Cover Image: Fat Girl on a Plane

Fat Girl on a Plane

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Member Reviews

A fresh, well-written, and honest novel that I enjoyed immensely! Cookie's story is one that I think people of any size should read and will definitely learn from.
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Just such a heartbreaking, and powerful story.  Truly one of the best I have read this year.  I love the fac that it is told from different viewpoints, by the same character.  I can't say that I have ever read a book that does that, but it was such a useful storytelling tool.
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So this book made me examine so hard truths about the world. As a fat person I tend to think that being skinny will solve all my problems and that's not true. I will simply be skinny and have problems. So I kind of hate the book for that reason. Emotionally I want to give it a 1 or 2 star but that's not a fair rating. It's actually closer to a 3.5-4.5 star.

I really liked Cookie despite her unfortunate name. She was passionate about what she believed in even if sometimes that made it hard for her to compromise. I wish she and Tommy had been able to stay friends or her and her parents had been able to reconcile but that's life.

I don't know how I feel about her and Gareth's relationship. I do feel like her used her and the fact that he is at least 10 years older than her makes me kind of squeamish. But at the same time he was very nice to her. At least on the surface.

I'm very glad that she didn't end of giving up on her dreams and ideals for him. That would have been too much like her mother.

I wonder what will happen with her mother and father? Especially now that Chad is dead. Will they be together again and try the whole family thing over? Or will they end up with the same issues they had with Cookie?

I am overall very happy with this book and I'm sad it took me so long to finally read it.
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Cookie Vonn is an aspiring clothing designer who knows a heck of a lot about fashion and textiles. She also wants fashion that makes everyone feel good, including the plus-size curvy girls and women that seem to be left out of major clothing designers' lines. You see, Cookie used to be one of those girls, until one slight too many - the title should give you the clue - sends her to NutriNation, a Weight Watchers-type program where she loses the weight, but gains even more baggage. Her parents - a renowned supermodel and a surgeon - leave a lot to be desired. Her supermodel mother left her to be raised by her grandmother, and if you think she's throwing cash her way to give her daughter and mother a lavish lifestyle, you'd be wrong. Her heartbroken father ran away to Africa once her mother dumped him, and he's nothing more than an occasional phone call to Cookie. Needless to say, Cookie knows she's got one person to rely on: herself.

When things start happening for Cookie, including a relationship and internship with an older famous designer, she wonders whether she's becoming just like her mother: Gareth Miller seems to want to run their relationship and her life. She struggles with staying true to herself while becoming part of the New York fashion set, and discovers that her bright future has attracted her mother's - and sleazy stepfather's - attentions.

This book just draws you right in. Written in Cookie's voice, the story takes place in two alternating timelines: right before and through her NutriNation journey, and the "present", some two years into her weight loss. Pre-NutriNation, we see how 300-lb-plus Cookie's treated; obviously a radical difference from how size 6 Cookie moves through life. She strives to make accessible fashion for everyone, no matter what size, and discovers the fashion industry's dirty little secrets on the way. In the end, she almost loses herself, but is grounded by her friends and family back home in Arizona. There were some high points: I loved that she could move on without caving in and embracing the people who treated her so awfully. (It's a relief to not scream at a book when a protagonist kisses and makes up with her or his tormentors!) It's a very smooth read that held my interest all the way through, with characters that are realistic: not all wonderful and light, not all mustache-twirling villain. Pair this with Julie Murphy's Dumplin' for two great books about curvy heroines this summer.
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Fittingly, I read this book on a plane. I loved the main character, because she didn't quite fit in any boxes, or plane seats. We go back and forth in time, seeing her life when she's fat and seeing her life after she has slimmed down using a program like Weight Watchers (but not, and with a great group leader). Is getting what she's always wanted worth it? It's interesting to see both the outcome and the part leading up to it at essentially the same time. It's a great storytelling choice.

The thin part takes place in college, which is a place where lots of YA books are set these days and works really well here to give a glimpse of "real life." (Not really...because, the fashion world is crazy!) Also, our main character is a badass no matter what her weight and that is truly what I took away from here. Being a good writer and designer can get you a long way. Also, it made me wish I were that good at making and knitting clothes.

