Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Crystal Maldonado to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
Published by Holiday House on February 2, 2021
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.
Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it's hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn't help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
But there's one person who's always in Charlie's corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing--he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.
A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.
If you could trade lives with any book character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
For just one day, I’d probably trade lives with Lana Torres from Blazewrath Games. She is so fierce and lives in a world with magic and dragons! It sounds truly thrilling, but also a little terrifying, and I’m not that athletic so I’d probably only last a day.
For a week, I’d love to trade lives with Maritza from Cemetery Boys for a day so I could be that magical and funny. Also would absolutely never pass up the chance to hang out with Yadriel and Julian, either.
Any longer than a week and I’d definitely trade lives with Charlie Vega! Her experience is similar to mine, and I really like my life, so this would be the next best thing. Also: getting access to that writing nook and her closet of fantastic clothes would be amazing.
What would you do if you spent the day with Charlie? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I think it’d be so much fun to hang out with Charlie for the day, especially if we were able to visit some of her fave spots. The bookstore where she takes Brian is fictional, but sounds so dreamy, so I’d love to go there and walk out with a huge pile of well-loved books. Maybe we could also go shopping together for some cute new clothes. I would also love to trade stories with Charlie and get a peek at the one she wrote as a kid, Charlie and the Rainbow Shoes. I have an old one I wrote when I was little called “The Heart Touch,” so we could order good food, read these stories out loud, and have a good laugh. Sounds like fun!
If charlie were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I think Charlie needs some fat friends, so I’d love to see her hang out with Willowdean Dickson from Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ — especially because Willowdean is so fun and opinionated, and I think Charlie would appreciate that about her. I could also see her and Brian both hanging out with Ben and Nathan from Mason Deaver’s I Wish You All the Best. Think of all the fun art they could make!
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I don’t know if this is my favorite bit of research for the book but it might be the most unusual! Charlie and Brian work at a nondescript “medical supply company” but, I wondered what kind of medical supplies the company would sell? As it turns out, there are so many contraptions used in the medical field, which is great if you’re interested in medicine but probably less than thrilling for a YA book. Now I store information about surgical positioning devices in my brain right next to the birthdays of my favorite boy band members and long division.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Fat Chance, Charlie vega?
It’s hard to pick a favorite scene, but one of the most fun for me was Charlie’s birthday party! It ends up being such a pivotal night for her character: she feels pretty, her friends are so loving, her crush joins her for the evening, and the future feels so full of hope and possibility. I love that for her!
What are some TV shows, movies, and books that would pair well with Fat Chance, Charlie Vega?
If you like Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, you’d probably enjoy the book Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, the TV show Jane the Virgin which is also the story of an aspiring Latina writer and her experiences with love, and the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movies.
Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA (Holiday House), will be released on Feb. 2, 2021. By day, she is a social media manager working in higher ed, and by night, a writer who loves Beyoncé, shopping, the internet, and being extra. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.
What lives in your brain next to long division? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!