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16 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (4)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!
I really enjoyed this book. It's great to have a heroine who isn't perfect in every way...she's overweight and therefore someone I could actually relate to! The story is one that every woman can relate to on some level, though...the heroine spends her whole life preaching her principles (publicly, because she's a newspaper columnist) and then suddenly she's faced with a...
Published on May 17 2004 by Karen Goldbaum

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Jemima J's American cousin?
Heroine: plump/average

A size activist is unshakeable in her convictions, right? That's what "Fat Chance" columnist Maggie O'Leary thought as she championed well-padded people everywhere, answering their heartbreaking letters with all the compassion she could muster.  But that was before Hollywood snatched her up and turned her inside out and...
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by curvynovelsdotinfo


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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother buying, July 8 2004
By 
Sogomo (Wooster, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
The plot had potential but it just fizzled out on page 2. If you feel like you have to read it, go to the library and get it and you'll be glad you didn't buy it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Please save your money and time, June 29 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
I really haven't disliked a book this intensely since, well, ever. The plot is unbeliveable and predictable and boring, the main character is unlikeable and almost none of her motivation or behavior is satisfactorily explained, and the supposedly wonderful column that the main character is famous for is little more than the equivalent of space-filler sidebar content from Shape magazine. I almost laughed out loud when the main character suggested that the column would win a Pulitzer.
The author isn't a bad writer (the food descriptions were nice), but this book felt very ficticious in an obvious way, like the author knew the characters (and their situations -- Can someone who has ever lost a significant amount of weight, or figured out what is truly involved, really believe that it happens in 5 weeks and that 30 pounds is enough to go from noticeably fat to seriously, Hollywood thin?) possibly even less than the readers did, and that the plot was just thrown together to fill the appropriate number of pages.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Take this Chance, June 15 2004
By 
Michelle R. Bruvold (WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
I'm glad I borrowed this one from the library instead of spending money on it. The idea of this book is great but it just doesn't live up to it. I found the main character Maggie to be unlikeable and uninteresting. The story itself is boring and perdictable. The only good thing about this book is the picture of the pink frosted cupcake on the cover. Save your money and buy dessert instead!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a likable character? Save your money., May 25 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
I don't like to write customer reviews that trash an author's hard work. Hopefully, the author of this book won't see this review.
I love to read a variety of genres, especially chick lit for an escape. This book, however, was nearly unreadable for me.
I was disappointed from the start. I found the main character, Maggie O'Leary, to be unlikable. She just seemed abrasive, bitter, and full of herself. There just wasn't anything to like about her. When Maggie talks about herself, she describes herself as insecure because of her weight, but nothing in her personality seems to confirm that. Once I start a book, I like to finish it so I kept going assuming that this might just be a book that takes awhile to get into.
About 60 pages in, when Maggie starts her weight loss plan, I nearly started to enjoy the book. This was shortlived, however. After about five more pages the book got worse. I know you're supposed to suspend disbelief when reading fiction, especially chick lit, but this was ridiculous. I'm supposed to believe that Maggie went on a crash diet and lost enough weight in five weeks to go from the obese champion of fat people everywhere to model thin?
She heads out to Hollywood to help a Ben Affleck-esque movie star understand the mind of an overweight person for an upcoming film role. Everyone she comes across in Hollywood is stunned to find that the "fat columnist" is actually THIN. Yes, thin. Not average, but Hollywood thin. Come on. In five weeks?
To make matters worse, when she meets the movie star she's immediately so comfortable with him that she's patting his knee and talking in double entendres. Not even close to a believable character.
Of course, after two days the movie star falls in love with her. *Insert eye rolling here*
Ugh, I can't go on. This book was just so bad. The character development is unbelievably weak, the dialogue comes straight out of a Lifetime Original Movie, and the story line is just plain ridiculous.
You want a character you can identify with look for Jane Green's books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!, May 17 2004
By 