I can't evaluate this one from the perspective of a fat person, though I am a woman in American society so I have a very good idea of what it is like to be looked at for only your body and because of your body. And to be judged constantly on what goes in your mouth. I look forward to reading reviews from people who have lived it, and I expect them to be good because the author has lived some of this experience and she talks about it in the introduction of the book (or at least the ARC).
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This was a book that was many things at once- serious in its subject matter, funny, relationship-focused, and inspiring to read.  "Fat Girl on a Plane" tells the story of Cookie Vonn, an overweight senior in high school who is an aspiring fashion designer, who after being embarrassed on a plane to New York to interview one of her favorite designers, decides to lose weight.  Told back-and-forth between the "fat" Cookie and the "skinny" Cookie, however, it is so much more.  It is about the relationships that Cookie has with her best friend, who she has to compete with for his attention from her nemesis in school; her mother, a famous model who has never really taken to motherhood; her grandmother, who raised her when Cookie's own mother didn't; and her lover, Gareth when she is "skinny" Cookie, and who also happens to be a fashion designer that she has always aspired to be like.  It is also a story showing a look at the cut-throat fashion industry, and most importantly, a story of a girl who chooses to follow her dreams, despite hitting a number of battles along the way.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I enjoyed having Cookie take us throughout her story. I loved how it was told in alternating time periods to give the readers the whole story throughout the book. It is nice to have big girls represented in the book too and have them represented in modern books in a positive light too.
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I received an early release copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I heard several raves about this book and let me tell you, the book didn't disappoint. As you meet the main character Cookie you get a glimpse at reality for plus sized women and their struggles at fashion and life but Cookie is set to help change the ways! It was a very heartfelt read that emerses you in from chapter one.

4 out of 5 stars.
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I admit I have issues with this title. I do not mind books that have the fat girl/thin girl story, I do mind books that are told in a before and after type style,  and I do mind books that have a relationship between a young adult (who is JUST an adult) with a much older man. Put them all together and I hate it. I felt like this story was going in different directions and trying to hit on a lot of big topics but not doing it well. My biggest issue with this story was the romance.  I would have like the character to be a little older if bring in a romance or just make the romance more….believable. Time and again I just did not feel anything really happening there and the age difference was not the issue. Overall, I did not really enjoy this title and I would be hard press to suggest it.
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When Cookie Vonn - a 17-year-old blogger and fashionista - is forced to buy a second seat on a plane because she's too fat she knows that life is not going to be easy from this point forward (as if it was before!).

Cookie's story is told in two distinct timelines - her fat life, and her skinny life. Regardless of her weight, she's smart, sassy, confident, and passionate about letting the world know that "roundish" women deserve to be fashion forward too!

A nice story for teens that reinforces the message that who you are is not tied to how you look.
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I want to say the thing this book does best is give this 360 degree look at the way the world treats people based on their weight. The truth is, it does an amazing job at exposing these sometimes ugly truths, but the writing and the characters are also pretty spectacular.

Cookie is a strong woman. She’s competent, capable, and talented. But she’s not perfect. Wounded by prejudices she’s experienced, she allows herself to judge others based on the same system she abhors being applied to herself. Ultimately she learns that achieving her weight goal doesn’t change everything in the way she expected. Turns out being skinny isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, either.

I want to say so many things that would spoil the story because they were elements or plot moments that I thought were fantastic. Early on we’re told this isn’t a Cinderella story about a girl who loses weight and lives happily ever after, and it’s true—this is not that story. It’s much more about a girl looking for the path to her best self and her best life. That journey changes her inside even more than it changes her outside. And perhaps above all, that’s the story’s real power.

You know me—I wish Fat Girl on a Plane didn’t have some of the sexual stuff or profanity in it that it does, because those simply aren’t the things I enjoy reading. See the content information below for more details. I thought the characters and story were powerful and nicely done, though.
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I think this book is beautiful.  A few disclaimers...I’m not a huge fashion girl.  So designer names went over my head.  I’d have probably loved the book more if I knew some of the ins and outs of fashion.  Second, the way the chapters were titled of various days, Fat, Skinny...working forward and backward was downright confusing at first.  With both of that being said, I still gave the book five stars.  My advice just keep reading, it will make sense. 
So this book was amazing and more of a coming of age, coming to terms with yourself and with life.  I adored Cookie and I want to be friends with her.  Initially I was annoyed with her relationship but it all made sense in the end and I love that it both was and was not a HEA.  I think if you’ve ever struggled with weight this book will speak to you on so many levels.  And if you haven’t, getting an inside glimpse of what it feels like might be eye opening.  Adored this book, highly recommend!
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To say that I was disappointed in this book would be a huge understatement. What started off with a great premise and the hope of being a champion for body positivity turned turned into a cringe-y, ill-paced, trope-ridden, should-not-have-been-YA mess.

