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Conversations with the Fat Girl

by Liza Palmer

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4652054,049 (3.36)10
"An overweight waitress ponders her relationship her best friend, who had once been overweight herself, as her friend prepares for a wedding"--Provided by publisher.

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I've been re-reading this book for years. It has become a comfort read, and mainly that's because I saw parts of me in Maggie from beginning to end. Who hasn't been unhappy with their appearance or their current place in life? And who hadn't had someone who was once a best friend that you can feel yourself growing away from to the point you wonder why in the world are you friends.

"Conversations With the Fat Girl" showcases Maggie who's in her late twenties and who feels adrift from where she currently is in this time of her life. Maggie who has a master's degree and who at one time had hopes of restoring art feels as if everybody in her family has gone on to a different life and when her best friend Olivia becomes engaged she feels even more lost. But besides that Maggie, is nursing a crush on her co-worker Dominic wondering if he is who she needs.

Things I loved about Maggie is that she has a good heart, she's loyal, and that she loves her family​. I thought it was pretty cool to have a heroine who is actually trained in something like art restoration since I can't recall that as an occupation I have read before.

But what I thought was great about Maggie is that she knows that her friendship with Olivia is broken and that she still harbors hope that it can be fixed until the realization that it's not going to be fixed hits her.

I don't want to reveal too much because that would end up spoiling the book for others but there's a reason why Maggie and Olivia became friends when they were younger and now there's a reason that they have grown apart. Due to the book being told in the first-person we get a lot of information about Maggie and her family and you're definitely in her head the whole time. Sometimes it might feel like it's a bit too much but I actually thought it worked for the story though I do say that there was a little bit of flow problems in the middle part but not enough for me to ding it. I can't wait to read the sequel to this book to find out what happened to Maggie and actually we're Olivia is now in her life.

Things that are frustrating about Maggie is you get to see before she sees that her weight really doesn't define her and she's been using it kind of as a crutch in order to not hope for what things that she should. She like everybody else in this world wants to be with somebody that loves her.

There's other characters in this book that I thought were really well done we have Maggie's friend at the coffee shop Peregrine, her sister, her mother, Dominic, and of course Olivia.

The book takes place on California with other locations brought up. I will say that Vegas was described better in my eyes than DC was.

The ending left things up in the air. You don't know what happens next, and I have been imagining scenarios for years. I am happy I am finally going to get to see what happened to everyone (fingers crossed). ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
This seems to be a book people either love or hate - no doubt depending on how much of themselves they see in the main character. A light read with not much substance (but occasional poignant observations), but still entertaining (especially the end). This book reminds me of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.
( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My life is about never putting myself into that situation. I never call attention to myself. That is the code I live by.

At twenty-seven Maggie is still working at Joe's coffee shop, it was just supposed to be while she applied for jobs after college, a week away from being evicted from the house she rents, and starting to feel cracks in the friendship with her bestfriend Olivia. Her mother and sister are trying to gently push her towards a dream internship and to stand up for herself with Olivia, while all Maggie wants to do is be there for her bestfriend as Olivia lives out their highschool dream wedding and quietly lust after Domenic, the bus boy at Joe's.
Conversations with the Fat Girl is a contemporary fiction snippet of life look at how we slowly let societal expectations dictate who we become and how we think about ourselves and the strength and courage it takes to live caring and true to yourself.

Should it worry me that even in my fantasy, the man is getting married for love but I just don't want to be alone anymore?

Told in first person pov from Maggie, the casual, funny, hurts because it's true tone and style drew me in and wrapped me up in Maggie's world. Maggie's always been on the heavier side but the last couple years she's put on more weight and has been slipping into a more lonely life. With Maggie's mom and sister physically looking so different from her, it could have been a ground zero for her pain but the author created a solid family bond that while on the edges can bother Maggie, her relationship with the two ultimately give her love and support. I thought Maggie hurting because she felt lonely but thinking of her family and realizing she may be lonely but she wasn't alone was one of the best moments in the book.

The friendship with Olivia was for the most part at the center of the story, they bonded throughout school with being the outcasts because of their appearance but had a friendship that felt real and it was heartbreaking as the reader sees it breaking apart, before Maggie can even admit it to herself. I thought it was an honest look at how relationships grow and how Maggie feared letting go of a constant in her life. The other secondary characters that included Maggie's co-workers and Olivia's friends were at times rounded out enough to fill out Maggie's world and at others frustratingly left vague (her landlord, Cole the manager at Joe's) or caricature vapid (Olivia's friends).

Dominic is resting his arms on the top of the doorjamb into the bedroom. I know his mouth is moving, but I can't quite make out the words over the roaring fantasies of him standing like that.

I would call this more of a women's fiction than romance but we do have some back and forth and tension with one of Maggie's co-workers, Domenic. We don't get a pov from Domenic, which made some of his actions extremely frustrating as readers are left in the dark along with Maggie about his thoughts and feelings. The author adds in some clues through his body language but for the most part, he was a tough character to crack. When they are together Maggie and Domenic had cute chemistry but just don't expect a strong romance or clear happily ever after as this is solidly Maggie's story.

I finally see myself in the harsh light of that training room. I've convinced myself that I'm unlovable, untouchable, and invisible. But is the reality that there is someone out there for me who will know exactly what it takes to comfort me? That all I need to do is allow it?

This will make you laugh and hurt as Maggie's sense of humor about herself and life is appreciating and depreciating. The first half is more of learning how and why Maggie is in a rut and all the ways she's scared to get out of it and the second half has her waking up to the fact that she is not only hiding from the pain of life but also the joys. Maggie's not a flawless character, she makes fun of a woman's appearance and admits she plays the victim role at times, but Maggie and her story are about evolving and growing out of these attitudes and actions. I enjoyed the friendships she had, hurt for her, cheered her on, and hope Olivia eventually gets the courage Maggie develops. Conversations with the Fat Girl was a draw you in story and I hope everyone leaves it with a little more confidence and a little less apology attitude in their own lives.

What's worse than sitting here now---alone and tormented by my own safe and comfortable life? ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Sep 16, 2019 |
Honest writing about a normal girl who happens to be fat. A welcome entry to the big-girl-lit genre. But this book is much more than that label, don't be fooled. ( )
1 vote Brainannex | Oct 25, 2013 |
I read this book many years ago and am probably do for a re-read now that I have experienced a influx of weight and decrease of esteem. I read it long ago when I was slim [but didn't believe I was] and could relate to her feelings, particularly this quote:

“my relationship with my body is like that of an egomaniac with a self-esteem problem. mostly i think about myself and how much i suck. but there are rare moments when i walk around for hours and think i look amazing. either i feel great about myself or i've decided some guy is checking me out. then i catch a side view of myself in a store window or a department store mirror and i'm plunged into despair. if i could always life in a place with no mirrors or disapproving glances, i would think i was the prettiest girl around.”

..which I know I am not the only one who has felt the same way.

Liza Palmer has written a book that a lot of people can identify with - and not just those struggling with excess weight either. I feel that we all have body issues to varying degrees. We all have things that make us self conscious and we see in a harder light than others; that we may love in the morning and loathe in the afternoon - and we have that same internal monologue about it as Maggie does in this novel. ( )
1 vote tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
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"An overweight waitress ponders her relationship her best friend, who had once been overweight herself, as her friend prepares for a wedding"--Provided by publisher.

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