Three Mini Reviews from the DNF Pile

I had The Dirty Girls Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez on the calendar for my Fat Women in Fiction pick, but the author chose to burden her six (!) main characters with eating disorders, abusive husbands, and identity crises. Valdes-Rodriguez’s characters spout microaggressions everywhere, and there’s no need for me to tolerate horrible behavior and slurs being normalized. DNF.

I purchased They Don’t Make Plus-size Spacesuits by Ali Thompson, a fat activist known as Ok2BeFat, just recently. Her stories, however, reiterate all the vitriolic garbage society says about fat people. Why not use her stories to create fully-realized, empowered fat characters? The ideas are simplistic, too. Instead of a family working to make their daughter less fat, she eats diet food and exercises to be less…tall. Just why? DNF for feeling horrible while reading. Her content warnings don’t excuse the abusive thoughts and actions in the stories.

If novels are like a professional boxing match and short stories are like a “see you in the parking lot after school” fight, then flash fiction is the sucker punch of the story world. However, that sucker punch can’t always be killing off the character we’ve known for one paragraph. It gets old. Tender Cuts by Jayne Martin tends to rely to heavily on shock value when flash fiction can be more, you know, tender. DNF for losing interest.

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24 comments

    • I occasionally feel like a jerk when I DNF, review, and rate a book, but I spent money on two of the books reviewed here and would not have bought them had someone else negatively reviewed the titles and warned me as to why they didn’t like them.

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    • Me, too. I’m especially blown away/surprised by Thompson’s book. She sends out daily reminders on Twitter that it’s “okay to be fat,” and yet her stories are about dieting, disapproval, disappointment, and fatphobia. She wrote in the introduction that she wants other fat readers to recognize her experiences, but does she not think they’ve had their own such experiences? And why would they want to relive them??

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I absolutely loved this post. I thought the first cover was striking until I read the comment about waists on the women. The cover makes me feel it should be about rich, sassy, kiss ass woman who take charge. The second book just sounds disappointing and ick. The third book’s description made me laugh in terms of how ye catergorized things. I am so glad that ye share why ye DNF books.
    x The Captain

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    • I forgot you said you’d read Valdes-Rodriguez’s book, Liz. There were times when Lauren’s narration was fun and witty, but I ran out of patience with her bulimia and name calling.

      I’m glad my DNF round-up posts are popular; a few people noted this, and I appreciate the feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

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