Cover Image: Fat Girl on a Plane

Fat Girl on a Plane

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One of my most-anticipated YA reads for the summer! This is a great read for the summer and I loved this story, its characters, and the writing! Highly recommend this to lovers of YA fiction!
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I just couldn't get into this. The side-by-side storylines, one of Cookie fat and one of Cookie skinny, was confusing to me and I was having a hard time keeping things straight. That's not really my main issue though. I just *could not* get around Cookie's personality/attitude. She's seriously a bad person. Bossy, pushy, and none of these in a good way. Plus, she's got this weird relationship with the designer, who's like 15 years her senior. She's simultaneously stating how parts of him are so handsome but she's intentionally making him uncomfortable and telling us how he's such an asshole. That's so incredibly confusing and emotionally manipulative!
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Note: After sitting on this awhile I decided to change my rating to 3 stars. I do think the relationship with her boss is very problematic. I also have mixed feelings about the way that dieting was portrayed. I have been seeing some people say that this book is quite triggering, so be warned there is a lot of detailed talk of dieting. She follows a program that is essentially Weight Watchers which I'm pretty familiar with. 

This is a book that started out really strong, was kind of disappointing partway through, and then somewhat redeemed itself at the end. I landed at 4 stars, but I have somewhat conflicted feelings about this book. The concept is fantastic. Fat Girl on a Plane follows the main character Cookie Vonn during two different time periods- one where she is fat, and one after she has lost a huge amount of weight. It does a great job of exploring how people are treated differently based on their size, our cultural prejudice toward fat women, and the complicated relationships we can have with our bodies, food, clothes, dieting etc. I loved all of that.

But. Cookie desperately wants to get into fashion and is a very talented designer. In her "skinny" timeline, she connects with this famous designer who wouldn't have given her the time of day when she was fat. He very quickly starts coming on to her, despite the fact that she is only 19, and she seems to recognize that he is a complete jerk and that going for it is a bad idea. But she does anyway, and I just wanted to scream. Because I was coming to love this brash, snarky heroine who doesn't take shit from anyone. And then she decides to sleep with her much older boss/mentor who is a jerk and super sleazy, not to mention how inappropriate that is as a working relationship. So yeah, I really hated the turn that took. 

Meanwhile, she still has feelings for her childhood BFF Tommy who (in the "fat" timeline) begins dating this awful, mean girl. And Cookie is kind of demonized for not putting up with her crap. We also get a lot of talk of how Cookie should take the high road by not addressing anything and letting it blow over. Which she doesn't do, but the message seems to be that she should have. Which I disagree with, so I kind of loved seeing her not let people get away with being mean-spirited. (was I supposed to feel that way? I kind of think not.) But then the ending wrapped things up pretty well in ways I liked and the overall message was a good one.

So, I still don't know exactly how I feel about this book. I loved many things about it SO much. Most of the time I loved Cookie as a character too. Except for her idiotic decision to sleep with her boss. *sigh* Curious to see what everyone thinks, but there was a lot to like here! I freely agreed to review an early copy of this book through NetGalley.
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So, at 30%, I just can't go on with this book. It needs to go to the time-out corner where it can't bother anybody else. The MC, Cookie Vonn, is at times TSTL, WAY too Annoying to live, snobbish, rude, vain, detestable, and hypocritical, all while being the Mary Sue of her own novel. No effing thank you. The only good thing about her characterisation is that she's horrible no matter how much she weighs - way to be consistent!

