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Whether you’ve been rail-thin your entire life (you’re probably also blessed with shiny hair) or the number on the scale has gone up and down like a roller coaster (us, too), chances are, if you’re a woman living in the year 2016, you’ve felt some semblance of doubt, pressure or stress about the way you look.

As such, you need to read Mona Awad’s fantastic new novel, 13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl.

A series of 13 vignettes, Awad’s debut is written predominantly from the perspective of Elizabeth March, a woman who goes by different iterations of her name (Liz, Lizzie, Beth, et cetera) depending on her station in life and her weight.

From her angst-ridden teenage years, eating McFlurrys with a friend while talking about “how fat we are for a while,” to years later, starving herself until she realizes skinny doesn’t predicate happiness, the character’s relationship with her body is tumultuous at best.

Awad’s raw and empathetic prose is alternately darkly humorous and painful to read, specifically when she writes about the intricacies of female friendship and Elizabeth’s constantly evolving relationship with her parents.

But you’ll positively guffaw when Elizabeth declares that hell is a poorly lit dressing room and a dress that’s two sizes too small. Buyers, beware.

 

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