The Jock and the Fat Chick
By Nicole Winters
Debut Romance Novel * 250 pages * HarperCollins
Genre: YA / NA. Mild swearing. No explicit sex.
No one ever said high school was easy. In this hilarious and heartwarming debut, one high school senior has to ask himself how much he’s willing to give up in order to fit in.
Kevin seems to have it all: he’s popular, good looking, and on his way to scoring a college hockey scholarship. However, he’s keeping two big secrets. The first is that he failed an assignment and is now forced to take the most embarrassing course ever–domestic tech. The second is that he is falling for his domestic tech classmate, Claire.
As far as Kevin is concerned, Claire does have it all: she’s funny, smart, beautiful, and confident. But she’s off-limits. Because Kevin knows what happens when someone in his group dares to date a girl who isn’t a cheerleader, and there’s no way he is going to put himself—or Claire—through that.
But steering clear of the girl of his dreams is a lot harder than Kevin thought…especially when a cooking project they are paired together for provides the perfect opportunity for things to heat up between them outside the classroom….
I raise an eyebrow, letting her know I’m listening, but I’m not sure where she’s going with this.
“I tell you what to do and say around Mrs. A, and that way I keep my A and you can pass this class.”
I consider Claire’s offer. On the one hand, I don’t like her calling me a dumb jock. On the other, she’s amazingly good at cooking and needs to keep her grades high, which means if I do what she says, I’ll pass too. I’ve got nothing to lose, so I nod.
“Okay,” I say.
She gives me this big warm smile, like I’ve made her day.
“Good.” She motions to the fish. “Keep flaking.”
I respond with a “Yes, Coach,” as a lighthearted way of sealing our deal.
When I’m done flaking, Claire adds the fish to the thick rice mixture and then stirs, making my mouth water. It looks and smells incredible. There must be a million grams of carbs in there. If I ate all that, I’d slip into a carb coma.
Claire pulls a large wooden spoon from the drawer and then offers it to me. “Want to taste?”
She’s surprised when I shake my head, like I have no clue what I’ve turned down.
“Ugh,” she says. “Don’t tell me you’re one of those carb-counting gym rats.”
I make a face. “I hate the term ‘gym rat’; it makes me sound greasy.”
“True.” Claire sizes me up and then adds, “And you’re definitely not greasy.”
Hey, did she just check me out?
“Okay, how’s ‘don’t tell me you’re one of those carb-counting fitness bunnies’?”
I grunt, amused.
“I bet you work out twice a day,” she goes on, stirring the risotto, “and you eat nothing but skinless chicken and steamed broccoli.”
She bobs her head, like she’s confirming something. “Yeah, you look like a guy who denies himself pleasure….”
An unexpected rush of heat spreads across my face. “Well, if you want six-pack abs, there’s got to be sacrifices.”
Claire glances at my stomach, and even though she can’t see anything under my shirt and apron, she turns her gaze away and smiles, big.
That was definitely a check-me-out move.
HarperCollins // Amazon // iBooks
My heart can’t help itself, it thumpity-smashes. This is the amazing Claire Riel.
The idea for The Jock and the Fat Chick came to me after a friend said he couldn’t cook, that growing up meals at home involved two steps: a can opener and a microwave. So it got me thinking: what if I had a YA character — Kevin — whose mom was like that? That hit me pretty viscerally. Days later, I wondered, what if he thought that he could do better with his diet, but in reality he did much worse. At the same time I’d been reading books with plus size teen girls in them and they all seemed to be similar: depressed, bullied, or abused. It got me thinking, how to put my character, Kevin, and a non-depressed/bullied/abused plus sized character Claire, together? The story unfolded from there.
Top ten favourite podcasts:
Smart Bitches Trashy Books
NY Times Book Review
Slate Audio Book Club
Books on the Nightstand
The New Yorker Fiction
Nicole loves books, bikes, horror films and globe hopping. She’s currently at work on her third YA novel THE CONJURER.
Cool dudes and motorcycles: TT FULL THROTTLE
Hot guys and romance: THE JOCK AND THE FAT CHICK