Cover Image: Fat Girl on a Plane

Fat Girl on a Plane

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I honestly don't even remember requesting this from NetGalley, but I'm glad I did! This book is super important, but I will say now, it makes some missteps. And, of course, trigger warning now for fat-shaming/body-shaming and misogyny.

I started off loving Cookie. I'm a bigger woman, and I gotta say, reading about a bigger girl with an incredible amount of talent is so refreshing. She's a blossoming fashion designer! Who wants to make adorable, flattering clothes for big women! That's AWESOME! True, she has some issues

But then we're almost immediately introduced to skinny!Cookie. Size six Cookie. She's still got the fire to be an incredible designer, but she's hardened. She's got an incredible opportunity, and then that's where stuff starts getting weird/icky.

The whole story is told from alternating versions of Cookie's perspective: high school, plus sized Cookie, and skinny college student Cookie. High school Cookie loves her best friend, talks to her Grandma about everything, and is just overall lovely. But then it's like...skinny!Cookie forgets herself as soon as she meets Gareth Miller, the fashion designer she's been obsessed with since high school. Only...he's an asshole. I honestly couldn't remember his name until I went back through the book. He was just...a generic handsome douchebag.

At first, I thought, maybe this whole scenario won't go the way I'm expecting it to! I was wrong. My hopes went out the window. Of course Cookie ends up sleeping with him and becoming his ish-girlfriend. Keep in mind, she's nineteen. He's thirty-five. Things get really icky really fast. And it's very, super clear that the only reason Gareth takes her on as an intern/bang-buddy is because she's skinny now. He even fat shames a woman in the airport the second he's introduced. So we already know he's not a good dude.

All of the people in Cookie's life suck, honestly. Her Grandma, her best friend Piper. and her advisor, Lydia Mureno, are the only three people in her life who haven't let her down or been straight up terrible to her. And that's even kinda pushing it as far as Grandma is concerned. Cookie's best friend, Tommy, ends up just being kind of a dick as soon as new girl, Kennes Butterfield, shows up. And Kennes is just a straight-up rude bitch. Like, she's evil, through and through. And everyone makes excuses for her and tells Cookie that she should essentially take the abuse. Cookie's father doesn't even make an appearance until the end, and he sounds so much like my own father that it pissed me off. Like he was perfectly content with not trying to have a relationship with his daughter, he wanted her to tell him she wanted him to show up for her high school graduation and her sixteenth birthday party. Don't get me started on how terrible her mother is. She's an absolute monster.

With all of the body-positivity, I will say, there are more misses than hits. Everyone is physically beautiful. Everyone talks about how much Cookie looks like her supermodel mom. Kennes is beautiful, Piper is beautiful...everyone is pretty! Which is fine, but it's like a full on glossed over world. Everyone is white, cisgender, and hetero. So, it lacks in diversity outside of having fat characters.

Overall, it was an okay read. There were some parts I adored, and others that made me cringe so hard. As someone who's struggled with body image issues since like, fourth grade (thanks, early puberty and cruel children), it made me feel connected and weird at the same time. I did go through weight loss, and then gaining everything and more back. So...proceed at your own risk if you've got a history of disordered eating.

While refreshing to begin with, Fat Girl on a Plane started going into a weird place very quickly. I give it three and a half out of five NutriMin water bottles. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the ARC in exchange for review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks again to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book. 

Saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this book would be an understatement. I absolutely LOVED IT! I tend to read a ton of YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi but I love a good contemporary book especially when it happens to have a PLUS-SIZE main character. As you can tell I can super enthused about this because there are so few books with the main character and even fewer movies/television with leading ladies that are plus sized. Especially when you take into account that 67% of women in America are size 14 or larger. I want to see more literature written by women or men that know what it is like to not be a standard size 0-6. 