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. It's great to have a heroine who isn't perfect in every way...she's overweight and therefore someone I could actually relate to! The story is one that every woman can relate to on some level, though...the heroine spends her whole life preaching her principles (publicly, because she's a newspaper columnist) and then suddenly she's faced with a decision that makes her question everything she's ever stood for. Beneath the funny, cute style of writing, the story is really a touching, intimate look at what happens when you have to swallow your pride and examine who you really are.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better, May 15 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
I really wanted to like this book. The idea of a woman who accepts her size, plus the bonus of falling for a movie star - it seemed like my perfect book wrapped into one. Honestly, I wanted to like it.
But I didn't. I couldn't even finish it. Other reviewers have mentioned much of what I found frustrating - the inconsistency of the heroine's character, the jarring inclusion of the columns that does nothing to further the plot or the characters, the confusing writing, the uninteresting secondary plots. Gah. It's clear that what the author really wants to be writing are cookbooks and self-help books. She should do that instead.
I'll add a complaint - the clumsy writing made the ending way too clear. When I quit halfway through, I checked the ending, and I was right.
There were some funny bits at the beginning, for which I was grateful, and at least it wasn't plagued by the spelling errors and typos that many other RDI books have been (except for "movie premier" - teehee!), but overall, I was heartily disappointed.
Is chick lit this tapped out already?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, May 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
Against my better judgment, I found myself finishing this book. There are so many things wrong with it that I don't know where to begin. We immediately jump in and get no backstory about Maggie. I like to know a little bit about the characters but all I could gather was that she was the funny fat woman in the office. She was proud to be overweight but when a chance comes to meet a movie star, she immediately (and unrealistically) loses a lot of weight in a short period of time - and even has plastic surgery like it's no big deal. She goes to LA where she was supposed to consult with the movie actor about being overweight but they never do even discuss it. In the space of two weeks that she is gone, her assistant meets and falls in love with a guy, discovers a new talent for photography and gets a promotion, and finishes her book and it is rejected, all in TWO WEEKS!
I think there could have been a really good story here but it went off in too many tangents. It would have been nice to promote the storyline that you don't have to lose weight or change yourself to win the guy of your dreams or to have a successful career.
I will say I did like a lot of the essays and diet tips but it really wasn't worth reading the whole book for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crash Diet...., April 23 2004
By 
K. A. Stevenson "WIAPilot" (Tucson) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
"Fat Chance" by Deborah Blumenthal is a good first novel. It is light reading and fun and definitely "chick lit." Also thought the cover design was exceptionally good.
Fat columnist, Maggie O'Leary is happy with her life. She has a good job; she enjoys the "perks" of wonderful food and frequent dining with her editor Tex Ramsey; she has a great friend and assistant in Tamera; she loves New York City and she feels that she makes a difference in her readers' lives with her column, "Fat Chance." In it, Maggie espouses that, "Do what you can to be healthy - but accept and love yourself if you are fat."
All this changes when she receives a phone call from sexy movie star, Mike Taylor (think Pierce Brosnan). He wishes to hire her as a "diet consultant" to help him prepare for an upcoming role by understanding what challenges obese women face.
Maggy embarks on a "secret diet" and her life is never the same again...
The concept of this book was great and I look forward to reading more novels by Deborah Blumenthal. I especially thought the diet plan in the back of the book was helpful as well!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lost me quick, April 23 2004
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
I couldn't finish this book. I am still trying to figure out the point-one minute Maggie is proud of being overweight and taking a stand by NOT dieting, the next she's doing the exact thing she claims to be against (dieting)? I only got to chapter 5 and couldn't bring myself to read any further. It felt like I was reading a VERY rough first draft and the author hadn't yet decided what she wanted Maggie to be or do. Usually the Red Dress Ink books are at least halfway decent-I'm not sure how this one slipped through the cracks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Debut Novel!!!!, April 22 2004
By 
Katrina (Brentwood, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
This book wouldn't have ordinarily appealed to me, but a friend recommended it and so I took a chance. I'm very glad I did. The main character, Maggie O'Leary is an over weight columnist who gets her chance at "winning the man" and getting thin in the process. The writing was great, if the story lacked a bit in depth. But I think what kept me hooked was the age old "dieter's plight" that so many women (and men) can relate to. This is definitely a chick lit book, but one well worth it.
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