Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 18 Years|
About the Author
A longtime English teacher, speaker, advocate for abuse survivors, and founder of the gritty YA fiction website UncommonYA, Beth Fehlbaum is the author of Hope in Patience, a 2011 Young Adult Library Services Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Big Fat Disaster grew out of her own struggle with an eating disorder. Visit her on the web at www.bethfehlbaumbooks.com, www.uncommonya.com, and the Merit Press Facebook page. She lives in Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The characters pop right off the page. I'm still thinking about Colby and her family and it's been a week since I read this book. A very insightful look at binge eating disorder. The only trouble is the therapist allowing an actively suicidal teen to go home on a contract-basis. In real life she would have been committed immediately (speaking from my own private practice experience as a doctor of marriage and family therapy), but that's fiction for you, and that's why we love it, anything can happen!
A Realistic Binge with a Message of Hope After reading the author’s bio and discovering she is a teacher, I expected the typical YA drama about overcoming social/ inner conflict characteristic of the teenage world, rising above peer pressure, understanding the values of friendship versus status, volunteering and community service, etc. BIG FAT DISASTER is far from any PBS After School Special. Prepare to become very uncomfortable. The story is told from the perspective of fifteen-year-old, Colby Denton, as she starts a new life in the one-church, East Texas town of Piney Creek. Having spent my first 22 years in South Texas, I can testify to the authenticity of Piney Creek and its people. Ms. Fehlbaum nails it. Every character speaks with a voice unique enough to tell them apart without dialogue tags and so real they could easily be the snobby Maybelline princess next door or vato loco punk terrorizing kids on the school bus. She even gets the dog in the front yard recliner right. Colby’s voice gives us a brilliant view of the pressures for a young lady coming of age, accurate and heartfelt for any teen, yet Colby is far from typical. The conflict she faces daily, through both self-infliction and 360 degrees of abuse, creates a plot that gains momentum with each chapter, spiraling to an unavoidable climax and perfect landing. But what I loved most about Colby was her awkward moments where she is still a child, yet having to deal with adult issues around grown-ups who act like children. The best part? This is exactly how some parents act, and the author pulls no stops at revealing just how low some will stoop to save public face. There are multiple themes present, but I felt Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter parallel of “hypocrisy of the judgmental” was perhaps the strongest. I also appreciated the way it is crafted into the story: seamless and invisible, yet deliberate. Finally, a good portion of this book deals with suicide. The counselor, Dr. Matthews, serves as both a guardian angel for Colby, but more importantly, a voice for every educator or mentor with teen/ YA suicide experience. His lessons of hope are not fiction, but based on true intervention counseling. Given the framework of the story, I felt the self-actualization techniques of control were so much clearer as opposed to the mandatory suicide prevention training I’ve dealt with in the past. It really hit home. This book should be mandatory reading for every teen prior to high school. For outstanding voice, plot, humor, and most of all, heart. I strongly recommend BIG FAT DISASTER with five-stars.
I loved this book. So raw and heartfelt. Colby is a plus sized girl who uncovered how her dad, Senate candidate with family values, embezzled from his campaign and cheated on his wife. Not only does she feel personally responsible for the destruction of her family, but her mom doesn't stop insulting her about her weight. I felt as if I was Colby and went through what she goes through with her. An amazing read. Definitely one of my favorites for the year.