Now that I had that little rant of excitement let me tell you why you should read this amazing book! This isn't one of those books that have a weight loss story and gloss over the reality. This book isn't telling you that losing weight makes you a better and more attractive person. This book also isn't for you if you think that if you are fat the world is going to end. We need to stop using the word fat as an insult. Yes, I am fat and that's okay, I am not going to act like that is an inaccurate fact. I am not ashamed of this. Am I currently working on loosing weight to become healthier. Yes, because for myself it has caused health problems but I am more than just a little overweight. Being Plus-sized is okay and not something to feel bad about and many work-out and eat healthy but are still bigger. THIS IS OKAY! 

Fat Girl on a Plane switches between two different timelines. One is 2 years ago when Cookie is 330 lbs and has to buy a second ticket on the plane because the flight attendant/associate has judged her too big to fit in one seat. This is the ultimate nightmare of someone who is bigger especially when an extra ticket is $600 more. She calls her best friend and he is luckily able to help her out with the money. She is on this plane from Arizona to go to NYC, America's Fashion Capital. She is in high school and has an internship with a blog called SoScottsdale. This allows her the opportunity to meet one of her idols and favorite fashion designers Gareth. Unfortunately when she gets there she is turned away and someone else has taken her interview. It was that horrible spoiled girl that is the daughter of the new owner of SoScottsdale. This girl is of course a size 0-2 who is gorgeous and rich. Cookie is also the daughter of a well-known supermodel. Cookie dreams of designing her own clothes.

Let us fast forward 2 years from now, Cookie has lost 199 pounds through Nutriminerals (weight loss program like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem). She is currently attending the University of Arizona for Fashion Design and also a fun fact, she has always made her own clothes. She is now a spokesperson/sponsor for Nutriminerals and has her own blog. She is on the way to NYC in business class sitting next to non other than Gareth her favorite designer, who she has an interview set up with once they get to NYC. 

During this whole book she gets an opportunity of a lifetime and learns how to be true to herself. Cookie is a true role model and her growth is tremendous in this book. Even though this is a single book/novel I would honestly love to read another book after she is done with college or a spin-off book about her best friend Piper at NYU.
Was this review helpful?
I have some mixed feelings about this book, but overall, I'm giving it 4 stars because I do believe Cookie's journey in Fat Girl on a Plane is authentic. That said, it will not be a book for all readers. In fact, it could be harmful to readers who could be triggered by the fatphobia experienced by Cookie throughout the book, I was most troubled by the way fatness was treated by both men in her life, one of whom is her best friend and the other who is her partner for the majority of the book. 

DeVos did, however, hit on the very real feelings associated with being both fat and thin in our society. As someone who was a lifelong fat person, then a thin person (who followed the weight loss program DeVos spoofs in FGoaP) and then a "Giver of No Fucks," I found this part to be most relatable. Your life does not become 100% better simply because you lose weight. Yes, some things become easier and people look at you differently, but it does not fix what is ultimately hurting your psyche. 

This is Cookie's journey. She thinks being thin will "fix" her. And for a while, it appears to—she gets the blogging job of her dreams, an internship, a romance, and gets accepted to a fashion program—but things keep going wrong. When Cookie *finally* realizes that the outside doesn't matter nearly as much as she thought it did, she finally gets what she needs. And this is why I ultimately gave this book 4 stars. I can't fault the author for writing an authentic and emotional  journey, even if it wasn't what I personally wanted out of a book titled "Fat Girl on a Plane."
Was this review helpful?
I had a hard time with this one. I think the back and forth of the story-lines, Cookie being "fat" and Cookie afterwards being "skinny" just made the flow of this book slow to a crawl. We also had to keep re-reading the same point made over and over again. I also thought Cookie's relationship (she's 19) with an older man (he's 31) did not read as loving or even romantic, it was just messed up the whole way through. I also didn't like the resolution between her and her supposed best friend Thomas, he was a jerk and a user who didn't stand up for her at all. DeVos tries to wrap things up in a nice tidy bow, it just didn't really work. 

So I was initially intrigued by the premise of this novel. We have a young woman (Cookie) who is the daughter of a well known model who has struggled with her weight for a number of years. When she has an awful experience trying to fly and is forced to buy a second seat she decides that she is over having to deal with being treated as less than due to her size. Deciding to join a weight loss company (think Jenny Craig but called NutriNation) she finally starts to lose the weight. However, she has a harder time putting to rest a lot of things she has carried with her. 

