Title: My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary
Author: Rae Earl
First Published: 2007
It’s 1989 and Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint off-green bath suite and a larder Rae can’t keep away from. This is the hilarious and touching real-life diary she kept during that fateful year – with characters like her evil friend Bethany, Bethany’s besotted boyfriend, and the boys from the grammar school up the road (who have code names like Haddock and Battered Sausage). (From Goodreads, 22nd March 2013)
After watching the E4 TV series ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ when it was aired at the beginning of this year and seeing this book when I was book shopping I knew I had to pick it up! I am glad I did! It was absolutely hilarious! It is very different from the TV series which in some ways is a blessing, but in other ways disappointed me slightly. In the TV series we find out much more about her mental illness and she meets with her therapist/psychiatrist named Kester regularly, thus giving a more in depth understanding of Rea’s character. This is completely absent from the novel and the novel is more about her love life – or lack of it – and her life at school and home.Written in a diary style based on Rea’s diary as a teen makes this fast moving and easy to read. It is much less ‘heavy’ than the TV show as it doesn’t deal with her time in a psychiatric hospital with only brief references to it. I think this is a frank portrayal of a teen in the 80’s dealing with her insecurities just as many of us do! A witty and funny diary for fans of the TV series and those who need some rest-bite, laughter, and escapism from/in their lives. This will make you laugh out loud!
4 out of 5!