I am honestly so confused at how well Chicken Girl by Heather Smith seems to be doing. With fifty ratings and a 4.04 average, I just cannot help but find myself thoroughly shocked. Why am I shocked? Well, to put it quite bluntly, Chicken Girl sounds so damn awful that I literally think I’d scream if I read it. And I’m not even just talking about what I understand of it from the synopsis which simply makes it seem like a bleh book at best with a completely strange reaction to being bullied; I just don’t know where this whole idea of responding to being made fun of and fat shamed is to go around…wearing a chicken suit…and basically just dropping all of the things she likes is a reasonable response. But I wasn’t immensely in love with the idea of this book from the start. Despite being wholly appreciative of the fact that there was not only a gay character in this novel, but a transgender character as well I just felt completely thrown by the main character.
Then I read this review which you should all click at your own risk because there are a few spoilers peppered throughout. And after reading it I just felt massively uncomfortable. Which is funny because the reviewer actually gave the book four stars. But the thing is, this reviewer cited quite a few triggers that just make me want to throw this book far, far away from me. Her list includes rape, victim blaming, fat shaming, transphobia, homophobia, cruelty to animals, cruelty to homeless people, and violence. And this is without even getting into the further added problem of yet another form of potential rape via not letting your partner know that you weren’t wearing a condom and then lying to them about it.
And while it does appear that some of these issues are addressed–e.g. the victim blaming–I’m not sure that all of them are? And I know it’s definitely something I would have to read on my own to truly be able to determine my opinion on, but I’m honestly just so uncomfortable about this entire thing that I’m really not sure whether I will actually read Chicken Girl. I’m fairly certain I’m going to avoid it like the plague. But, if on the off chance you do read it and find that these problematic issues aren’t as bad as they sound thus far, please let me know and maybe I’ll reconsider.
So…uhm…thoughts on this book?