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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 9 September 2008
After the first few pages I had decided that I identified with fat, mad, Rae more than any person, real or fictional, in my entire life. The whole thing reads remarkably similar to my own teenage diary.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever been told they were the funny one and really, really hated it.
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on 24 April 2014
I read My Mad Fat Diary and My Mad(der) Fat(ter) Diary after seeing Series 1 & 2 of My Mad Fat Diary on E4 and 4oD. It was fascinating to find out which of the code-named boys was the real Finn, who was the real Chop, and who Chloe really was, etc.

I don't want to put too many spoilers for the book here. Suffice to say that Tom Bidwell added some interesting stuff when he wrote his TV screenplay, but there are many things in the book which did get included in the TV series. When you read the diaries you get a deeper insight into why Rae sometimes teased boys she was secretly in love with; and why she often pretended she just saw them as friends. Her fears went beyond a simple loathing of herself or her body. Watch out for a huge revelation halfway through the second book.

Throughout both books there is Rae Earl's wonderful witty sense of humour. The way she describes music she hates never fails to be hilarious. There are also some very sad moments that can move you to tears.

What I love is that Rae Earl went through all of that roller-coaster of emotions and tribulations in her teens, and now candidly shares it all with us in two wonderful books. It's so amazing to think that while she was going through all of those experiences, she had no idea that she would one day be a famous, successful author - and lucky in love as well.

- Sara Russell aka @pinkyandrexa on twitter
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 April 2014
I decided to read this book after the impressive TV series, which brilliantly portrayed the whole late Eighties life in Lincolnshire, and being a teenager, going to raves and being obsessed with guys. I also loved the fact that Rae's illness was very much highlighted in the series. Here, it was the biggest disappointment that the book did not really talk about Rae's mental issues, I would not even think how serious her condition was, but it almost made me cry, the way it was portrayed in the series. "My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary", the book, still made me laugh and I still enjoyed Rae's and her philosophising (and her poems!), but the book was just not enough... I understand that the diary is real extracts from Rae Earl's original diaries, but, perhaps, they were edited a bit too much, almost feeling a bit flimsy.

Earl's style is enjoyable and I found myself amused her humour (and, I repeat, her poems!). I wasn't bored reading this book, I just expected more from it. More on serious mental issues and growing up, less of salivating over boys. I kept reminding myself that I should take "My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary" at face value. There's no amazing plot line and and it's not a story with beginning and end. It's an actual diary of a 17-year old girl.

I think this will be a good book for all the teenage girls going through the uncomfortable stage of growing up. The books reminded me a lot about Georgia Nicolson and her adventures Georgia Nicolson Pack, 10 books, RRP £75.89 (including Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging; Are These My Basoomas?; Dancing In My Nuddy-Pants; It's OK I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers; Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas; and more). - those were hilarious.
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on 12 October 2007
Now, I'm a bloke. BUT, I read this in one evening. The music references are spot on - I could hear the tunes in my head, and the loneliness of a teenager stuck in suburbia was so poignant. Especially the bit where the author's neighbour complained to her mum cos she was staring at their house. "Great," Rae wrote, "Now I'm told off for looking!" Great read, for women AND blokes. Issues still relevant now, I bet! PS I hate the TV series Skins. This book is the anti-Skins. So there.
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on 19 May 2014
the first of 2 books in the series detailing Rae's troubled teen years. Even though most of us wont have gone though Rae's mental health issues we can still relate to the self confidence issues, the worries about boys etc So funny and so poignant in equal measures, a great read.
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on 27 May 2012
I have to admit that I found this in a sale bin and bought it because the cover caught my eye. I'm SO glad I did!! This is the book that whenever I feel down, I pick up and read because it makes me laugh and feel like someone else understands!
It is a 'teenage' memoir, however I am in my mid-20's and still feel that Rae's observations ring true no matter how old you are. Everyone HAS met a Bethany and everyone one knows what feeling uncertain and lonely is like, teenager or not. The funniest parts for me are Rae's conflicts with her mother, which, let's be honest, never really go away. The 'becoming orgasmic' book she loans from the library and the librarians reaction has me in hysterics everytime!
So glad i found this book!!
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on 21 May 2014
I loved the series (still need to watch series 2!) so thought I'd give this a go. It's just as funny as the TV show and I can only imagine Rae as that actress. It puts mental illness in a whole new light, and I don't think I've ever read or seen anything where this issue is dealt with quite as honestly and casually as it is here. Great book.
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on 27 March 2013
Every so often a book comes along that really strikes a chord and makes you feel from the first page that you are part of the story. My Mad Fat Diary is one such book.

I felt such an affinity with Rae when reading her diary, so much so that at times I felt like I could have been reading my own teen diary from the 90s. It would appear that no matter what the decade, or the writer, some things in a teenager's life never change. And Rae for the most part is no different. She argues with her mum on a seemingly daily basis; never has any money; has inappropriate crushes on just about every male she knows; and is obsessed with music. The only difference is, as we start the book, Rae has just been released from a psychiatric ward after suffering from a 'total nervous breakdown' (her words, not mine). So it's clear that Rae has a few more problems than just keeping out of her mum's bad books and trying to bag herself a boyfriend.

Her other 'problem' is her weight. Stuck in a time when 5' 4", 14 stone girls were still unusual (especially in fairly sheltered Lincolnshire towns anyway), Rae is subjected to a daily onslaught of taunts from practically everyone including some of her friends. But what sounds like a depressing, morose book is actually the polar opposite. It's engaging, interesting and downright, laugh-out-loud funny at times. Although a little whiney and self righteous in places (but then what 17 year old isn't at times), Rae mainly just comes across as a loveable yet insecure young woman who makes up for what (she thinks) she lacks with humour and sarcasm. Her diary entries are by turn touching, annoying, funny and a bit gloomy but most importantly something EVERYONE can relate to. Just as Rae so often does in her diary, I can vividly remember rushing home to record the conversation I'd just had with my crush of the moment in my diary, desperate to capture every word and every look (real or imagined) on paper so I could go over it later and look for 'signs' that he really liked me!!

It is fair to say that the book is markedly different to the TV series, so anyone picking this up expecting to read a near identical 'story' will be disappointed. You can often see where the TV episodes would have been lifted from in the original, but the characters names, personalities and most of the events don't scan the same and don't happen in the same way. However, that doesn't make either one better than the other; they both stand up to scrutiny on their own merits. However, if I had to choose I would go for the book version hands down. It's nowhere near as polished, but that just adds to the charm and realism and gives you more opportunities to say out loud (or think in your head), 'I know how you're feeling' or 'that was me!!'

I have heard recent rumours that Rae Earl is considering releasing a prequel and sequel to My Mad Fat Diary and I sincerely hope it's true. 17 year old Rae is a joy to read and I would love nothing more than to get to know her even better...!
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on 23 May 2014
Although the book wasn't badly written, I really didn't enjoy the perspective of Rae, a character I couldn't really sympathise with and who annoyed me to no end. Because of that I didn't get all the way through the book.
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on 6 August 2013
Such thoughts and emotions are not confined in this diary. Its emotive humour, a tricky mix to nail, is so humble by Rae's lacking mention of mental illness. If you have caught any of the TV episodes, reading the original script in Rae's 17 year old hand will make you love and feel for her even more. Also helpful if you have ever suffered from mental illness, insecurity or mental disorder of any kind- Rae finds anger and redemption in her lonely predicament, with ways to make you laugh and feel towards the world through her eyes. Scattered with poems throughout from Rae's brilliant creativity, this diary is a must-read for females to help themselves find common ground with a mental problem.
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