Fave Fat Rep I Read in 2017

This post lists my favorite books with fat representation that I read in 2017. (Not all of them were published in 2017, of course.) It definitely shows my bias towards contemporary romance, but there is some young adult fiction, speculative fiction and erotica too.

I’m listing my top twelve, in no particular order, by genre. I’m unabashedly listing multiple titles by the same author, when they were my fave for fat rep. I link to reviews where I have written them; and also where I have only posted trigger warnings, so you can easily find those.

I’m listing rep at the end of my descriptions. If you spot something incorrect, please do feel free to let me know. Also, I am not intending to out anyone; I get author info from the web and the book bio. If an author would like me to remove any info listed, please do let me know. I want to note that I use the word fat as a neutral descriptor when listing rep, and use the word queer when a character or author identify that way or when I am unclear about their identity but know they fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.

Books I Read in 2017

Young Adult Fiction

  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: This novel is told from the POV of Jade, a fat Black poor teen artist growing up in Portland. It’s very much about class, art, and finding ways to speak up for yourself and be true to who you are. It’s also about police violence targeting Black folks, and activism against racist police violence. The fat rep in the book resonated, felt real. Jade grapples with fat oppression and has an analysis of it, while it still also gets inside sometimes. (Rep: Fat Black girl MC. Black woman author.)
  • The Awesome by Eva Darrows: I loved the fat rep in this book. The fat MC kicks butt, calls herself awesome, worries about social interactions, and cares about her family. She has some regular level teen angst about her body but its mostly not a deal. No weight loss arc. Some self deprecation. And she is hilarious. Such a strong voice, so compelling. (Rep: Fat heroine. Hispanic and Romani biracial bisexual fat woman author with PTSD and anxiety.)
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: In many ways, the MC’s experience as a fat teenage girl resonated deeply with my own experience of being a fat teenager. It felt real. I appreciated the fat rep in this, for both Molly the MC and also Reid, one of her love interests. (Rep: Fat Jewish heroine with anxiety. Fat hero. Secondary lesbian, pansexual and bisexual characters. Fat Jewish author)

Romance

  • Wrapped by Rebekah Weatherspoon: Baker heroine reconnects with sweet hero former coworker to try romance again after divorce. Glorious food details, so much Christmas sentiment; full of heat, heart and humor. I really liked the fat rep in this one, loved how she was the dessert supply person because it was her job, not because she was fat. (Rep: Fat Black heroine. Black queer author.)
  • Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert: Geeky guarded heroine meets brooding grumpy tattoo artist hero, both are trauma survivors who struggle to trust each other. So much angst, so much heat in this m/f erotic romance, plus lovely fat rep. (Rep: Fat Black heroine with PTSD. Hero with PTSD. Black queer woman author.)
  • Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman: I adore this fun fluffy f/f contemporary romance between two Jewish queer girl artists. Wonderful fat rep, rugelach, geekiness, and a mischievous kitty. (Rep: Lesbian Jewish MC. Bisexual Jewish MC. Bisexual Jewish woman author.)
  • The King of Bourbon Street by Thea De Salle: I love this book for the wonderful D/s, the fabulous fat rep, for a novice dominant I adored, and because it made me laugh. This book has a special place in my heart because the fat rep cracked things open for me as a writer; I loved reading about Sol’s desire for Rain, and it felt like reading it the second time (I reread this before reading book 2 in the series) made it feel more possible for me to write openly about characters desiring fat characters. (Rep: Bisexual hero. Fat heroine. Hispanic and Romani biracial bisexual fat woman author with PTSD and anxiety.)
  • Hardcore by Dakota Gray: The heat in this book is glorious and relentless and I really enjoyed the flawed characters and the hero’s POV. I liked the fat rep in this one; it was lovely to read the MC’s unabashed attraction to the heroine. (Rep: Chubby heroine. Black woman author.)
  • Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai: I adore the fat rep in this angsty m/f romance with tropey goodness and lots of family drama that takes place in the whirlwind of wedding planning. I especially appreciate how much the hero is just gone for her. (Rep: Fat heroine with PTSD. Native Hawaian biracial hero. Desi woman author.)
  • Sugar Baby series by Rebekah Weatherspoon: I reread the first two books in this series before reading the third for the first time. I adore Kayla so much and want to be friends with her. These books are a lovely example of incidental fat rep and they are comfort rereads for me. (Rep: Fat Black bisexual heroine. Black queer author.)
  • Operation Atonement by Talia Hibbert: I love the way Hibbert writes fat characters, it feels affirming and wonderful to read as a fat reader. I fell super hard for this heroine right alongside the hero, and especially appreciated the hero’s POV, and how undone he was by her. (Rep: Fat Black heroine with PTSD. Black queer woman author.)

Erotica

  • “Make Them Shine” by Sossity Chiricuzio in Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, 20th Anniversary Edition: This D/s and boot worship erotica story centers a fat femme top and her description of herself was one of the most gorgeous and electric descriptions of a fat character I have ever read. It cracked things open for me as a writer who often writes fat characters. (Rep: Fat queer woman MC. Queer genderqueer MC. Fat queer woman author.)

Speculative Fiction

  • A Harvest of Ripe Figs by Shira Glassman: I loved the fat rep in this Jewish fantasy mystery, and it’s abundant! Most notably, there are two supersize characters (who have great fanart, by the way), a musician named Esther and a man who sells instruments, Tzuriel. It is so rare to read books with supersize characters, and this is incidental rep that is done very well. (Rep: Lesbian MC. Chubby bisexual MC. Demisexual MC. Fat MCs. Trans boy secondary character. Fat secondary character. Everyone is Jewish! Bisexual Jewish woman author.)

On my TBR for 2018

Young Adult Fiction

Romance

Erotica

Speculative Fiction

More Fat Rep

A few other rec lists for folks looking for fat representation:

For a more in-depth discussion of fat rep in m/f romance, this essay of mine may be of interest.

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