Mean, I know. But, the letdown of this book was meaner (at least to me).

In Fat Girl on a Plane, Cookie Vonn's story is told in two alternating timelines-- one where she's "fat" and the other where she's "skinny." During "fat," seventeen-year-old Cookie is motivated to loose weight after the trauma of being told that she's too fat to fly to New York in one seat on the plane and must buy a second seat with money that she doesn't have. To make matters worse, cue the mean girl trope, where a girl her age calls Cookies "cankles" and then proceeds to conveniently show up for the rest of the novel to ruin everything about Cookie's life. Meanwhile, during "skinny," it's two years later and Cookie is at her goal weight after dieting with a Weight Watchers knock-off and now looks like the younger version of her supermodel mother. Trying to make a name for herself as a designer in the fashion industry, Cookie is thrust into a world the only reason that people stare at her on the airplane now is because she's beautiful.

I did try really hard to like Fat Girl on a Plane. In fact, I actually kind of enjoyed the "fat" timeline, where Cookie balances her fashion and weight goals while dealing with family drama and the usual scenario of being in love with her best friend who is in love with the mean girl arch-nemesis. Cookie's heartbreak and struggles felt very real and sincere, despite the tiredness of her attitude towards everyone else.

It's the "skinny" timeline that throws a wrench in this novel. It's here where Cookie, a now annoying character who is bitter towards everyone, quickly gets together with a thirty-five year old, who is also her fashion design idol. This is where you totally loose the Young Adult part of the novel and it starts reading like one of those e-book romances that you can get for free on the Kindle. I'm usually okay with age differences between characters, but when it's fifteen years, supposed to be a teen novel, and the guy refers to himself as "Uncle Gary" when speaking to his nineteen-year-old girlfriend, it gets a little weird. I mean, I'm twenty-four and the thought of dating a thirty-five-year-old makes me go ew. 

The reason that this novel is getting two stars from me is because it pulls through at the end. Despite the roller coaster of weird and flat characters behaving randomly, Cookie does learn to love herself, fat or skinny, and that's what we came here for, right?

2/5 Stars.

I received a free e-ARC of Fat Girl on a Plane from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos is an OK book about Cookie Vonn, an overweight women who loses weight.  The book goes back and forth from when she was overweight to after the weight loss.  Cookie is the daughter of a famous model, and she compares how she was treated before and after.  I did not enjoy this book, people can be so cruel, and judgmental. 

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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On the advice of a friend who read this book, I can no longer read Fat Girl on a Plane due to a combination of its fatphobic message/themes and my own fight with disordered eating. Reading the novel would almost certainly trigger me and cause me harm.
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**spoiler alert**

Just a head’s up, this review contains spoilers. I normally try to keep my reviews spoiler-free, but in this instance I couldn’t explain my concerns without including them. 

I have been putting off this review for a couple weeks now because I have some concerns about the contents of this book. On a positive note, I found the book a fun and entertaining read. The negatives, however, outweighed the positives in my opinion.

The author’s note claims that this book is not the usual “Cinderella weight loss story”, but I have to disagree. The story is told in alternating timelines. In one timeline, Cookie is fat, broke, and miserable. Almost every bad thing that happens to her happens because she is fat. She is forced to buy a second seat on an airplane because the flight attendant thinks she is too big to fit in one seat. She gets publicly humiliated by a “mean girl” and then that same girl (who’s skinny, of course) ends up being her boss’s daughter and gets picked over her for an exclusive interview with a fashion icon she idolizes. She gets sent to fat camp. No-one is ever romantically interested in her because of her weight. She even has a major falling-out with her best friend because she refuses to let his skinny girlfriend call her “cankles” or otherwise bully her about her weight and he thinks she’s being unreasonable.

In the second timeline, Cookie has lost a huge amount of weight thanks to NutriNation, a paid diet program. She is now hot, and of course, everything is magically better. In a chance encounter, she runs into an important person from NutriNation and he is so impressed by her weight loss that he decides to generously sponsor her blog, temporarily solving all of her financial problems. She gets a second chance at interviewing the same fashion icon that wouldn’t even agree to meet with her when she was fat and he ends up partnering up with her for an unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He also starts dating her and basically treats her to the lifestyle of the rich and famous: taking her to exclusive fashion shows, living in a penthouse, and traveling the world in luxury. This guy is a total jerk who hates fat people and is only interested in her because she’s skinny now. And, of course, he’s on a first-name basis with the Dean of the design school she really wanted to go to, so not only can he get her in, but it’s assumed that he will pay her way. Even her (ex?) best friend admits he was secretly in love with her. In essence, the “skinny” timeline is just one good thing after another, and throughout it, the reader is constantly reminded of how gorgeous Cookie is now and how almost everyone she meets is attracted to her.

