Bound To Stay Bound

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 Fat chance, Charlie Vega
 Author: Maldonado, Crystal

 Publisher:  Holiday House (2022)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 343 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 597611 ISBN: 9780823447176
 Ages: 14-18 Grades: 9-12

 Self-esteem -- Fiction
 Best friends -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Obesity -- Fiction
 Dating (Social customs) -- Fiction
 Mother-daughter relationship -- Fiction

Price: $10.65

Overweight sixteen-year-old Charlie yearned for her first kiss while her perfect best friend, Amelia, fell in love, so when she finally starts dating and learns the boy asked Amelia out first, she is devastated.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 4.30
   Points: 14.0   Quiz: 515866

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 01/01/2021 Maldonado’s witty rom-com and coming-of-age story explores the life and times of Charlie Vega, who feels out of place as a fat, Brown girl in her neighborhood of slim, white suburbanites. Intelligent, creative, and charismatic, Charlie just wants to be liked, but she struggles against her mother’s body-shaming toxicity, and a negative self-image has impacted her confidence and happiness, even as she warily pursues a relationship with a boy who might have a romantic connection to one of her closest friends. With a memorable cast that brings fresh faces and voices to a typically homogenous genre, this title focuses on the positives of the often difficult and confusing high-school experience: genuine friendships and allies, powerful first crushes, and discovering oneself. There are, of course, plenty of mortifying moments filled with drama, suspense, chisme, and even betrayal, but Charlie’s optimistic outlook, despite the challenges that come with her identity, will attract a widespread audience of romance lovers and expand their idea of what a romantic lead can look like. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 02/01/2021 Gr 9 Up—Charlie Vega is struggling, and who can blame her? She's continuously bullied by her mother about her weight, resigned to being overshadowed by her thin and popular best friend Amelia, withdrawn from her Puerto Rican extended family after the death of her father, and tossed aside by her admittedly unworthy crush. When she meets a new coworker, Brian, it's not easy to let go of her insecurities in pursuit of her own happiness. Charlie's romantic journey is adorable, perfectly encompassing all the giddy hopes and insecurities of first love. Maldonado dumps all the old tropes that have so often portrayed teenage boys as being manipulative and mean until finally realizing that maybe a female character is worthwhile. Here, love interest Brian is constant, compassionate, and kind from the beginning. The teenage characters act out with some high school melodrama, especially Charlie and Amelia as they adjust to their changing friendship. However, they own and apologize for their actions, demonstrating an emotional maturity and self-awareness not always credited to teenagers. Charlie's mother's tentative acceptance of her isn't convincing enough to overcome the fat-shaming and emotional abuse she demonstrates throughout the story, however, it's Charlie's personal growth that matters the most. She starts out knowing that she should love and accept herself, but believing it is hard. Getting there is worth the bumps along the way. The characters are diverse and authentic—Charlie's dad was Puerto Rican and her mother is white, Amelia is pansexual and Black, and Brian is Korean American with two moms. VERDICT Sweet and sincere, Charlie Vega's journey is a delight.—Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State Univ., OH - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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