Cover Image: Fat Girl on a Plane

Fat Girl on a Plane

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Member Reviews

This book, man oh man! I related to this book way more than I thought was possible. As someone who is a bigger girl and loves fashion this hits home. I love how deVos creates the comparing timeline in this story of Cookie being Plus sized and then when she lost weight and becomes a smaller women. She jumped story lines so seemlessly, and this book is so beautifully written. I love the sarcastic remarks Cookie gives, she isn't afraid to stick up for what or who she believes in. If you have a chance to pick up this unique read highly recommend it. Definetely one of my favorites of this entire year. Also, I finished it in one day because I simpily couldn't put it down.
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*Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC to review!*
Fat Girl on a Plane is the story of Cookie Vonn, told in two separate timelines--"fat" and "skinny." Cookie's voice drew in me into the story very quickly, and I really enjoyed her sense of humor, bluntness, and intelligence. This book does a wonderful job of deconstructing stereotypes about weight and fatness while still telling an engaging story. The plot line with Gareth was profoundly uncomfortable to me, but deVos showed the power imbalance with nuance. That being said, I did find myself losing interest in the plot towards the middle of the book and had to slog to finish, but overall this book had so much voice it was easy to get back into it once the story picked up again later.
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I didn’t enjoy the back and forth with the timeline. I would have much preferred to stick with the main plot line in the present. I was annoyed with Cookie throughout as she has her own opinions and desires but would submit to others when it came down to it. I appreciated the body positivity and how Cookie called our fat jokes. I wish she was better at standing up for herself and not just for others. I wish the ending were more developed.
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I had to quit this novel at only 18% in because of the stark hypocrisy in the writing. The author's bio on her website says, "Kelly is also a passionate advocate for body positivity and fat acceptance" and I am one hundred percent onboard with that, yet the main character in the novel seems to engage in a high level of what might be termed 'skinny-shaming' and also 'fashion-shaming'. Worse than this though, is the objectification by this character of another character, as in when I read, "I glance at his biceps and quickly look away." Her "face heats up" no less than three times over him, and she decides it's not fair that he should look so good. Barf.

These are some of many examples of fashion blogger Cookie Vonn objectifying fashion designer Gareth Miller, who she's supposed to be objectively interviewing. In her author's note, I read, "We are more than just our bodies," yet her main character is ogling this man's body. Body image is not a just two-way street, it's a rat's nest of streets and footpaths and bike trails and overpasses, and for me this author failed to grasp that crucial fact in her writing.

Cookie works for a fashion blog, and I should say right up front that I have no time whatsoever for the fashion world or for Hollywood for that matter. As this author admirably makes clear, fashion is about discrimination, but she doesn't go far enough. It discriminates in favor of the well-off, the young, and the thin, so the problems go way beyond simply fat-shaming. Again, none of this was made clear at least in the early part of this novel, and I was saddened by that because the whole reason I picked it to read was that I thought it would be in interesting take on the industry.

The main character seems to grasp none of this. She comes off very much as an insider: as one of 'them,' not as one of 'us', by which I mean those of us who are not slaves to how a person 'should' look or dress according to the dictates of the shamefully well-off. This did not service the book's PoV well and did not make her look like an outsider by any means. On the one hand it's admirable that this character thinks she can change it from the inside, but on the other hand, she never seems to be cognizant of how self-indulgent, fatuous, and pointless the whole farcical, shallow and abusive edifice of fashion truly is, so I felt like she was doomed to fail before she got started.

I especially wouldn't read a blog where I would see something like this: "Sportswear is where fashion meets Feminism." Really? Has this author never seen a female athlete? Depending on the sport, they don't typically dress in a manner similar to the male athletes. They quite often dress in a manner that too many men would like to see female athletes dress. In track, men typically wear regular running shorts and tank tops. Women wear what are, let's face it, bikinis. That's feminism? Really? If the bikini makes an athlete more streamlined, why don't men wear them? This dichotomy on what male versus female athletes wear is very odd in sports. Female basketball players, for example, wear pretty much what the men do, yet female soccer players wear their shorts distinctly shorter than their male counterparts. Why? Is it really feminism? I think that's a question worth asking in place of tossing out a bon mot like I read here.