Cookie Vonn is dealing with her first year at college and is off to interview a well known fashion designer, Gareth Miller. Newly skinny, she meets Gareth on a plane and does her best to resist him. When he offers her an opportunity to design clothes with him she ping pongs between being with him and avoiding her past. 

I honestly don't know about Cookie. I was meh on her for most of this book. Probably because she has a lot of issues that I don't think are worked out very well in the end. She had an absentee mother and father who sound like the worst. A stepfather who is creepy. And a solid grandmother. Until her best friend Thomas ditched her for someone awful, she seemed to be doing alright. I just didn't buy that the girl who are introduced to in this book would be so foolish to get involved with Gareth, there is no substance there at all. 

Speaking of Gareth, I was bored of reading about the lifestyles of the rich and famous (the "Skinny" chapters) with her and Gareth flying everywhere and her being hot for him. I wanted to actually read more about design, the history of fashion, some more descriptions of clothing that Cookie was making. The fashion for the most part takes a back seat. 

The other characters don't work at all either. Cookie's parents are barely in this, but the backstory to them doesn't work very well. Things are also left hanging between Cookie and her parents too so we don't even get a resolution. 

I loathed Thomas. Sorry. All of the mess that went down between him and Cookie, I think that her grandmother telling her to keep taking the high road was nonsense. She was wronged and even arrested (mild spoiler) cause of his actions. He chooses to be with someone who dismisses Cookie and calls her Cankles. His entire actions shows that he doesn't care about her at all. I was fine with him disappearing in the "Skinny" chapters until he shows his face again. 

We get some other minor characters that don't really sing for me at all. 

The writing didn't really work for me in the "Skinny" sections. In the "Fat" chapters with Cookie finishing up her last year of high school and dealing with the loss of her best friend to a new nemesis, I felt that book was more authentic for me as a reader. If deVos could have found a way to make the two versions of Cookie work together, this would have been a different book. 

The flow was not good. I don't even know what to say. Thank goodness for the chapter headings telling me where we were in Cookie's personal journey cause I would have been lost. Sometimes it is better to tell a story through chronologically. This one maybe would have worked better that way.

The locations of this book are Phoenix and New York and some other "exotic" locations. I didn't really get a sense of any of the cities. I would have liked the cities, especially Cookie's hometown and New York coming more alive via the narration. 

This book reads as New Adult to me too by the way. And I usually cannot get into those types of books very well. 

The end was....well it happened. I cannot begin to guess what is next for Cookie.
Was this review helpful?
When I finally finished reading this book, I was grinning from ear to ear. I mean full Cheshire action. This book is basically what happens when someone is not trying to be relatable, it just naturally happens.

As someone who is fat in real life, as well as someone who travels less frequently due to fat phobia, this book spoke to me from her Fat phase to her Skinny phase. Kelly DeVos has a clear and strong voice through this entire story. I loved the character building through this book. I loved how well thought out the characters were and how well they balanced the main character. I loved the fact that this book did not just show that one type of fat girl. You know, the one who hates her life and hates being fat and just think the world sucks and it is all because she is fat.

