Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice.
Fat Angie: Rebel Girl Revolution by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo. 344 p. Candlewick Press, March 3, 2019. 9780763693459.
Publisher synopsis: More trouble at school and at home — and the discovery of a missive from her late soldier sister — send Angie and a long-ago friend on an RV road trip across Ohio.
Sophomore year has just begun, and Angie is miserable. Her girlfriend, KC, has moved away; her good friend, Jake, is keeping his distance; and the resident bully has ramped up an increasingly vicious and targeted campaign to humiliate her. An over-the-top statue dedication planned for her sister, who died in Iraq, is almost too much to bear, and it doesn't help that her mother has placed a symbolic empty urn on their mantel. At the ceremony, a soldier hands Angie a final letter from her sister, including a list of places she wanted the two of them to visit when she got home from the war. With her mother threatening to send Angie to a “treatment center” and the situation at school becoming violent, Angie enlists the help of her estranged childhood friend, Jamboree. Along with a few other outsiders, they pack into an RV and head across the state on the road trip Angie's sister did not live to take. It might be just what Angie needs to find a way to let her sister go, and find herself in the process.
First Line: Okay, this is a tough one because there are two pages containing a line or two of text before the first chapter which is entitled, "Cruel Summer."
i. There was a girl. Her name was Angie. She had fallen out of love...
ii. Well, not exactly.
1. This was the beginning, again.
Angie grinned. Her favorite part of any "family meal' was watching Wang duel with John/Rick.
"You shouldn't eat that much wasabi," John/Rick advised. "It will make you sick."
Wang picked up his sushi roll with the giant portion of wasabi and launched it into his mouth. Within seconds, tears screamed down his cheeks as he grin-chewed and swallowed.
"Wang," said their mother.
"What?" he said. "Now you're gonna tell me how to eat? Whatever.
"Don't disrespect your mother, Wang." John/ Rick said.
Angie paused, chopsticks hovering over a Philadelphia roll.
"You're not my dad, John/Rick," Wang said. "You have no authority in this house."
Angie earned a permanent place in my heart in Fat Angie. I am so thrilled that she's back even though she's in a terrible place. She's grieving the only individual in her life who loved her unconditionally and facing nearly constant bullying and put-downs at school as well as home. But she's whip-smart and very, very funny. I just adore her internal dialogue. Here's a sample from page 57:
...He would burn his esophagus out to spite John/ Rick-have fiery poop blaze out of his butt for an hour if necessary. Wang was fearless and, of course, not forward-thinking in his rebellion. Fiery poop was, well, fiery. Still, Angie wished she had a fraction of Wang's pushback...