some amazing lines. I'd love to have him as a book boyfriend. This book made me smile and I totally recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK ISN"T FAT ITS FABULOUS rite now, m reading this book...n i find this book is very interesting n vry joyfull.....RILEY is soo sweet girl who fell in love in with his bestfrnd(D)......................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Hillary43 More than 1 year ago
While at points this book can be fun, if you are looking for any sort of substance or well-developed characters or something new and life-changing, this isn't it. Not that one would expect much from a book called "This Book Isn't Fat, It's Fabulous" anyway. But if you're into the whole living vicariously through rich spoiled brats this will totally be your thing.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Riley Swain thinks she's in love with her best friend, D. It's the night before their spring break, and she confronts D with her feelings. She manages a real kiss with D, and then leaves him hanging. For Riley is going to fat camp for the two-week break. She knows this is just another maneuver by Elizabeth, her future stepmother, to get her out of the apartment.

Of course, Riley can't tell her friends that she's off to New Horizons in upstate New York. Instead, she lies and tells them she's off on a spa holiday with her father and Elizabeth. To cover her tracks, she has to actually make a reservation ($3000, will her father notice it on the credit card?) at the spa in case her nosey friends check up on her.

So Riley arrives at the train station a few hours late. Can they fault her for leaving her cell phone back in the limo and having to fetch it before getting on the train? While waiting at the train station for someone from New Horizons to pick her up, a strange boy (with nail polish, no less!) starts talking to her. He seems harmless enough, and she's surprised when she finds out Eric is actually there to pick her up.

Arriving late at New Horizons does not endear Riley to the headmistress. Riley starts off her two-week "holiday" with one demerit to her name. She learns that three demerits sends her packing home.

Riley is not fat. She's comfortable in her size-12 body, and easily gets along with boys. But Elizabeth chose New Horizons and her father seldom sticks up for her these days. So Riley is torn about staying at New Horizons or trying to get kicked out.

It's only when D calls to tell her he's coming to pick her up at the spa to bring her home on her last day, that she hatches a crazy plot to get kicked out of New Horizons so she can return to the city before D can come get her. Afraid that her friends back home would ridicule her for being at a fat camp, she does everything she can to avoid telling the truth. She enlists the aid of Eric, whom she's become friendly with during her week at New Horizons. Little does she know that Eric's feelings are much deeper than she would ever have realized.

This is Ms. Beck's first novel. Riley is a confident girl that knows what she wants. But hidden behind the confidence is indecision and confusion. Riley doesn't want to like New Horizons, but the new friends she has made and the connection with Eric cause her a moment's hesitation. She is afraid to come clean with her friends back home and the help she seeks from her new friends may be pushing her luck.

I enjoyed the quick pace of Riley's life, and Eric's quirky personality was very endearing. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for more by Ms. Beck. This story was fun and amusing with Riley's adventures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raley is the funiest. This is by far one of the best books i have read. i dont like reading but i read this book in less than 3 days i could not put it down. Each page made you want to read more and when the book is over youll want more. IT is the best!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was SOOOOO FUNNY!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!!!!! I'm definitely re-reading this book!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book my aunt picked out and i really don't like reading but i couldn't put this book down for nothing it was the best book i read so far this past summer.