Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Teen Tuesday: Fat Angie Rebel Girl Revolution by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Fat Angie Rebel Girl Revolution by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. 344 p. Candlewick Press, March 5, 2019. 9780763693459. (Review of arc courtesy of publisher.)
Good morning TMS Readers! Teen Tuesday features Fat Angie: rebel girl revolution by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo. Readers of Fat Angie know that Angie was in a better place at the end. Unfortunately, KC decided to move in with her dad and moved away from Angie, leaving her to start the school year alone. Jake, her best friend has been acting weird lately. Her awful mother continues to be awful. Her brother, Wang continues to be Wang and her sister is still dead. So, she runs the gauntlet alone knowing Gary Klein is lying in wait. And then there's the monument the town has built to honor her sister. It's all just too much. When Gary attacks her and she fights back, bloodying his nose in the process, it is Angie who is suspended. Her mother grounds her and threatens have her committed to a psychiatric hospital before leaving on a business trip. Angie trashes her room and decides to take that road trip her sister wrote about in a postcard. She does this with an ex-best friend, Jamboree and her friend Zeke and her cousin Darius, of all people. Darius, who saw what Gary did and stood by. Did nothing. Said nothing.
There's a lot of heartbreak on the road to hope here. Angie found a permanent place in my heart in Fat Angie so I was thrilled, but worried to visit with her again. (Kind of like the feeling I get when a student who had a hard time in middle school comes back to visit - equal parts delight, hope and anxiety.) Her inner dialogue is so brilliantly astute and often hilarious. It rarely comes out of her mouth because the people around her would prefer to pass judgment than to take the time to see. Her self-worth has been emotionally (and sometimes physically) beaten out of her and she is intensely grieving the loss of the only person who really knew her and loved her unconditionally.
Not gonna lie: this is a tough read. The violence Angie endures at the hands of Gary and her mother stuns. The debilitating panic attacks Angie suffers are so vivid, I didn't realize that I was holding my breath until I let it out. And, I dare you not to sob near the end in the scene at the Ohio River. It is so hard to read through tears.
Fat Angie Rebel Girl Revolution can stand alone but do yourself a favor and read Fat Angie first.