Cookie is the daughter of a well-known model of yesteryear (or given that this is the fleeting world of modeling and fashion, perhaps yester-week would be more accurate), and looks like her mom facially, but not bodily. This wasn't explained in the admittedly limited portion I could stand to read. Was her father big bodied? If not, and her mother was a model, then how did Cookie end up with her body? Maybe it was explained in the course of the tennis-match of past and present being knocked back and confusingly forth later in the novel, but it would have been nice if there had been an explanation up front for this.

I'm evidently not the only reviewer who found this see-sawing between 'fat' Cookie and relatively thin Cookie serving to undermine the author's stated purpose. And if that is cookie on the cover of the book, she's not what I'd describe as fat by any means. But then my perspective on a women's body isn't informed by unhealthily-thin fashion models and Hollywood celebrities. It's informed by real, everyday people which is the only sane perspective in my opinion.

The other thing that was missing for me was any talk about health. There is abusive fat-shaming, which is to be fought tooth and nail, but there is also a health factor here for a certain portion of the population (overweight or not), and it's not a shaming, but a caring. It doesn't matter (objectively) if people consider you overweight as long as you're healthily and getting some exercise, yet this wasn't touched on. Again, I quit this novel early, so maybe this was addressed later, but even so, it would have been nice had there been a statement right up front about this, because it's important. People can go to hell with their fat remarks and abuses, but if a person is healthy, it's not even a concern, so maybe they should go further to hell?

The author is a graduate of a creative writing program, which frankly tends to put me off reading a novel, because I've read too many such novels which have turned out to be so bland as to be indistinguishable from one another, and all-too-often pretentious to a sickening degree. This author had some moments of excellence and some appreciated humor, but what got to me, and this is what caused me to finally quit the book, was that it was so disgustingly trope YA that it was almost literally nauseating. Take this as an example:
"It's your eyes," he decides. "They're blue."
"Wow. They're not wrong when they say how observant you are."
Gareth chuckles. "The gold flecks. They make all the difference."
Gold flecks make her eyes pretty? I feel bad for the millions of women who have no gold flecks! How awfully ugly they must be with those fleckless eyes! Body positivity? I have read this 'gold flecks' quote so many times in so many YA books that it is way beyond a joke at this point. If this is all you get when you graduate from a creative writing course more than likely taught by someone who can't make a living from their own writing then it's a self-evident waste of time. Do they not teach originality? Do they not teach participants to read a lot so they can learn both what to do and what not to do? No self-respecting YA author who wants to be taken seriously should use the words 'gold flecks' or even 'biceps' in a novel ever again, but at least this author wrote 'biceps' rather than 'bicep' so I should credit her that much!

On one technical matter, I have to give this ebook file an 'f':
Piper f lips open
I f lop back onto
In the space of a couple of sentences and in many other places too, we see words which begin with an 'f' having a space after them. Amazon's Kindle process mangles files. It's an all-too-common feature of the ebook review copies I see. It does not well-handle files that are anything other than plain vanilla with regard to formatting. I suspect that's what happened here. Additionally, there was a confused mix up of notes and text:
There's nothing wrong with being the fat girl on the plane. soScottsdale [[New Post>Title: We're SoReady for an Early Look at GM Creator: Cookie Vonn [contributor] Okay Scottsdale,
"remember Fairy Falls?" FAT GIRL ON A PLANE 31 I snort. Of course I do."
The book title and page number from the page header is embedded in the text there. The impression I had was that this book was designed for a print version without a thought being given to how the ebook looked. I know ebooks often sell at rock-bottom prices thanks to Amazon, which seems to share the public's view that books ought to be valued by weight, not quality, and ebooks, being the lightest of all should be also the cheapest of all. It evidently also likes its overseas contract workers to get rock-bottom pay, but that doesn't mean readers want rock-bottom quality! Another example is that conversations which should have been separated by a line feed and a carriage return are run together on one line: "What kind of questions?" he says, his eyes narrowing. "I plan to have them ready for you on Sunday at 2:00 p.m."
Hopefully those issues will be resolved before this book hits final publication.
Final there's the cover and the book blurb. These are not on the author (unless they self-publish and design their own covers), but they don't help a book when they're profoundly dumb. The blurb is predictably idiotic, as far too many of them are. I have no time for book blurbs that end with a question so numbingly dumb that only a complete, utter, and lifelong dedicated moron could not get the right answer: "Will she realize that she's always had the power to make her own dreams come true?"

