(note, the full name of the novel is as follows, but if you’d like to buy it, you can just look for “Such a Pretty Fat” haha)
“Such a Pretty Fat – One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big” or “Why Pie Is Not the Answer” by Jen Lancaster – 5!!!!
Rating Scale: 1 – Didn’t Finish. 2 – Meh. 3 – Kept my interest, but probably wouldn’t read again. 4 – Would Recommend. 5 – LOVED IT! Added it to my list of favorites!
“Such a Pretty Fat” by Jen Lancaster absolutely lived up to my expectations. I’ve read a few of Jen Lancaster’s books, and I laugh out loud on pretty much every page. This can be very embarrassing when you’re in public, and it can also keep your husband up at night when you’re reading and he’s trying to go to sleep.
You’ve been warned.
“Such a Pretty Fat” is a memoir about Jen’s struggle to lose weight. Let me clarify – Jen is incredibly self-confident (as she should be! She’s totally fabulous – I got to meet her at a book club in Chicago once. Loved her. If this were a Lancaster book, this aside would be a footnote at the bottom of the page haha) and while searching for her next book topic, decided to submit an idea to her publishing house for a book that documented her personal weight loss journey. If she didn’t have to write about it, she wouldn’t have felt it was necessary, because she knows how totally awesome she is as documented in the following: “My teeth are superwhite, my hair is bouncy, and if I saw me on the street, I’d totally think I was cute. If I were single, guys would want to date me because I wouldn’t be the kind of pain in the ass who orders the lobster, takes a bite, and declares herself full. Clean-plate club, baby!” (p. 77). That’s what you love about Jen, as you live through this gruelling, but ultimately triumphant, weight loss struggle. You just can’t help but fall in love with her honest, quirky observations and experiences.
I think I also loved this book (and all Jen’s books) because it takes place in my city – Chicago. I completely relate to her stories about public transportation (like the one where her adorable husband gets spit on by a homeless lady on the “El”, which is our version of the subway, or the stories of people-watching in weird neighborhoods with her husband when they go to get gelato). Jen is a master at making the scene come alive, and as I read this book, I found myself involuntarily shouting “YES! I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!” while laughing hard enough to make milk (ok, wine) come out of my nose.
Here are a few of my favorite passages:
(after explaining that she hated her recent trip to New York and being told she couldn’t really blame the city for her bad trip) “Fair enough. However, this was the first time I didn’t come home wanting to move there afterward. Loving New York has been such a constant in my life that the trip was weird. It’s like I’ve had a crush on New York for years, and we finally hook up and I find out he still reads comic books, has skid-marked undies, and smells like summer sausage.” (p. 185)
(talking about how her husband’s closet is perfectly organized) “I bet he’d never shove his dirty wedding dress in a garbage bag and stuff it on a shelf in the back of his closet for five years until he just now remembered he should probably get it cleaned.” (p. 177) (ummmmmmmmmm – awwwkwaaaarddddd……)
Honestly, there are so many passages that are hysterical. I can personally relate to these two, so they really stood out for me, but I can almost promise you’ll end up in giggles every time you open this book. Overall, the theme of this book is that even though we all have things we can work on, we should be happy to be ourselves, and we should work towards being the best version of ourselves possible. I highly recommend this book – a lighthearted read with a great underlying message.