by Rae Earl
Published on April 19, 2016
by St Martin's Griffin
Source: finished copy from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: It's 1989 and Rae Earl 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 green bathroom and a refrigerator Rae can't keep away from. She’s also just been released from a psychiatric ward.My take: Overall, I'm not a huge fan of books in diary format, but I've had good luck with British diaries-as-books. Remember The Adrian Mole Diaries? I read those years ago. And of course, there's always Bridget Jones's Diary, which I loved. And the movie. But the sequel was crap.
My Mad Fat Diary was, at times, both entertaining and touching. It is (according to the blurb) the author's actual teenage diary, which was published in the UK in 2007, and then made into a British TV show that's now available on Hulu in the U.S.
As the synopsis indicated, Rae has just been released from a stint in a psychiatric hospital and is trying to sort out her life. She's desperate to lose weight, desperate to have a boyfriend, and isn't having a ton of luck with either.
While I liked this well enough, I wasn't completely gripped by it. It got a little repetitive for me. Rae hangs out at the local pub with the usual suspects (her friend Bethany and some cryptically named guys called Haddock and Battered Sausage). She lusts after guys who rarely reciprocate her interest. She bickers with her mother. She starts yet another diet. She bemoans the fact that "being thin and pretty is the best thing a woman can be." (I do think that seems to be true when you're a girl in high school.)
Many friends on my Goodreads feed seem to say that they've enjoyed the TV show more than the book. While I can't deal with setting up yet another trial account on Hulu, I might check the show out over the summer. And if you've watched it, let me know what you think in comments!