Full review on GR: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2222405248?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
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I’m sorry. You are too fat to fly today. You need to purchase an extra seat, and unfortunately, there are no other seats available. Granted, you could not purchase this seat in advance and are at the mercy of the gate counter. Public humiliation times a million, anyone?! Plus, if you don’t get on, you have to explain to your job why you missed the most talked about fashion show this year. Then imagine getting on the plane, after begging your best friend for cash to buy a suddenly open seat, and having to hold a reserved sign next you. People stop and ask for your second seat. To make matters worse, the flight oversells. Now one of your skinny, beautiful, and viciously mean classmates wants the seat you paid for.   The flight attendants decide you aren’t that fat, as onlookers sneer in disgust. What do you do? Give up your paid-for additional seat that you were shamed into buying? Or say, “Screw you, I’ve had it.” This scenario is how Kelly deVos begins her Harlequin Teen debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, a new inspirational book for teen girls.



Meet Cookie, A Young Woman With An Ironic Name And Loads Of Fashion Talent


Told in dual timelines, we meet two versions of our protagonist: 337-pound Cookie and a Cookie who has dropped nearly 200 pounds, now resembling her fashion model mother. The heavier Cookie dreams of attending Parsons, a college she deems as the best around for clothing design. This Cookie is also in love with her best friend, who chooses to date a spoiled, snobby, and of course, skinner girl, Kennes. Kennes has not only taken Cookie’s man, but in that ill-fated plane scenario, also scores her fashion show seat. Keenes helps destroy Cookie’s SoScottsdale! blogging career and remains her arch-nemesis throughout the novel.

337-pound Cookie also scapegoats her crappy parents for her weight issues and all of life’s problems. Luckily, Cookie has her smart and caring—but broke—grandmother to care for her. Lets be real, here: Cookie’s parents blow donut chunks. Her mother is a dried up, vapid, cheating, and selfish fashion model. Her father, an escapist with a huge Africa savior complex and martyr status in the doctor community, has been MIA for years. Any teen would be hurt and angry. Cookie does not let this dysfunctional family obliterate her weight and fashion goals, though.

Skinner Cookie is a teenager still trying to find herself. Unable to afford Parsons, she attends the community college with a solid fashion program. Showing great promise, we know from Day 1 Cookie will make it—and she believes it too. While successfully and healthfully loosing weight, Cookie scores a new blog with a full sponsorship. Does weight loss make Cookie happier or more successful?


Hunky Fashion Mogul Takes On Plus Size Fashion, Well…..


This could be the next headline for Cookie’s new blog, Roundish. Cookie’s luck changes with her idol and soon to be romancer, Gareth Miller. Miller tanks his latest fashion show, which is a real uninspired snoozer. In an effort to offset costs and regain his popularity, Gareth and Cookie work together to create a fashion line for larger women, especially since his largest size is an 8.

As Cookie works to change Gareth’s perception of the plus-size world, she falls deeper in awe of sexy Gareth and becomes entrapped in his fancy world—not all of the lust is insincere. During this golden opportunity, Cookie must decide whether she wants to stay in NYC with her new man (is he really hers?) and attend her dream school or go back home and continue on her own path. Her college role model and grandmother certainly have smart opinions.

With an abrupt but not unforeseen change in the last 30 pages, Cookie’s world is forced into a no-brainer decision. Because I felt so enamored and emotionally connected to Cookie, the end left with me questions. I am not sure I am satisfied. I may have written a different ending, or maybe that’s just what I personally hoped for. Readers, I would love to know your thoughts if you read Fat Girl on a Plane.



The Perfect Well-Roundish New inspirational Book For Teen Girls


I spent my weekend devouring Fat Girl on a Plane, and now that it is over, I feel a little lost. Can we please have a Cookie sequel? Can Gareth comeback so we can further examine his being? Tommy, I am SO freaking mad at you, still.

If you are looking for a modern and relevant book about growing up overweight, especially in relation to the judgmental fashion industry, this title is for you. As deVos repeatedly emphasizes, fashion despises fat. This prejudice is a barrier Cookie must fight to overcome in high school and college in order to succeed with her fashionista career goals. Cookie lets nothing stop her.

As a new inspirational book for teen girls, I cheered along for Cookie as she lost weight on her own terms and also made her mark in the world of high end fashion. With the goal to create clothes for everyone, regardless of shape or size, Cookie successfully fights her way through love and friendship while coming into her own. Well-written and engaging, deVos nailed this book.