Now just what, I wonder, is the answer to that question? Do book publishers want us to think they believe readers are idiots? Because that's what they do when they ask brain-dead questions like that in the blurb and far too many books, especially ones aimed at female readers it would seem, do this. Do publishers think female readers are dumber than male readers? I sure don't, but maybe the only way to prove that would be for women to boycott all books where the blurb asks a dumb question at the end?!

I don't normally talk about book covers, except on occasion to point out how, as is the case here, the cover designer clearly has no clue what's in the novel - or is simply clueless period. The silhouetted girl on the cover isn't remotely fat. She's not even what might be uncharitably called "big boned" - she's normal and ordinary - that is, she looks at first glance to be a healthy height and weight (healthy that is by realistic standards not by asinine anorexic standards of Hollywood and the fashion industry). So is this supposed to be Cookie after she lost weight, and why do we see only that rather than both, or just the Cookie of the past? Doesn't this make the book's very cover a form of fat-shaming?

I wish the author all the best with her writing career, but it's for the reasons outlined that I cannot recommend this book.
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I absolutely loved this debut gem of a novel!!!! As a person who's been plus sized my entire life, this is a book I needed and craved when I was younger. And it begins with the main character being singled out for needing more room on her airplane seat and then subsequently embarrassed by a callous, bitchy fellow passenger. The whole thing is mortifying and right then and there, I was on board, pun intended, with Cookie Vonn's emotional roller coaster.

Cookie (yes, that's her name) Vonn has always lived in the shadow of her beautiful model mother. One who cared more about her own career and life than that of her daughter. Because of the rocky relationship, Cookie is brought up by her grandmother, which was a relationship I probably loved the most in this book. We get the benefit of dual timelines, as this story switches from past to present, so we see the impact her grandmother had on Cookie's life and we're also introduced to Cookie's friendship with her childhood friend, Tommy - a friend she met at a fat camp one summer. 

Cookie makes a decision to go on a program similar to Weight Watchers and we get to experience Cookie's perspective and people's interactions with her both at her starting weight of 330 lbs (or the "fat" chapters) and after she loses close to 100 lbs (the "skinny" chapters). And the best part? Cookie loves fashion! And nothing is spared as she champions for clothing lines to make clothes for women of bigger sizes and makes the argument that there isn't much difference - at least for someone who has the talent to construct clothes, which she does. And she especially gets the chance to prove it when she's able to work alongside Gareth Miller, her fashion icon and someone who might just improve her chances to getting into Parsons School of Design. (I won't say much more than that because Gareth becomes the foil to Cookie's metamorphosis.)

Cookie loves fashion and clothes and blogs about it but her life changes when she does lose the weight. Not because she does anything different, but because the world now perceives her differently (which is a great societal take on the way fat women are perceived, including in the fashion world). I'm happy to see that a lot of this is changing and that bigger women have more choices, in both choices for clothes and for themselves, as people. It's such an uplifting book and I loved everything about it, especially the humor! Kelly deVos is absolutely hilarious and I can't wait to read what she has in store for us next.
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Summary: Aspiring fashion designer and blogger, Cookie Vonn, used to be "the fat girl on a plane" until she signs up for NutriNation and begins shedding the pounds in the hope that her life will change for the better. Her dream is to attend the prestigious Parsons School of Design so she can become the designer who makes clothes for the plus-size community.  As fate would have it, she ends up working as an intern for world-famous designer, Gareth Miller, who begins to open fashion doors and more for Cookie. But, as Cookie soon starts to see, what's on the outside doesn't necessarily dictate someone's level of happiness.

Mrs. Theander's opinion: This book was just okay. To start with Cookie, she was just alright as a protagonist. I read a ton of young adult books (pretty much all I read) and I know that a lot of these young characters might not necessarily see something that is staring them in the face while the reader does. And, normally, it doesn't bother me. But Cookie did. She was so adamant about not being like her mother and not following in her mother's footsteps, especially in relation to Gareth, and yet... what does she do? And the reader can see this the ENTIRE time. Speaking of, there were a few sexual encounters that seemed ... like I was reading a bad paragraph from "Fifty Shades of Gray." Just bad writing. Either write these scenes better (and make this more of a high school/adult fiction book) or just leave them out entirely. 

I also wasn't impressed with the before/after-the-diet structure of the book. Sometimes it could be a tad bit confusing to keep being thrown back and forth when it's unnecessary. I am curious as to why the author chose to do this. My guess is that she's trying to connect the fact that Cookie's life before the diet was about the same, or even better, than her life after. But why not write this in a linear fashion? 