What I loved even more than the character building is the research DeVos did while creating this story. I am not the most fashion forward individual but I am definitely a major closet fashion addict. I love project runway and watching fashion shows, so the detailed descriptions of fashion items and garments was extremely appreciated. I do worry that potion may be overlooked by those less into fashion but I also feel those bits of information were necessary for the story since they are coming from the perspective of a person who lives for and loves fashion. Thanks to the different fashion terminology and icons mentioned, anytime Cookie found herself in a difficult situation I just found my inner Tim Gunn coming out of me
I genuinely had a fun time reading this book! The only complaint I had about the book was when I first started it, the time frame was a bit confusing because of how each chapter is broken up. Thankfully, as the book continues, I because adjusted and it was easier to follow. This book was given to me by netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Not at all what I was expecting. Raunchy and poorly written this was not a good read at all. Very crass and totally unbelievable, the characters were not engaging or anything/
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC e-book in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed this book! I liked Cookie's voice and her passion for fashion was so fun to read. The author obviously did their research. I loved how Cookie was driven, and I can see how a reader might say she's bitter, but honestly, that added to her charm for me. I understood why she felt that way. Everyone in her life except her grandmother kinda sucked. That said, this didn't feel YA to me. More like NA. And that is totally okay, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book, but it wasn't what I was expecting. The one part that did feel  YA was the graduation scene (one of my favorites, actually), but other than that, I didn't get a teen vibe at all.. I also didn't like Tommy or Gareth, but I suppose that was the point. Anyway, I enjoyed the book and would definitely read from this author again.
Was this review helpful?
The description of this book was interesting but the inside of the book didn’t live up to the description. 
This book follows the story of a formerly fat girl trying to make a name for herself in the fashion industry. 
Every other line mentioned how she was gorgeous and she used to be broke. We get the fact that she’s pretty but they made sure that we knew that EVERYONE in New York was into her and thought she was the most gorgeous girl in all the land. Her personality wasn’t that great, she had a self entitled attitude and spent a lot of her time wallowing in self pity.
The relationship in this novel was instalove and sudden. They were barely flirting in the first 40 pages and all of a sudden they are having sex and dating. They had no chemistry, I still don’t know why they were together at all and the age difference between them was odd. 
The character development of the characters were okay. I feel like the characters that were significant in her self discovery weren't mentioned that much and I felt like the author could've dug in deeper with the supporting characters. 
However, what redeemed the book for me was the ending where she had a self realization and I thought it was well-written and heart warming to read. This book was a coming of age novel and I feel with some parts being rewritten and some editing of word usage (We get that she’s beautiful), I think this book has the potential to touch the hearts of many.
Was this review helpful?
This is one of the most unique reads ever - taking a look at fat-shaming and other related issues. I loved the side by side telling of the Fat timeline and the Skinny timeline - very original. Cookie is a wonderful, empowering character who is following her dreams and screw anyone who stands in her way! I felt as if I stood next to Cookie throughout the whole novel due to the delightfully quippy narration. This is essentially the story of my life. The struggles Cookie faces are similar to those each of us Roundish creatures face daily. I thoroughly enjoyed her personality and her ability to face the adversity. She does have flaws, of course (this IS a YA novel), but they are totally relatable and realistic.

When Cookie finally meets one of her biggest idols, she's unimpressed and, it seems, nearly repulsed by his manner. So, I'm not sure how she winds up caught up with him the way she does. Yes, I read the book and followed her journey...but something was missing for me in the build-up. I just don't see how she feel into the role so easily. Reminds me a little of Ana and Christian, just less emphasis on their personal life (and no BDSM, that we can tell). I was a little worried about the whole 19 year old in relationship with established businessman to be entirely honest. I'm still not a fan of GM, but it does move the story along and help Cookie develop into who she needs to be, even if I don't really like it.

Cookie is all of us who have tried yoyo dieting and lifestyle changes that don't stick, eliminating favourite food items from our menus in favour of losing weight. The whole story is hilariously funny, captivating, and emotional.
Was this review helpful?
4 ⭐️

"Your body is no one's business but your own. We are more than just our bodies." - Kelly deVos
Wouldn't it be nice if this was real? If we could go through life and not worry about fitting into that beautiful piece of clothing that comes up to size 12, but is really meant to be worn only by a size 2, or about people saying they only have your best interest at heart when they fat-shame you because you dare not fit their preconceived idea of thin=healthy?

Unfortunately, we live in a society where anyone who doesn't fit into a size 6 is "fat" and people don't want to see a fat person. Because a fat person would remind them that capitalism is bad and fast food is everywhere. This is more or less what deVos declares in the first pages of her books, with Cookie's anecdote about the plane. Much like minorities, society doesn't want to see fat people, would like them to be hidden somewhere, so they aren't anywhere you could catch a sight of them.

But deVos also tells us that losing weight is "[r]eally fucking hard". And this is not something you would know unless you've been through it. You can imagine all you want that losing weight is as easy as running a 5k every day and eating only salads. That would 1) make you a douche and 2) show that you've never tried to live on a salad diet. deVos takes us through Cookie's journey of losing weight, but also learning to accept herself as she is.