As a millennial working in the blogging world of sponsorships, I loved the added touch of Cookie’s site, Roundish. Tackling dysfunctional families and weight, deVos addresses many issues and fully fleshes them out for readers. I personally would not criticize deVos’ accuracy but I am interested to see the opinions that come out—obesity and weight are sensitive topics. I am looking forward to deVos’ future work.

You can order a copy of Fat Girl On A Plane on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. 

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos [Harlequin Teen 2018]
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Being plus sized myself, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I haven't yet read any of the other body positive YAs out there. Contemporary isn't my usual genre of choice, so I'll use that as my excuse. That being said, I'll have to pick up more of them because Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos was a fantastic read for me! 

Cookie Vonn's story is told from two perspectives, Fat and Skinny. We follow cookie through her life journey, not only with weight loss but following her dream of becoming a fashion designer. From the fat perspective, we are shown the struggles of being overweight in our current culture. We follow Cookie though her senior year of high school, fighting to find her footing in an industry that seems, at best, to ignore the existence of fat people and, at worst, actively hate them. We also get to see her effort to lose weight and how much of a struggle it truly can be. From the skinny perspective, two years later, Cookie seems to be getting everything she's ever dreamed of. But cookie learns that being thin and beautiful doesn't automatically make you happy, confident, and successful. 

I have read many responses to this book, and criticisms seem to come from the fact that Fat Girl on a Plane is not gung-ho about the body-pos message when Cookie is overweight. She has negative thoughts about herself and feels insecure. As an admittedly overweight reader, this felt real to me. No matter how many books are published about unabashedly plus sized protagonists who never hate the way they look, the reality is that some plus size woman will still have negative thoughts and will still be the butt of jokes and will still want to change. I think the message in this book is that size doesn't define you. Fat or skinny, you're still the same person. Losing weight won't make your dreams come true, you will, through hard work and determination. I think that this is a great message to send to teens. It's ok to love yourself, fat or skinny, but it's ok to want to change too, just don't expect that one change to do all the work for you in every other area of your life. 

Overall, this was a fun and touching read. I definitely recommend it to lovers of YA contemporary. Look for it available for sale on June 5th! 

**Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my unbiased review**
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I read an ARC of this. It was fun to read overall, but I have really mixed feelings in retrospect.

What works:
The fact that the narrative alternates between before/during and after Cookie's weight loss.
Grandma <3
Fat protagonist... this is trick to do right, and is sometimes done with overkill, but I think deVos really captured it well.
The settings! All three major locations where the book takes place are described well; they really come alive off the page.

What doesn't work:
The setup reminds me far too much of a 50 Shades of Grey knockoff (narrator meets rich man because she's interviewing him).
The final blog post feels tacked on, a la "the moral of the story is..."
Too many formulaic aspects in the high school/ flashback section.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I loved this so much! The story was charming and delightful, the writing was great, and overall it was just lovely.
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This is going to be a truly difficult review to write for me. Lately, I have needed this genre just to remind myself that I am wonderful just the way I am and had I read the synopsis for this book a little closer, I would have found that it wasn't written the way I expected. One thing that bothered me was the two different timelines and how they were labeled. I took some getting used to, but I managed after a while.

Please don't get me wrong -this was a wonderful book but not, perhaps, for the truly heavy woman (or man) who really loves themselves as they are. Most books of this genre do have to deal with the love/hate relationship of the fat body...it is not something easily written, a fine line the author has to walk. And there lies the issue (mine) with this book -the heroine believes that her life will change and she will get everything she ever wanted if she just lost weight.

There are the usual stereotypes in this novel -the missing father, the high fashion model mother who abandons (for all intents and purposed her daughter) then uses her, the rich and perfect fat shamers at school and work, the regular fat-shamers, the boy that just couldn't speak his mind the best friend that lives half-way across the world and the man who used our heroine.