I do praise how the romance story played out. Not every story has a happy ending!

I just don't think I'll recommend it to my students because they are only 13 years old and the sexual scenes are a touch "too adult" for me to have it in my classroom.
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This novel just didn't do it for me on a personal level or as someone who teaches Adolescent Literature.  I'm just not into fashion.  I can see how many readers will love this book, but I'm just not that person.  The two identities as Fat and Skinny grew wearisome for me.  Since the connecting theme was fashion, I simply had a hard time connecting.  To some degree, I was relieved it wasn't overly personal.  I did appreciate the witty banters and cynicism.
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This book was so empowering, especially for people who deal with self-esteem issues over the size of their body. The main character goes on a journey exploring herself and making decisions about the way she looks, but doe so for herself, not society. It was so good!
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Fat Girl on a Plane is both the title of Kelly DeVos’s debut novel and the defining moment in its heroine’s life. Cookie Vonn is a 17-year-old blogger on her way to NYC to preview a fashion collection and, hopefully, get a scholarship to Parson’s School of Design.  Except that she needs to change planes in Chicago, at which point the gate agent makes a visual assessment and decides she needs to purchase a second seat. She hadn’t been assigned two seats on her original flight so she is understandable upset. Even more so because the additional ticket will cost her $650. This incident becomes the jumping off point for the novel and Cookie’s decision to change her life.

In case you were wondering, Cookie fully appreciates the irony of her name, which is made even more heinous by her mother being a world-famous model. To top it off, her passion is for fashion, but she’s a talented young designer in a world where anything over size 8 does not warrant attention. The humiliation of the flight to NYC galvanizes her to try a weight loss program. Two years later she has achieved her weight goal, is working with her favorite designer, Gareth Miller, to create a plus size capsule collection, and they’re dating. It seems as if losing weight has brought her all her dreams, but, if so, why isn’t she happier?

I don’t read a lot of young adult fiction, but I’m always interested in seeing how the genre approaches important subjects. With such a provocative title and opening scene, it’s clear DeVos isn’t going to shy away from the complexities of weight in modern-day America. Fat Girl on a Plane is written as a diary, but rather than dates, Cookie delineates her story into Fat or Skinny, further driving the novel’s point home. At the same time, this is a story about a young woman with a lot of other issues—an absent mother, no father figure, and everything else that goes along with being a teenager.

What this means is, that although DeVos’s handling of Cookie’s weight issues feels adult, the overall tone of Fat Girl on a Plane fits with a young adult audience. If I were a teenager I might have found the relationship aspects of the novel (a 31-year-old world famous designer falling for a 19-year-old school girl) to be plausible and exciting, but instead it came off as an odd mix of wooden, syrupy and unrealistic. It isn’t enough to spoil the novel for older readers, because DeVos does such a great job writing about fashion, design, and the general awfulness that comes with being a teen, but it does keep it in the light reading zone. A good, fun vacation book.
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This was a very opening book. It provided a point of view which I do not think that many people consider when going about their daily lives or when travelling.  It also dealt with insecurities people face no matter their size or what they look like, or how other people may react to people of all shapes and sizes. I did like the book was about the fashion industry and this shows that not every one has to be a skinny stick figure.  It is a book which a lot of people may relate to and be able to enjoy. The main character was a little bit hard to sympathize with, mainly due to her attitude.
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I really enjoyed this book and to be honest, even though it is about coming to terms with one's body without shame, this book actually got me interested in fashion again! I have an adult body and wear adult size clothes (meaning bigger than a size 0) and I am not always convinced that fashion is really interested in a woman my size. This book, however, got me back to looking at what is being done in the world of fashion and how the fashion world is very slowly reconsidering its view on what a woman's body should look like. I know this book is written about a young girl grappling with her anger towards her parents and her loathing for her mother, but the fashion element was the big take away for me personally. The other stuff didn't interest me in the slightest and didn't really seem to move the story along at all. 

This was a reasonably quick read as you do get drawn into the main characters journey and her creative spirit. I recommend it for a nice beach or a winter fireplace read.
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3.5/5 Stars.

[ I liked this book. I felt like the author was able to address a lot of the insecurities that bigger people face. I also liked the fact that fashion was brought into this story and let us embrace the fact that we don't have to be a size two to like look nice. Fashion is something that I don't usually read about, so I learned a lot about that subject!

