March 24, 2014

Big Fat Disaster Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the official blog tour for Big Fat Disaster! Today I have my review of the book for you and don't forget to enter the giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

Big Fat Disaster
Author: Beth Fehlbaum
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: April 18, 2014
Publisher: Merit Press


Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new. 

“Colby’s life … is difficult enough, but it gets worse very quickly once she discovers a photo of her politician father kissing another woman. The fast pace, lively … dialogue, and timely topic make it a quick and enjoyable read.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
Big Fat Disaster is a young adult contemporary novel that follows the life of Colby - the teenage daughter whose father is running for office and whose mother and two sisters look like they belong in magazines. Colby herself is shy, overweight, and insecure - with no thanks to the way her family treats her. Colby's father runs his campaign on the platform of family values, which turns out to be quite ironic when Colby discovers a hidden picture of him kissing another woman. The entire family's lives quickly spin out of control - her parents split up, they end up staying with relatives in a crappy trailer, and Colby's eating habits go way out of control. One day, a video of Colby only half-dressed is filmed and put on the Internet by her cousin Ryan as a cruel joke. Things only go down from there and Colby plans her suicide, only to be interrupted from her scheming by a family accident that puts her in the spotlight as a hero. Colby realizes it's time to stop the charade she and her family have been living behind for years - once and for all.

This was a beautifully written novel that is both heart warming and heart breaking at the same time. It's full of so many relevant topics to our society today - pretending to be someone we're not, the secrets of those who appear perfect, the issue of weight and how being overweight is portrayed as being a terrible shame, along with topics like love, family, self respect, and standing up for yourself. Colby is a fantastic main character. She's a breath of fresh air when it comes to leading ladies, especially in the genre of YA contemporary fiction. She's overweight, shy, insecure and constantly berated by her family. Yet she's kind, smart, devoted and determined. I think the fact that the author put an overweight female as the lead character is incredibly refreshing - giving the reader a new perspective on life that they might not have had before. The story is incredibly realistic - it could easily appear in the news today about some politician and his family. With the problems that Colby and her family faces, we are able to empathize with them and even walk a mile in their shoes - no matter how uncomfortable that may be. I found the writing to be smooth and fast paced, which easily allowed me to put myself inside the book beside Colby. Being immersed in a book to that extent can become very emotional for the reader, especially if they are able to connect with the characters on a personal level. The author did a wonderful job making Colby accessible to the reader, which made this a very quick read for me. It makes you stop and think for a minute about several things. Some may think of one topic while others ponder on a different one. What matters is that the story makes us step back and think things over - put ourselves in others' shoes - and maybe realize that most of us judge others much too quickly and harshly without knowing their stories. Very highly recommended for fans of YA contemporary fiction or those wanting an unique heroine whose story will leave you questioning things you may not have thought twice about beforehand.

In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is an experienced English teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading. She is currently a Library Science student at Sam Houston State University.Beth is the author of Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014); Courage in Patience (Kunati Books, 2008); and Hope in Patience(WestSide Books, 2010). Hope in Patience was named a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Truth in Patience, which rounds outThe Patience Trilogy, is as yet unpublished. The Patience Trilogy has been revised and is available for acquisition!

Beth has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups. She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope”.

Beth is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope.

Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.
You can find Beth online at
on Facebook, and on

Pre-Order this Novel From These Fine Retailers: 

Watch the Trailer:

One Winner will Get:
- a Signed Hardcover of BIG FAT DISASTER
- a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
- and a Surprise Pack of other titles from Merit Books

 Gift Card open Internationally - Books Ship in US Only. | Must be 13+ to Enter



  1. Thank you! I'm so happy that you "get" Big Fat Disaster!

    1. You're welcome! I loved the book - thanks for allowing me to review it!