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5.0 out of 5 stars Crash Diet....
"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...
Published on April 23 2004 by K. A. Stevenson

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 Please save your money and time, June 29 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: 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 Looking for a likable character? Save your money., May 25 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: 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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2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better, May 15 2004
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: 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
Ce commentaire est de: 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
Ce commentaire est de: 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and ironic..., March 3 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
Fat Chance is the best Red Dress Ink offering this year. Well... that doesn't say much because I haven't been impressed with this year's RDI books thus far. But this novel's plot is rather interesting and compelling.
Maggie O'Leary is America's anti-diet guru. Her column is a cause celebre amongst overweight readers nationwide. But when a gorgeous Hollywood star hires her as a consultant for his next film, Maggie forgets about everything she's been fighting over and decides to hit the treadmill. But she has got to look ravishing for sexy Mike Taylor. But is it worth jeopardizing her career? After all, being overweight is a job requirement...
The scenes in which her peers and co-workers attempt to make Maggie eat and keep her big made me laugh. The irony wasn't lost on me, and that's what makes the novel's twists interesting to me. Deborah Blumenthal's insights on society's obsession with thinness are compelling and honest. She is a keen observer. My complaint about this novel is that the secondary characters aren't fully developed. I feel that Tex, Tamara and Mike lack depth and realism. And that is why I find the ending a tad contrived. Also, I didn't like the novel's structure. Sometimes the articles and factoids in the chapters make it seem more like a diet or lifestyle how-to book at times. All in all, this is a great book to read. To me, Fat Chance is the counterpoint of Jane Green's Jemima J. and a great companion to Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed. Good read...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A chick-lit with a serious message, March 2 2004
By 
Ce commentaire est de: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
Everyone knows that Maggie O'Leary is the queen of fat as the author of the Daily Record's FAT CHANCE column. Rather than diet away the pounds, Maggie enjoys eating with gusto and does not care who knows it. Her popularity as the anti-diet queen has placed her in People Magazine and has made her a hot celebrity with perhaps only a dead Dr. Atkins to rival her renown as she assaults those who worship the dreaded D word.
Horizon Entrainment Film Director Robert Clancy wants to hire Maggie as a consultant on his movie Dangerous Lies that focuses on weight loss clinics. Maggie is not interested until she learns that hunk Mike Taylor will play the role of a doctor to anorexia patients. To the chagrin of her editor who knows his meal ticket, Maggie joins the masses trying to lose weight as she wants to taste Mike in her bed, but doubts he will go for a full figured woman. Risking her career, her beliefs, and her lifestyle Maggie diets.
Though often amusing, the serious of health is taken too lightly whether Maggie eats anything without exercising or when obsesses on losing weight. Still Maggie is likable throughout the story line, but especially when she tries to live life to the fullest without concern to her size and the support cast adds insight into what makes Maggie tick. To learn whether she got her hunk - read the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Jemima J's American cousin?, Feb. 23 2004
Ce commentaire est de: Fat Chance (Hardcover)
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 upside down.
When Maggie receives a phone call from heart throb Mike Taylor she's ready to dismiss it as a prank played by one of her coworkers. But she learns that it's the real deal and her once lonely, now star struck heart leads her to accept a job as Mike's technical advisor, who is in charge of giving him the lowdown on food issues and eating disorders for his role as a diet doc.
Maggie has just two months before she gets to play tutor to the hunk and is frantic at the thought of meeting him as her frumpy self. A little exercising here, eating carefully there, highlights, chin suctioning. It's no big deal, she's just improving on who she is, right?
Once in California, Maggie's head is caught up in the whirlwind of the Tinsel town high life and her heart is becoming more and more lost to the amiable Taylor by the minute. But her readers can feel a difference in her columns, which increasingly focus on how to eat and exercise sensibly, and Maggie finally has to face reality when paparazzi pictures of her posing with the silver screen stud completely blow her cover. The queen of queen-sized now barely rates as the princess of plump.
So Maggie is in a quandary. What does she want? Life in a thinner body with Michael Taylor in Hollywood? To be large and living in New York near her aging mother? And while she's agonizing over her decision, will she manage to hang on to her column--and her sanity?
What worked for me:

"Fat Chance" has some very clever lines in it. Great humor writing always gets a point from me.
There were some terrific factoids in this book, some reassuring some not so reassuring.
Maggie's emotional journey throughout the book really struck a chord with me, as I expect it will with dieters the world over.
Size-wise Maggie starts out fairly abundant but whittles herself down to a plush average. Her assistant Tamara is a confirmed yo-yo dieter. And the Metro editor, Tex, is a delicious BHM (big handsome man).
What didn't work for me:

I just can't make up my mind if I like the writing style and the structure of this book or not. The present tense first person point of view broken up by newspaper articles and interviews was very interesting to say the least. A new spin on Bridget's diary entries in a way. But let's face it, combining a how-to-be-healthy-while-large manual with fiction so that they balance correctly is a monumental task, and not all readers will find the proportions the author chose was right for them. Some may want more story and less number crunching and healthy eating and weight loss tips, and others vice versa.

Overall:
             "Fat Chance" certainly deserves a chance if you enjoy chick lit, but if you can't stomach the idea of watching the heroine go on a diet you may want to give it a pass.
Warning: there are some coarse words, weight loss, and brief discussions of eating disorders.
If you liked "Fat Chance" you might also enjoy "The Way It Is", "The Fat Friend", "All of Me", "The High Price of a Good Man", "Good in Bed", "Jemima J.", "Sisterhood Situation", "Etta Mae's Little Theory", or the "Odelia Grey" series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!, May 17 2004
By 
Ce commentaire est de: 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 Lost me quick, April 23 2004
Ce commentaire est de: 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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Fat Chance by Deborah Blumenthal (Paperback - March 1 2005)
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