Some things that were problematic for me were the fact that our main character, Cookie, was not a likable character. I was waiting throughout the whole story for her character arc. It did shift, but I didn't feel like it was executed well as the very last page was the turning point. I also felt like the author had a personal vendetta for thin people as in this novel, all the thin people were jerks. I mean, don't get me wrong; I understand the need for this particular character in the story, but truly every thin person was somehow a "mean girl" and the only people that were nice were either also fat, or somehow a respected authority figure (her professor...although her weight wasn't something I can remember). For a novel about acceptance and inclusivity, I felt like the author excluded a whole group of people and judged them based on their looks...hypocritical if you ask me. (hide spoiler)]

All in all, I do think this book deserves the 3.5 stars as it sheds light on the fact that our society views those of us who may be bigger than the average size fashion designers create clothing for, as less than those who can wear a size two. I hope to see more novels in this genre. I feel this book didn't execute it as well as I would hope, but it did well enough to get me talking. 

I recommend this to anyone YA and up.
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(arc provided by netgalley)

THIS BOOK. wow. My very first impressions of this book were so negative and I had no idea how the end of my reading experience would leave me but i'm glad I got to the end because... I think this book tells an extremely unique story, one that could potentially help a lot of people. 

The thing that immediately threw me off from the start is that this is a book (one of very few in trad publishing) that has fat representation. And I did not end up seeing myself in the main character, Cookie Vonn. That was the initial sting and that's what made me have this knee-jerk rejection to a story that I don't relate to. It's completely NOT valid to criticize and own voices narrative based on variation of personal experience. It IS valid to feel disappointment in not being represented. This aspect of reading almost tore me in two at times and did linger in my head the whole time trying to taint my thoughts. It's just the downside of not having much rep to point to and feel comforted by, which is completely how I regard fat rep. So, to not fully connect with Cookie was a disappointment for me but I value her characterization, her flaws, her successes, and her passions so much that everything was worth it in the end.

Another thing that really unnerved me right from the start was that the narrative goes back and forth between Cookie when she's fat and Cookie when she's skinny. This made me soooooo uncomfortable in the beginning because I just thought, "What's the point of giving a whole half of this book to a skinny perspective when I thought it was supposed to be some ground breaking fat positive novel?" I was, honestly, hurt. Many times I thought "why can't this whole story just exist and expand for Cookie without her losing weight at all?" SO MANY QUESTIONS. SO MUCH WONDERING WHY IT HAD TO BE THIS WAY. The split narrative actually ended up being one of my favourite things about the book. The way Cookie's fat and skinny paths converge at the end was done beautifully and it was a HAPPY ending. 

This book is so well written. It's heartbreaking and raw and fun and it pulled me into this world of fashion that i've honestly never felt connected to in the slightest. I really could care less about the technicalities of the fashion industry in real life, but the book made me care so much. Cookie's passion and ambition is contagious. I found that Cookie' herself is a really well-rounded (lol) and likeable character. She knows what she wants, and even more admirable, she knows what she deserves. I love Cookie because, even when people tell her to basically ALWAYS be the bigger person and take the poor treatment thats always shown to her, she has this immense amount of self respect. Exercising her self respect might make her appear to be a mean bitch but it's not the truth. As a fat girl, she's expected to take the barest amount of decency and kindness shown to her as well as the excess amount of harassment and dehumanization. Cookie sees this imbalance and even if the people around her don't always treat her fairly, she does her best to maintain the relationships that she needs in her life. It's all a give and take process just trying to make the best out of a shitty situation which is really realistic. 

The romance in this book was .... QUESTIONABLE. Gareth Miller, one of the biggest names in fashion, and mentor to cookie, is such a big asshole i'm not sure what the little pieces of redemption in his character are really worth. The best I can describe the romantic subplot of FGOAP is that I did like it but I probably shouldn't have and I definitely didn't want to! The banter between Cookie and Gareth was great- the way Gareth sweet talks is I guess what got me to tolerate him just like it did to Cookie. Their relationship actually does have some really sweet moments but the DYNAMIC is all wrong... he's her employer.... and there's a 10+ yr age gap.... it's gross. 

