Independent, witty and headstrong Graciela ‘Ace’ Jones is the main character in Stephanie McAcfee’s book Diary of a Mad Fat Girl. “Ace isn’t based on anyone I know,” McAfee stated when I spoke with her, “but rather everyone I know in that she says and does crazy, outlandish things that a lot of people can relate to on a personal level.” The former Spanish teacher and current stay-at-home- mom explained the book developed one character at a time.
The book opens up as Ace excitedly packs for a spring break trip with her best friend and coworker Lilly Lane. When Lilly suddenly cancels plans the night before they were scheduled to leave, Ace suspects her friend is choosing to spend time with her new boyfriend instead of her. After spending a lonely week angry with her friend and reminiscing about her ex-boyfriend, Ace heads back to her job as an art teacher at the local school Monday morning to learn Lilly has been unexpectedly fired by the principal, Catherine Hilliard. Aside from dealing with Lilly’s termination and the public scandal it creates in their small Mississippi town, their friend Chloe is nearly beaten to death by her husband. Chloe is blinded by love and refuses to leave her husband. Ace and Lilly put their problems aside and team up to give Chloe a reason to leave him. The women uncover many town secrets along the way. Characters such as Ace’s past lover, Mason, and the town’s gossip know-it-all, Gloria Peacock, join the girls’ journey as helpful aids.
Although the book deals with many deep issues, McAcfee kept the book lighthearted with pop culture references and sarcasm. She also had me laughing out loud at the awkward and embarrassing situations Ace would find herself in. I highly recommend this book as a fun and girly summer read. Every lady will want to find adventure with their closest girlfriends after reading this book. “I’ve gotten a lot [of] feedback from readers who say things like, “This could me and my girlfriends,” and that always makes my day because I wanted her to be relatable to normal women with normal lives,” said McAcfee.
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is currently only available in e-Book format, a print and extended version is set to be released Feb. 7, 2012.