I did learn a LOT about the high fashion industry and how it does not want to deal with anyone over a size 8-12, I learned a lot about Claire McCardell (enough for me to learn more about her on my own).

What I did not like is the thought that Cookie (our protagonist) did diet and for what I felt are for the wrong things and I'm afraid that other younger girls are going to think the same way the heroine did. However, the reason I gave it a high rating is that Cookie did learn in the end not to care what other's thought and to learn to live life on her own terms.

It was a satisfying and interesting read for me---however, I would not recommend this book to anyone younger than high school (there is sex in this book).

*ARC supplied by the publisher.
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http://lowereastsidelibrarian.info/reviews/devos/fatgirlonaplane
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Oh how I adored Cookie! YA readers (of all ages!) will absolute devour this voicey, fierce, high-fashion fairytale. deVos' debut is a a delight.
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What a great book - I requested this one because I identify as a "fat girl," so I was elated to find a book that seemed to echo me! My priorities, my ideas, my struggles. I see so much of myself here in deVos's work. I recommend Fat Girl on a Plane to anyone who has wanted to chase dreams but felt the pull of anxiety and society's judgements at their ankles, sinking them down into the muck.
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Thank you for giving me the opertunity to read and review this book prior to its publication date. Do events in my personal life, unfortunately I will not able to read this book prior to the Publication date. When I initially asked to read the book I found the premise to be interesting. I am looking forward to the release of other titles in your upcoming publican catalog. I would love to have the oppertunity again to read future publication titles. Thank you for your generosity and the time you spent reviewing my request to read this book. 

I am required to give a star rating on netgally but will not be posting a review or giving a star rating for a book I have not read in its entirety on other patforms.
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Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy of "Fat Girl on a Plane" by Kelly deVos. 
I loved this book. I'm not what anyone would call a "fat girl," but I still related so well to the main character, Cookie, and her message for how women can transcend society's limited expectations of them rang so true for me. 
I thought this book would be cute and sweet, but it was powerful and awesome and really well-written. I loved that it wasn't about finding a man or losing weight or any of those things the world tells women they need to do to be happy--it was about Cookie discovering how to be happy for herself, just the way she was. She discovered the true worth that was inside her all along. 
She progressed in a really believable way and I liked the way deVos wove the back story or the "FAT" timeline in with the "SKINNY" timeline. It showed really clearly how losing weight did not solve her problems, but in a way amplified everything that was still going on wrong inside of her. We need so many more books like this one. 
My favorite line: "But the real weight that you carried around, that you're still carrying around, is the attitude that what is on the outside means more than what is on the inside. Lose that and you'll be happy." 
Also: "We need to be united in our opposition to mean-spirited shaming, to a culture that values physical beauty over human potential and to designers who profit from women even as they demean them." 
Everyone go read this book!
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I have such intensely mixed feelings about Fat Girl on a Plane.

The book centers around a girl named Cookie Vonn. And she is a girl, since she's between 17 and 19 for most of the book, though she reads as a 20-something young woman. Anyway, when you meet Cookie, she's very overweight. I think she's between 300 and 350 pounds at this time, and she's about to board her connecting flight to New York, where she will meet fashion icons and talk her way into a huge scholarship to Parsons (supposedly). Unfortunately, she's deemed "too fat to fly" before they even start boarding the plane, and is forced to buy another ticket. 

After you're introduced to Cookie, you meet... well, Cookie. But she's the Cookie of the near-future, who has dropped most of her weight and is now a size six somehow. She is also boarding a plane to New York, but this time she's in first class and riding next to a famous fashion designer. 

The rest of the story is told in alternating POV chapters, some from Cookie after she drops the weight and others from before. This format is a little strange, but it actually isn't too jarring or annoying, and it doesn't really read as "thin people's lives are so much better," which I was afraid of.