Honestly. This book pulled me in so many different directions that it's really hard to write this review. I just know, in the end, i'm glad I read it. It moved me to think about my fatness in different ways. Cookie is a fucking badass who has to go through so much bad shit and comes out the other side a giver of no fucks with just one goal: to live life exactly how she wants to, to be happy.
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My thoughts on Kelly DeVos' Fat Girl on a Plane are complicated at best. I went into this book really wanting to love it; for a long time, I avoided reading anything that had a fat protagonist, because I didn't want to face the same things that I deal with every day of my life in a fictional book. Over the last year or so, that's changed, and I've started picking up more books with fat characters. I've started demanding better fat representation in comics. I've started following more fat influencers on social media and being more vocal about my own experiences as a fat person in my writing and on social media.

So I really wanted to love Fat Girl on a Plane. The story follows Cookie Vonn, an up-and-coming fashion blogger who believes that losing weight will give her the life she's always wanted. For a while, that seems to be true: she goes on a Weight Watchers-style diet, drops her dress size, and gets the opportunity of a lifetime to design a plus-size capsule collection with the biggest name in fashion. Along the way, there's a lot of friends and family drama, as well as her first romance, and she discovers that being thin isn't the key to having the life she wants, though it takes her quite a while to get there.

Fat Girl on a Plane is told through two timelines, labeled as "Fat" and "Skinny", with a day beside them to indicate how long Cookie has been on her diet plan at any given point in the story. I've seen a number of reviewers say that this is one of the book's biggest failings, but I disagree. I think concurrent timelines can be really effective, and I think DeVos demonstrates a solid understanding of how to work the story that she wants to tell into this framework.

The overall story, in fact, is okay. It's not great; I think there is far better fat representation in young adult fiction right now and that there is room for more. I also think that the story DeVos said she wanted to tell in her author's note is not actually the one she ended up telling. That happens. Stories run away with us and end up somewhere different than we expected. But while I see why everyone has been so critical of how fat is represented in this book, my issues don't really lie there.

Here's a brief overview of what I took issue with in Fat Girl on a Plane:

1. Gareth Miller. Cookie worships him in his role as a fashion icon, but when she actually meets him, she is utterly turned off by his comments about fat people. She finds him smarmy and unlikeable, although she does acknowledge that he's very physically attractive. However, her issues with his personality are pushed aside as soon as he demonstrably wants to have sex with her, and their relationship dominates most of the book.

Gareth is at times downright abusive in how inconsiderate he is of Cookie's feelings and ambitions; he's controlling, he's disrespectful, and he has no capacity for humility. He angers easily and makes Cookie believe that she needs him to succeed, something that blows up in her face when his bottom line is threatened by the fat people he very clearly expresses his disdain for in the first thirty seconds of their first meeting.

Why was it necessary for this relationship to be a romance? There was no tension, no build-up, no believable chemistry; Cookie's feelings toward Gareth were so compulsively heterosexual that I nearly gagged. The story would have worked better with these two in an antagonistic, strictly professional relationship — especially because Cookie is just 19 years old, has never been with anyone, and is given no time to process how she feels about suddenly jumping into a very public, very sexual relationship with a man who's more than a decade her senior (and known for using and discarding women, to the point that Cookie has to sign a document agreeing not to trash his name if they have a sexual relationship that goes sour).

2. The unnecessary skinny/fat girl drama between Cookie and Kennes. The overall thesis of this book is that fashion doesn't care about fat bodies, but it does care about fat wallets. That's absolutely true. Fashion brands want applause for doing a minimal amount of work by featuring size 14 models in one campaign per year, but won't offer anything above a size 16 (and if they do, they charge twice as much for it) — forcing us to shop for accessories while our thin friends frolic through stores at the mall trying on something from every rack.

Tension between fat and skinny people, especially in fashion, absolutely exists. But to create an unnecessary love triangle between Cookie, Kennes, and Tommy felt formulaic, predictable, and honestly just kind of shitty. I would have rather seen Cookie's relationship with Piper develop more (why was her abusive boyfriend situation never resolved? Furthermore, why did Piper never call out how controlling Gareth was? Why weren't Cookie and Piper just fat, fashionable lesbians in love?) or witnessed Cookie and Kennes actually learning how to work together. I'm tired of mean girl drama. I know it happens, but when it's as over the top and predictable as it was in this novel, it just feels like another attempt to show just how fucked up the world is for fat folx.

