Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: The Jock and the Fat Chick
Author: Nicole Winters
Release Date: October 2015
Kevin seems to have it all: he’s popular, good looking, and on his way to scoring a college hockey scholarship. However, he’s keeping two big secrets. The first is that he failed an assignment and is now forced to take the most embarrassing course ever–domestic tech. The second is that he is falling for his domestic tech classmate, Claire.
As far as Kevin is concerned, Claire does have it all: she’s funny, smart, beautiful, and confident. But she’s off-limits. Because Kevin knows what happens when someone in his group dares to date a girl who isn’t a cheerleader, and there’s no way he is going to put himself—or Claire—through that.
But steering clear of the girl of his dreams is a lot harder than Kevin thought…especially when a cooking project they are paired together for provides the perfect opportunity for things to heat up between them outside the classroom….
What I Liked:
This book was cute. It was interesting to me that the ‘fat chick’ of the title ate very healthy and the ‘jock’ actually had an eating disorder. Of course, the author never explicitly says that he has an eating disorder, but that’s definitely how it came across to me. I’m actually surprised that him failing his nutrition assignment so terribly only resulted in him having to take domestic tech and didn’t also involve a meeting with the school counselor or psychologist. The book focused on the fact that being healthy is different from being skinny.
I liked that the point of the book was to point out how damaging it is to perpetuate stereotypes. Kevin doesn’t want to date cheerleaders, and he discovers that he likes to cook! Claire actually has more experience with sex than Kevin, even though she’s “fat.” The romance was cute, if a little frustrating with the miscommunication and misunderstandings.
What I Didn’t:
Kevin’s deal with food was a fixed a little too easily. You don’t go from being that worried about calories and constantly working out to eating normally so quickly. Even when he backslides later in the book, he still comes around fairly quickly. I’ve never had a diagnosed eating disorder, but, as someone who was fat in high school, I have had disordered eating habits in the past. Even now, when most people consider me to be pretty small, I don’t really see myself as skinny. The size of my clothes says one thing, but I see something completely different in the mirror. So Kevin would need a lot more help to overcome his food issues than a semester of domestic tech and falling in love with a girl who loves to cook.
My other major problem with this book is the ‘fat chick.’ I never really got the impressions that she was fat. Curvy? Hourglass figure? Yes, but not fat or even overweight really. Nothing about the description of her, her home life, or her eating habits led me to believe she was fat. She’s not skinny, but average and curvy I can completely believe. There’s no way she’s above a size 10.
I had some major problems with this book, but I could put them aside to enjoy it as the short, sweet YA contemporary romance that it is. The characters have good chemistry together, and I liked that the story was told from a male point of view. I also appreciated that, though this book does deal with eating disorders, it subverted my expectations on which characters was going to have those issues. I’m glad that I stumbled upon this book.
My Rating: 3/5 (I liked it, and I hope the author writes another YA book similar to this one.)