One the one hand, it was really well-written. The character arcs were well-done, the plot was mostly interesting, and the past/present perspectives actually worked well for me. 

On the other hand, there were some uncomfortable parts and some boring parts and the ending kind of left me feeling like there was no point to this book. 

Cookie's character is rife with flaws, in a good way. She's a very realistic young adult character who doesn't really know what she's doing and messes up some relationships on her way to success, which doesn't end up being as glamorous as she thinks. The supporting cast is also fairly realistic, and I genuinely enjoyed the author's character arcs. 

But, then again, Cookie's main love interest for most of the book is a middle-aged man. She is 19 at the time, and she loses her virginity to him. They get it on more than once. She lives with him for a long time, she depends on him for food, clothes, housing. She is literally at the mercy of a middle-aged man she is sleeping with. It's a little gross, honestly, and definitely doesn't seem right. 

Also, no spoilers, but the ending of this book really fell flat for me. I feel like the big, driving force keeping me interested was uncovering the parts of Cookie's before chapters that lead up to the after ones. The plot uncovering itself was a really dynamic way to write a story, but there wasn't really anything at the end. Cookie just sort of goes on this her life, and it ends.

Overall, I'd say this book was a solid 3.5, but since we don't do half-stars, I'm leaning toward a three. The reason I'm rounding down here instead of up lies mainly in the uninspiring ending and the weirdly uncomfortable love interest -- but I did really enjoy the writing style, and I hope I see more from Kelly deVos in the future.
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A book about a fat girl? Yes! This fat girl was so excited when NetGalley let me read the eARC of this book. I was so excited to hear about a fat but fashionable girl. That isn't what this book is really about. This book is about a girl who WAS fat and we do hear her voice for half of the story. Her voice telling us how she wants to be thin, and her accomplishments as she becomes thinner. This book shows all the ease that comes into her life once she loses weight. Is her life perfect? No. But, she definitely has more opportunities because of her new look, and while she realizes this she never calls anyone out on it. A romantic experience she has, she knows wouldn't have happened when she was fat but she accepts that instead of being annoyed that clearly the man likes her for her looks and not who she is. There is also a problematic relationships with age difference and power dynamics that makes it really uncomfortable. Overall this books was very disappointing.
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Cookie Vonn’s goal is to become the next great fashion designer, but unfortunately, being fat in fashion is a cardinal sin in Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos. To make matters worse, she is constantly being compared to her supermodel mother. When she scores a trip to New York to pitch her design portfolio, her plans are put on standby when she is deemed “too fat to fly.” She eventually makes it to New York but is a bit too late when she discovers she has been replaced with her skinny rival.

But even after losing the weight and her life beginning to take shape just how she always wanted it to, she’s not satisfied, and thus, she begins her journey of finding out if she has the power to make her own dreams come true.

In all honesty, I didn’t know that there was such a thing as being too fat to fly. Not because I am a skinny person and would never have to worry about it, but simply because I just didn’t know! Can’t say I do a lot of flying. Either way, the thought of someone having to go through that just hurts my soul. However, I can’t go into my rant on how the seats should be bigger anyway right now.

This book was a delight to read. It was told in two ways: through Cookie when she was losing weight and Cookie after she had lost the weight. You see her struggle with her body image, relationships, and trying to make a name for herself in an industry that is slow to keep up with body changes. However, this isn’t a story about weight loss. It’s a story about a woman trying to make great clothes for those who are often forgotten about in the clothing industry.

The journey is exciting and the story is all around fun, but it left me with so many questions. Could this be due to the fact that there will be a sequel? (I hope because I need answers) Or, maybe that is just where the story ends? This is a spoiler alert just in case you don’t want any specific details about the book. You can continue on the next paragraph for spoiler-free reading. I need to know where she leaves off with her parents. I want to know how the line she did with Gareth turned out. What was the reception? Sure, they were sold out, but how did the public react to the change in the show? What’s next? Surely not just school work. I need answers!