We know. There were better, less focused ways to go about representing fat hate from skinny people that didn't dominate the entire book or present a love triangle that felt forced and awkward.

3. The ending. There were so many opportunities for Cookie to see things for what they really were well before she actually did, and it felt like DeVos undermined her intelligence and her observational skills by not trusting Cookie to do so. Her impassioned blog post was good, but felt trite after everything, and her speech to Tommy was even less evocative. I left this book feeling pretty deflated, not only because I had to force myself to keep reading once Cookie and Gareth started sleeping together but because the ending I hoped for just didn't come to fruition.

Authors, please trust your characters. How will your readers trust them if you don't?

Like I said, I really wanted to love Fat Girl on a Plane. It's why I kept reading even after I felt like I should stop. I can't say that I'm glad I finished, and that kind of sucks. I want to support the work of other fat people and encourage you to do so, too. This book, unfortunately, just didn't work for me. Were it reframed with a better overall arc and more believable tension between the characters, I would have enjoyed it a helluva lot more.

Have you read Fat Girl on a Plane? Did you enjoy it? Do you plan on reading it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! I'd love to discuss this book more, especially with my fat readers.

Overall rating: ★★½
Recommended for: N/A
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While I very much thank the publisher for the approval on this title, it was unfortunately not a good fit for me. I did, however, add it to Goodreads, so that others may see it and find it more in line with their tastes.
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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Books about plus sized girls appeal to me. I am a plus sized girl, and I like to read a story and relate. I can relate to having to ask for a seat belt extender on a plane, which in case you're wondering is one of the most embarrassing things I've ever had to do. 
Cookie is a great character. She's relatable: she's plus sized, she's angry, and she pushes people away. Basically she's me. 
I really enjoyed this book. I raced through it, and I was scared of how it would end, but it did not disappoint in the end. That being said, I had a hatred for almost every single character. The one person I thought I would really like in the beginning let me down the most, and really let Cookie down... Basically everyone ended up letting her down, but she overcame. Love this book!
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I was really excited to read this book because it was a book that didn’t have a cute skinny quirky girl as the main character. Instead we get this cute fat girl named cookie. 

This book is told in two different timelines which I thought might get a little confusing but it was really well done. The first timeline is told when she is still fat while the second one is told when she is skinny. This book did a really good job at showing how easy it is to lose track of what you really want. How you think one thing will be the answer to all your problems when in reality it’s not what you really needed. The journey we see Cookie go on was really amazing. The amount of character growth she went through was great. 

I did find the book to be fairly slow and couldn’t really get into it until over halfway. I also didn’t like any of the characters until almost the very end of the book. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had waited until I was more in the mood for it but in the end I still liked it. 

Overall this book was okay. Had the characters been more likeable I probably would have given this book a higher rating.
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Cookie has grown up in the fashion industry. Her mother is a model and she wants to design clothes. However, Cookie has grown up as a fat girl, which makes her the pariah of fashion.  She has devoted herself to creating plus size clothes and going to the best fashion colleges. Even though Cookie seems confident, her perception of her body image create many challenges. She has fallen in love with her best friend, who has fallen for Cookie’s arch enemy. Cookie decides to change her weight to make herself more acceptable and better able to succeed. Flash forward several years, where Cookie is a skinny up-and-coming fashion designer, working with one of her fashion icons. She has a romantic affair with this icon and as a result is forced to face hard truths about body image.
This novel follows two tracks, both of Cookie then and now. I had a difficult time with this book. The characters weren’t likeable and several of the comments were borderline offensive. However, the author provides an honest look into the life of a heavy person in America. While this isn’t my favorite novel, I will fully support it because I would like to support more voices like DeVos. 

