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Review: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee

Submitted by Doll Believer on March 9, 2012 – 7:54 am8 Comments

Author: Stephanie McAfee
Book: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl
Release: February 7, 2012
Series: Novel
Reviewer: Believer
Source: Author
Purchase: | Book Depository

Ace Jones needs a vacation, but she’s not going to get it. What she gets instead is a good dose of scandalous small town politics that takes her on a wild quest for truth and redemption. Things get really complicated when the love of her life, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in over three years, shows up and vows not to leave town until she agrees to marry him. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is as adventurous as it is entertaining as Ace and her friends delve into illegal surveillance, stalking, and covert operations in a strip club.

I chose this book on a whim based solely on the title and quickly fell in love with it.  McAfee has created a humorous homage to friendship, love and self acceptance centered around the main character, Graciela “Ace” Jones. Loud, loyal, and gregarious, Ace and her friends find themselves at crucial turning points in their lives.

Ace is stuck in a job she desperately hates and wonders if she has lost her one chance at happiness because of her pride & insecurity.  Deeply in denial over her abusive marriage timid Chloe’s life is in shambles but her shame alienates her from her friends just when she needs them most. While worldly sophisticated Lilly is willing to sacrifice her own reputation to give another at chance at true love & happiness. Minor story lines round out the novel with humor and at times heartbreaking moments.

Set in Bugtussle, Mississippi,a small Southern town where most people stay from cradle to grave.  Bugtussle feels genuinely like most small towns except for one crucial element towards the end of the book.  That change is necessary to move the book forward but is so preposterous it breaks the spell McAfee had so convincingly laid.

Ace, Chloe and Lilly remind me of women I have met through the years.  McAfee accurately and honestly taps into the unspoken rules of adult friendships – knowing when to respect a friend’s decision and when to intercede. Of course more often than not, Ace sees herself as a protective mama hen ready to rise to any challenge or perceived slight.

This book reminds me of a small town “Sex in the City” replete with drinks, gossip, sex and wild escapades! I can’t wait to read the follow-up,  HAPPILY EVER MADDER when it comes out!

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to read story books. She devoured them because they were full of magical possibilities with every turn of the page. Then the little girl grew up and school work occupied more and more of her time. Eventually the little girl graduated from school, trading in poets & prose for business management & autobiographies. Magic was left behind in her quest for the top and the world became a place filled with “paradigm shifts”, ROI & financial reports. Before she knew it, the girl was a woman who felt out of touch with the world’s magic until she met Birth and her sister Death. While Birth filled her with wonder & happiness; Death filled her with sadness & loss. And so one day she set aside the management books and instead picked up a paperback story filled with vampires, shifters & telepaths. Lo and behold, her passion for these stories blossomed and the woman became a believer in the magic of reading, again. My name is Believer9200 and I believe in the magic of stories because they give me hope.
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