Title: My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary
Author: Rae Earl
First Published: 2007
Genre: Non-fiction
Length: 342 pages
Buy on: Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½

‘Continue reading’ for review | Read review on Goodreads.

     *** Trigger-warning: self-harming, eating disorders, mental health issues. Please take caution whilst reading the book, and this review.

“It’s 1989 and Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint off-green bath suite and a larder Rae can’t keep away from. This is the hilarious and touching real-life diary she kept during that fateful year – with characters like her evil friend Bethany, Bethany’s besotted boyfriend, and the boys from the grammar school up the road (who have code names like Haddock and Battered Sausage).

     My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary evokes a vanished time when Charles and Di are still together, the Berlin wall is up, Kylie is expected to disappear from the charts at any moment and it’s £1 for a Snakebite and Black in the Vaults pub. My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary will appeal to anyone who’s lived through the 1980s. But it will also strike a chord with anyone who’s ever been a confused, lonely teenager who clashes with their mother, takes themselves VERY seriously and has no idea how hilarious they are.”

     Let me first start off first by saying that I absolutely love E4’s My Mad Fat Diary. Sharon Rooney, who plays Rae, is a fantastic actress. I can not wait to see what she does next (Also, Nico Mirallegro!!! *drools*) Initially, I had not intended on reading this book. I am not a *huge* fan of epistolary novels/diaries. But with this one, I made an exception. For quite some time, I suffered with mental health issues, disordered eating, and self-harming. I felt like I could really relate to Rae, so I gave it a go.

     Reading Rae Earl’s actual diary is quite enthralling. I give Rae mad props for even releasing her diary, that is something I could never do. While reading, I began to feel like her counselor, or even a very close friend; always being trusted with her innermost feelings. I was a part of a secret world, where it was just her, and her thoughts. While I did feel connected to her character, I also felt like I wasn’t being told the whole truth, as if she were withholding something. Which, to be honest, isn’t bad. Not all dirty laundry should be hung up on the line for everyone to see.

     My main “complaint” with the book is her boy-obsessiveness. It’s a little tiring, though it is far worse in Volume 2. (But really, do I even have the right to complain about an IRL person’s diary?) As the book goes on, she goes from liking one boy to the next boy, and on, and on; like the show, but it’s a little more severe in the book. On a different note, I thought Chloe was a total bitch on the show, but Bethany, book Chloe, is a nightmare! She treated Rae like dirt non-stop, I wanted to beat her to a bloody pulp through out the whole book!!!

     Have a great day!


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