Overall, this is a great read for summer. It’s quick and easy to get through, and is a good YA novel to have on your shelf. I can’t wait to read more from Kelly! No, really, I cannot wait. I need those answers.
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I loved this book! Cookie Vonn is a high school senior who is overweight. She dreams of going to Parsons to become a fashion designer after college.

There are two timelines in the book. One begins when she’s just started to lose weight. The other is after the weight is lost and she starts into her design career and college. I couldn’t put this book down. Cookie is one you want to cheer for. Ultimately she loses 199 pounds and I loved watching her grow through the story.

Excellent story!
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4 stars

I think the first thing that needs to be said about this book is that I stayed up until almost 2 AM reading it in one sitting.

*nods sagely with weary, red eyes*

Yup. Something about this story was so addictive. But it wasn't like a trashy-sort of addictive, more like a I'm-so-taken-by-this-novel-I-can't-stop-reading sort of addictive. I did not put this down and I pushed through any sort of need to sleep to finish it as quickly as possible.

I picked it up and didn't set it down until I was completely finished.

For some reason, I found this novel to be extremely emotionally cathartic, in a way. I just really felt the whole novel and managed to relate to Cookie, even her life is very different than mine.

You don't need to be fat to read a book about a fat person, just like you don't need to be an alien to read a book about aliens. That's not how it works. I think everyone can relate to this, and not on the level of a skinny girl going "Oh my gosh, I look so fat in this!"

When reading this, you just really feel what Cookie is going through, both in the earlier timeline where she's dieting, and in the later timeline where she's trying to make a name for herself in fashion.

I like how DeVos emphasizes that even though Cookie goes through a lot of weight loss, this is not a weight loss story. This is not a book about how you should lose weight, but includes weight loss because it's an important part of Cookie's story, but it's not necessarily something that's always required.

I think Cookie really learns a lot in this book, and even in the "past" timeline, she learns a lot, although she certainly learns more in the "present" timeline.

I feel like the reason I took off a star is just some more technical errors. I feel like this book could have been a little more polished. In the past, I've seen some really awesome things done with the parallel, two-timeline narrative and was kind of hoping for a little more intersection between the two timelines in this.

Similarly, I just felt like some of Cookie's personal relationships and how DeVos wrapped up Cookie's story could have used a little more polishing & cleaning up.

Despite this, I really loved how genuine, honest, and heartfelt this novel was. It was very real and I could definitely see the emotion behind DeVos' words with how she really understood and related to the topic she was writing about.

Like I said before, I think this was a really digestible read and DeVos did a very good job with the pacing & making sure the whole novel had things going on and wasn't just people doing nothing.

The actual elements of the plot--Cookie's love of fashion, her desire to be part of a fashion blog and get her name out there, and eventually make a clothing line--were all really interesting, and I think something that's also really important and applicable as plus sized fashion needs to be expanded.

This book touches on relationships with an age gap & how they're unhealthy, unhealthy relationships in general (both romantic & non), and a lot of other real topics.

I did really enjoy reading and although some of the story felt in need of a little bit of cleaning up, such as wrapping up character relationships, overall I think this is a book with a really good message not about weight loss, but about finding your path in life. I'd definitely recommend if you're looking for an addictive contemporary with themes about friendship & family & body size & positivity.

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!
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Cookie is not your normal teenager. When your mom is a super model that abandons you to live with your grandma and  you don't even look remotely like a super model, it stings.

Cookie is an insanely gifted fashion designer and sews all her own clothes. She catches the eye of her teachers at school and is a shoo-in for Parsons, her life-long dream.

But Cookie's story is so much more!

This is a dynamic book, with real characters that you can get behind. Much more than a "you can do it" rah rah - it handles the depth and complexity of self-image while standing behind a well-crafted story that is much more than about counting calories.

A book for every teenager and woman alike.
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