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The (Other) F Word, edited by Angie Manfredi - Review

Sunday, June 16, 2019

I got this book on Netgalley so thank you to Abrams Kids Books for giving me the chance to review this book. I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for a review but was not otherwise compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In the interest of full disclosure I have to say that Angie is a friend of mine. I first met her on Xanga way back in 2004 via a mutual friend. I got into Young Adult literature because of Angie - she kept talking about the LGBTQ+ literature she was reading, including the Rainbow Boys trilogy. I loved them and over the years got more and more into YA literature. I still love contemporary stuff, and you know how much I like LGBTQ+ YA. Angie is a librarian and is passionately devoted to raising up diverse, marginalised, and under represented voices. She's also fat, and also one of my fat heroes - seeing her wear exactly what she wanted so many years ago inspired me to do the same! (If you're wondering the kinds of things I wear, my lifestyle/fashion blog is here).

So suffice to say, I can't be entirely objective about the book because I like Angie so much! I have followed her tweeting about this book for months and was really excited to read it. I've seen Angie's excitement as proof copies arrived and I've read with anticipation about the people whose essays she has included in the anthology. I suddenly thought last week that it might be on Netgalley so requested it and was so pleased when my request was granted.

I started reading straight away which felt right given that I've just read Sofie Hagen's book and she's another of my fat heroes. I've been reading a lot on my tablet recently, I'm not sure why! I liked some of the essays more than others, but that's always the case when you read an anthology. There were pieces by authors of colour, by trans authors, by queer authors. There has obviously been a lot of thought over who to include, something that I know will have been done with a lot of thought and attention.

I loved Alex Gino's essay. I loved Lily Andersen's too, having recently read her book. I liked P S Kaguya's essay about self acceptance. I thought Hillary Monahan's essay on fatness and the horror genre was really interesting and bang on, I would love to read more about this. I liked Bruce Strugell's essay which was in part about creating Chubstr and about being a fat man, which is something that we don't often read about. I liked Miguel M Morales' poems and was glad poetry was included in the book. And finally I really loved Amy Spalding's essay on Hairspray. This isn't to say I didn't like the rest, but these were the pieces that stood out to me.

I'm so happy that this anthology exists and is aimed at fat teenagers in particular, but all teenagers in fact. I hope it does marvellously. I'm giving it eight out of ten!

The (Other) F Word will be published on 24th September 2019.

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