Review of ‘Fat Chance, Charlie Vega’

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is an impressive debut novel with a strong voice and powerful message about loving your body and yourself.

Go, Charlie Vega!

Fat Chance Charlie Vege
by Crystal Maldonado
Holiday House.

What was so incredible about this novel was Charlie Vega. Charlie is a character any reader can connect to because she is so incredibly written.

Charlie is fat, and she owns it, and it sends a powerful message about loving your body. She struggles with a perfect friend in every way she is not, but that is the point; Charlie is perfect in her way. It is realistic, this idea that our bodies have to look a certain way, but Maldonado challenges that. It is a beautiful concept to bring to life and essential for young girls and boys to learn that there is no specific way to look and that we should love ourselves just as we are.

What also makes Charlie so great is how creative she is. She is an aspiring writer, and Maldonado tells the story wonderfully through her. The reader gets to connect to Charlie on an emotional level as she struggles to find the love for herself she should have, as she deals with boys and romance, and a stressful relationship with her mother. Her emotions fly off the pages and connect to the reader, and her use of language is precise and emotional, giving Fat Chance, Charlie Vega the depth it needs to flow.


Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tells a story about a girl in a wonderfully realistic way. Maldonado is terrific in her storytelling because this is one any girl can connect to no matter their shape. Her stressful relationship with her mother obsessed with body image is impressive. Here, a woman was so unhappy with the way she looked that she tries to force her unhappiness onto her daughter. There is much tug and pull between them as they try to understand one another, but there is also growth.

Her mother does not see that it is possible to be happy with one’s shape, and Charlie tells her how she is. She shows her and the reader how it is possible to love yourself.

There is also her relationship with her friends and boyfriend. Charlie’s struggle with loving herself bleeds into her relationships. The reader sees how she reacts, how she thinks, and empathizes with her. It makes for a thoughtful and realistic journey for the reader, allowing a genuine connection between Charlie and the reader.

Final Thoughts

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, is an incredible and thoughtful story that shows and connects with readers on an emotional level and shows them how important it is to love yourself and your body.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Product Details:

Pub Date: February 2, 2021Page Count: 288ppAge Range: 14 & Over
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4717-6Publisher: Holiday HouseList Price: $18.99

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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega


Writing Quality


Character Development


"Couldn't Put It Down"-ness


Intellectual Depth





  • Witty main protagonist.
  • Great novel about loving yourself
  • Enriching.

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