This novel will appeal to the new adult population because it is a bit beyond the YA population.
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PROS:
The author states in her Author’s Note that the premise of this book was based after one of her own real-life experiences, so definitely a true #OwnVoices experience. The emotions felt raw and real, almost like I was reading the diary of a close friend. Sometimes even the pages from my own diary. Not everything was perfect, but when it was relateable…damn. It was RELATEABLE.
Cookie’s a fashion designer. A good one. And it seriously shows in the writing. I admit, even though I like fashion, I know very little in the way of designers and the name of specific stitches and the like, so at times I was a little lost when she was describing different garments. But even so, it really helped add to the authenticity of her voice, and I loved that!
Cookie’s Grandma is AWESOME! And she felt like a real Grandma to-she watched Jeapordy, sewed dresses, and threw her granddaughter cheesy, cheap parties with streamers at the church. But most importantly, she knew exactly what she was talking about. Seriously. Love this woman. And we should all go hug our Grandmas.
CONS:
Yes, in a book all about a fat girl’s experience with being both fat and thin, we’re bound to get into some language revolving around food and numbers. This is to be expected. However, I feel I should mention that for anyone with even a little bit of food or weight-related triggers, just to be aware that it gets to be a little intense at times. Okay. Maybe not intense for most people. Not even most people with mild food issues. But I definitely started feeling a bit anxious about the whole thing after a while.
Every conventionally good-looking girl is a Witch. I’ve run into my fair share of cruel and judgemental pretty thin girls. Trust me. I’m all too aware they exist and I don’t generally mind the trope of using them. But when EVERY thin, gorgeous girl is hateful and shallow? Yeah. That’s too much. Because on the flip side I also know a lot of super beautiful women who are equal parts kind, intelligent and authentic. And it’s okay to write about them too.
OTHER:
I had a difficult time understanding Cookie’s personality. For about 70% of the time I totally jived with her, I understood when she was angry, sympathized when she sad or hurt or lashed out. She felt like a real person, messy but ultimately someone I wanted to get to know more. But then that other 30% of the time…I just couldn’t figure her out. She seemed to act so at odds with everything else about what she believed in or talked about and it all felt a little off.
This definitely felt more like a New Adult book than Young Adult. Cookie’s 19, and already making huge steps in achieving her dreams as a fashion designer. That’s fantastic and all, but she seemed to fit quite well into the world of full-fledged adults, which at times made me forget that she was barely out of her teen years. I’m not saying teens can’t be mature, or don’t make decisions for their future careers, but at times it sometimes felt like a little bit too much, too fast. Of course, I know this is fiction, and without these events, there’d be no story, so maybe I’m just being overly picky?
The relationships were uncomfortable. I suppose, in some aspects, that was the point? But after a while, it really hit home how unhealthy they all were. Yes, even from Cookie’s end of things.
The ending felt rushed. Don’t get me wrong, generally speaking, I liked the ending. I liked the message and the character growth and the slight twist. But I just wanted MORE of it, you know? It almost felt a little unrealistic because things sort of flipped a little too quickly and I think it all might have been a little more powerful if it was drawn out more.
Final thoughts…
All in all, a quirky, unique book with an interesting message. If you’re looking for a cute, fluffy romance then look elsewhere. I’m not a big fan of contemporaries, and I think the fact that is all felt a little more raw is what drew me to it so much.
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My original review can be seen on my Goodreads.

This book is the perfect mix of body positivity, feminism, bold characters, and an honest look at the fashion industry. I didn't even know I needed all of that, but it delivered in a mere three hundred pages. Kelly deVos' debut novel sparkles and liberates all at once.

I came for the body positivity and I left with even more empowerment. I think women of all sizes will find so much truth in Cookie's story, but plus size women in particular will identify. I myself am a small size but I recognize the horrors of the fashion industry with women of a larger size. I have many friends and some family who would not fit into most of the clothes on the mannequins, and I wish Cookie's clothing was real so I can buy them plus size pieces that would feel amazing in. I want to read Cookie's blog and get her advice on my own book blog. We could blend our passions and become a force! Just make Cookie real is all I'm asking.

While I completely fell head over heels for Cookie's voice and sass, I really disliked just about every other character. Their purposes in the story were important, albeit painful to read. deVos does craft highly complex characters well though. The grandmother and Father Tim were probably my favorites, but they felt more two dimensional than three dimensional. And the relationships make me want to puke toxicity. I had horrible flashbacks to Christian Grey from Fifty Shades, and that's just from internet knowledge and glimpses of the trailer. Cookie and Gareth's relationship was completely driven by sex appeal and instalove, and I hated every second of his facial hair controlling Cookie's ambition. And speaking of Cookie's ambition, she is a total Slytherin, and I am here for it.

A definite must read. It didn't feel as much like a YA, especially since only one of the timelines is she in high school and we see more of the present day timeline. I personally found them a bit confusing, but transitioning wasn't difficult. It was the characters, and how their relationships stood with each other. The ending soared for me, and the college lifestyle brought me joy. I love books set in college that aren't new adult. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for sending me an eARC to read, free of bias.
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