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Manstealing for Fat Girls Paperback – January 10, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press; First Edition edition (January 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933368020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933368023
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,737,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Angie Neuweather, 16, has it rough: she's fat and sort of slobby; her mom's horrible fiancé has just moved into their low-rent apartment; and she's constantly being tortured at school (the kids call her "Lezzylard"). Spunky girlfriends help Angie weather sophomore year, including Shelby, a spiky-haired, out-of-the-closet lesbian, and Heather, who has just one giant breast. Angie's a little sexually confused herself: she's sort of got a crush on Carrie, an anorexic popular girl, but she also enjoys sexual fantasies that involve penetration by a giant hairy monster. The friendship of two boys—stoner Pike and perky Mantis—motivates her to go on a severe diet, experiment with drugs and attend her first beer party (her mom's so strict that Angie isn't even allowed to wear concealer over her zits). Eventually, she discovers that she's pretty, and when a rival calls her a "manstealer," she has an epiphany. As if quotidian existence as a misfit isn't hard enough, Embree adds in a gunrunning subplot and some scenes of real violence. Too many characters muddle the slight plot (though many of them are well drawn), but Embree has crafted a very sharp look at adolescent longing and angst. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Angie, 16, wishes she were thin, so she tries to stop eating, which doesn't work. She wishes her mother wouldn't marry sleazy Rudy, but he's just moved in with all his stuff. She wishes the popular kids would leave her alone, but they've called her Lezzylard since seventh grade. Her friend, Shelby, is an out lesbian. Only one of their friend Heather's breasts has developed, and her parents are anxious to have her fixed. When Angie finally tells off perfect, popular Mindy, she is sexually assaulted by Mindy's boyfriend in the girls' room. What follows is a delicious revenge scheme, masterminded by Shelby's older sister, a tornado of rage, snappy comebacks, and hairspray. Every one of Embree's characters is fully realized, complex, and engaging. Angie is disgusted by her body and confused about her sexuality, but never hates herself. She's alternatively wicked and woeful, and her commentary on everything from sex and drugs to glitter mascara is spot on. The novel is perfectly paced, and Angie's thoughtful, gut-tearing, hilarious narrative builds the plot quietly. The author masterfully uses the rednecks, Red Lobsters, Dumpsters, and strip malls of working-class suburbia to create an ugly yet alluring post-punk setting.–Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ammi Emergency on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
As this book's editor, I'm hardly objective. That said, I'm also a reader and my opinion of the review below is that MsFrisby missed the point. Manstealing for Fat Girls has sex, drinking and drugs in it. So do most kids lives these days. Whether they do or don't engage in any of the above, they know kids who do. The book shows how a real, literary heroine navigates these dangers as well as unnamable ones--patriarchy, homophobia and a class system that also negates her worth as a human being. The "lessons" for young readers--and there are many--involve watching a young woman figure out that she's ultimately stronger than all of the above. Also that she will continue to have to fight these battles her whole life. That is the reality MsFrisby and those who visit her library also deal with, and naming these things, through literature, ultimately makes all of us stronger (and saner). I've spoken to countless librarians about this book who are jumping up and down excited about it because its books like these that make kids want to read.

MsFisby, I agree with you that the examples above are disturbing (though some are a bit misquoted). That's why the author put them in the book. That's the function of literature: to show a mirror to the world and then to show us the alteratives.

As for my take on this book, I adore it. Its smart and political, but mostly its really, really funny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kirk J. Faulkner on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
In a time of sugary sweet coming of age stories like Juno and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, it was a wonder to read something so simultaneously harsh and heart felt as MSFFG.

I am an objective reader, and I couldn't put this book down for one second. literally read it cover to cover in one sitting.

The setting of 80s suburban wasteland, the infusion of grime-core punk music and the undercutting of the John hughes genre makes this a teenage adventure I can actually relate to my own life.

And it is so funny.

A wonderful book I would recommend to any and every one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lo on February 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read it until I passed out and then woke up a few hours later wanting to do nothing but finish it. It spoke so much to body image issues all young women face, and to the difficulties of teenage sexuality. I have it on good authority that this book wasn't written for young adults, but was marketed that way because it's about young adults. I say, forget the label. Its visceral critique of gender relations and class issues are more than adult enough for any non-teenage reader. It has its flaws, but it'll punch you in the gut. I recommend it highly.
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