Which brings me to another point… This book implies that no-one is interested in fat people and that only skinny people can be the victim of sexual harassment. In fact, after one very unsettling scene between Cookie and her stepfather (in which he kept ogling her body and making inappropriate innuendos), she says “Situations like this have been one of the hardest things about losing weight. My body changed, and suddenly I became a player in this game where people are trying to get sex or approval or whatever from each other.” Umm… wow. But no. That “game” applies to everyone, not just skinny people. Sexual harassment is very much a problem for fat people as well as skinny people. People of all shapes and sizes can (and do!) get harassed. And plenty of fat people are in serious relationships, enjoy consensual sex, and even get married!

Ultimately, Cookie does end up learning how to love herself regardless of her weight. However, there’s nothing in this story that would help self-conscious young women learn the same lesson. The underlying message that this book sends, intentional or not, is that fat girls are miserable and getting skinny makes everything better. As a mother of an impressional young girl, I cannot in good conscience recommend this book. Was it entertaining? Certainly. But also very disappointing and potentially even harmful.
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I loved this book for the first 30% or so. But, then it just got messy and I had quite a few issues with it. 

I hated the relationship between Cookie and Gareth. I know it was not supposed to be healthy but the power imbalance and the fact that he was such a jerk to her in the beginning grossed me out. Also, the age difference? If this was NA or an adult book it wouldn't have bothered me as much, but she is 19 and I am pretty sure he is 31? Gross. 

I loved the fashion aspect of the novel, Cookie has great taste and I would have loved to see her designs. I loved her advisor and the fact that her grandmother sewed as well. The dual timelines were a bit confusing at first and I don't know if it helped the story in any way, but it was unique and I would be interested to see more of this type of storytelling in the future. 

The plot was messy. So much happens in the beginning, then suddenly nothing happens in the middle, and then a much more plot is thrown in at the end. There is also too much going on. Cookie has issues with both her parents, her stepfather, one of her best friends, and a mean girl from her hometown. Not to mention the small fight with her BFF and the relationship with Gareth. It was just a lot. Also, her issues with her parents are not resolved at all. 

Overall, I appreciated the message of inner vs outer beauty and discussion of the lack of plus sized women in the fashion industry, but the story had too many other plot lines (plus the dual timeline) which detracted from the main takeaway of the novel.
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This fashion forward book featured a plus-size teenager struggling with her self-worth. It was absolutely captivating until the main character started making disappointing decisions for a book that should've been solely focused on woman empowerment.

Our main character, Cookie, faced a lot of struggles growing up and still had an incredible personality despite it all. She was able to stand up for herself, take control of her health, and focus on her career path which was so admirable. Unfortunately, she was often a bit too judgmental in the fashion department when it came to working-class citizens and also made poor choices that threw all her morals away.

There was an unhealthy romance at the center of this book which was not at all needed. Why couldn’t this have been a story about a strong girl taking control of her life and becoming successful at a young age? The unrealistic opportunities and actions that were tied to this relationship made the book feel extremely fictional when it could have offered so much to a very large audience otherwise.

Additionally, the writing felt very disjointed since a lot of small details were completely left out. There would be so much detail about Cookie getting ready but then all of a sudden she was in the middle of dinner without any transition. The book also ended without any real resolution to the main issues throughout the story which left me extremely unsatisfied. This combined with everything else forces me to say I sadly wasn't a fan of this debut.
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Thank you Kelly deVos for writing a book like this. The climate for women is evolving and we are finally starting to stop hating ourselves & bodies. I appreciate books like this because in the end, they make me feel like "I do matter" at any shape/size that I am. I personally gained a lot of weight after having surgery and I can see the entire world around me change to the point where someone asked if I was pregnant. Totally, not cool. Cookie is such a relatable character, her story hit home for me, It was a very raw and real story indeed. I hope people read this book and see how words can hurt, false assumptions can create depression and/or anxiety, and people can feel worthless. I question myself everyday and because of books like this, I am learning to accept myself and showcase my strengths rather than let the world/society dictate my life. Thank you for this unique view into this world Kelly, it speaks on so many levels. Thank you, Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an e-copy arc of this lovely book.
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An awesome quick summer read. I liked the alternating chapters between fat cookie and skinny cookie.
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