Boy problems? Friendship issues? Fat?… It’s No Big Deal. This book, written beautifully by Bethany Rutter, is the teen romance drama I needed at 17.
Growing up I loved books about teen drama, Angus Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging to name just one. They’re all perfectly funny and lighthearted, but there was always one thing missing. Not one of the teenage leads was fat (from the books I read anyway).
I would have loved to see a bigger girl talking about this aspect of herself, and I’m so glad that I’ve found this in No Big Deal. Rutter herself is a plus-size icon, and this part of her really shines through into her character Emily, a 17-year-old college student just about to head off for University.
She’s doing well in school and has an amazing fashion sense. However, when her only other plus-size friend loses weight over summer, she’s left feeling slightly isolated. Throw on top of this that she’s soon to be heading off to uni and she’s STILL a virgin? Nightmare fuel.
No Big Deal & Fat Acceptance
‘It’s not my body that’s holding me back. I think it’s more of a problem that people tell me my body should hold me back.’
One thing I do love about Emily is her resilience when it comes to her body. She accutely aware of her body and presence throughout the novel, but overall she’s strong in her opinion to remain exactly and unapologetically the way she is. She doesn’t have a problem with her body but understands that others do, and it’s a great dynamic to read through honestly.
Even at 26, I feel a connection to Emily in this novel. It might be because of my size, but I think it’s her attitude. She’s quite headstrong as a person and I really enjoy that about her. She stresses internally but follows through with her plans nonetheless (something I 100% do), and I just love that in a character.
Rutter has written about issues surrounding fat acceptance in the past, and it’s refreshing to see an author touch upon personal body issues in their novel without it being the overall story arc.
Overall I think this book is funny, heartwarming and really sums up my own attitudes to my body today, which is to say: My body and I are doing okay, please leave your opinions of me and it in your head.
Overall, I like the fast-paced plot of this book. It’s definitely something you can read in a weekend and it’s both heart wrenching and warming at the same time.
When I spoke to Bethany at her book event in Waterstones Liverpool, it was nice to hear that she might not be done with Emily’s story just yet. I really think that this book has so much more to explore and I’d love to see where she takes Emily in terms of character development in University and beyond.