I refuse to be beaten by GoodReads!
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).
My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary evokes a vanished time when Charles and Di are still together, the Berlin wall is up, Kylie is expected to disappear from the charts at any moment and it’s £1 for a Snakebite and Black in the Vaults pub. My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary will appeal to anyone who’s lived through the 1980s. But it will also strike a chord with anyone who’s ever been a confused, lonely teenager who clashes with their mother, takes themselves VERY seriously and has no idea how hilarious they are.
Yes, I gave into the hype surrounding My Mad Fat Diary and I will admit that I may gave it’s tv adaptation a go after reading this book.
My Mad Fat Diary is an adaptation of a real life diary kept by Rae Earl, who is indeed the author, documenting her year at sixth form after being released from a mental hospital.
I will start by saying that I am not sure that the diary is true to life; it comes across to me that certain parts have been exaggerated for comedic value. It is a funny book; crammed with things like “Some people are doing Ouija boards at school but I’m not touching that shit. Knowing my luck, bloody Jack the Ripper would try to get in touch.” . There were some parts that had me giggling for ages. I think we can all empathise with liking someone, whether it be a girl or a boy, and feeling rather inadequate in comparison to your friends. We have all been there.
The main bugbear for me with this book is that when I finished it I felt a little ashamed that I thought a book, written by a girl who was obviously still quite ill and had a lot of self esteem issues, was funny. But then again, had some of it been toned down? Had some situations been over exaggerated?
Had it not had the element of mental illness, it would have been a funny account of the good ol’ teenage years. When Rae describes obvious symptoms of OCD and references her time in treatment, the tone changes swiftly to serious, and then back to OH MY GOD I WANT A BOYFRIEND. What gives, bro? I will admit that I have ordered the sequel to see what happens next.
I would recommend it, as I would like others’ opinions on it! Am I just being too PC?