This is a coming-of-age story, where Cookie learns that being thin doesn't mean she gets a better life. Rich people can be total jerks and people will use you and justice won't always be served. Her weight lost doesn't suddenly make her a confident person, and it doesn't guarantee her happiness. This is not a cinderella story (as the author states in the beginning), even though it seems like it at times.

I connected with Cookie on many things. Let me tell you a story; I'm not far. Technically, I'm far from it. But I don't fit in most clothes I find in stores, because my thighs and hips are wide, but my waist is relatively smaller. So finding any dress/pants/shorts/skirts that actually fit me is a treasure hunt that generally leaves me trying not to cry in dressing rooms. So Cookie's journey did strike a chord with me. A good one. That had me crying and laughing and nodding.

Society needs this book. We need this to empower us to maybe (hopefully) finally say to clothing brands "that's enough. There is a wide variety of shapes in the human body, and that variety doesn't need to try and shed 20 pounds just to fit in a dress because a few thin people decided this is the way fashion would work. We want more choice - better choice." I hope this is the push we need. I want this book to be read by fat people and for it to empower them. I want this book to be read by thin people and make them realize. And I want this book to be read by people who aren't thin nor fat, and that they find some things to help them feel better about themselves.
Was this review helpful?
*I received an e arc for Netgalley and 
Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *.      
 I was let down by Girl On a Plane. I wanted this to be a five star read and it sadly wasn’t. I didn’t like Cookie and Gareth’s relationship. I didn’t like they way he talked to her at times  something about their relationship really bothered me. I did love the message that you are beautiful no matter what size you are, and I enjoyed the ending for the most part. I also really disliked Kennes character. She really was a spoiled brat and had nothing else going for her. Over all this was ok, but not what I hoped for.
Was this review helpful?
First off, could not stop laughing at the fact that our girl's name is Cookie. Oh boy, lol. Anywho, I enjoyed this book, funny because I read most of it while on a plane. I enjoyed the dual perspectives we get throughout the book (Fat Cookie and Skinny Cookie) and how it's tied together towards the end. I didn't get too invested in the story but I enjoyed the ease with which I was about to follow along and always knew what was going on. A solid, fun read!
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I won't be able to write a review as the formatting was so off on the ebook. I physically couldn't :"follow" the plotline due to this, so I'll be requesting another copy from my contact and will update this review when / if I receive.

Since I'm excited about reading, I will provide a 4-star-rating in advance and adjust if necessary. Thanks for the chance to read and I look forward to my corrected copy!
Was this review helpful?
Cookie Vonn is a fat-turned-skinny fashion blogger and designer who advocates for body positivity yet still believes that her life will be better after she loses the weight. And, in some ways, it is: her work in fashion is taken more seriously, she gets the chance to design a capsule collection for plus-size women with famous designer Gareth Miller, and she gets the guy -- even though it's not the guy she's always wanted. However, none of these good things is quite as good as she expects, and she's still not happy. 

The book is a back-and-forth between her perspective as a fat woman losing weight and a skinny woman with the world at her feet, which was an interesting choice but one that may not work for all readers. The book simplifies the issues with fashion and bodies into fat vs. skinny when the reality is much more complex -- fashion is not friendly for anyone whose body deviates from the arbitrary ideal shape in any way. The relationship between Cookie and Gareth was really unsettling, as he's twice her age and in a position of definite power over her.

However, I generally enjoyed the story itself and found Cookie to be a relatively compelling character. I really liked Piper.
Was this review helpful?
Fat girl on a plane is a wonderful emotional read that will have you falling in love with Cookie and rooting for her till the very end!!!
Was this review helpful?
Cookie Vonn is fat.  And while she doesn’t want her weight to rule her life, she’s interested in fashion design.  And in fashion, size is everything.  Her dreams of getting out of Scottsdale, attending Parsons, an elite fashion design school, and becoming a fashion designer for women of all sizes might not work out if she can’t lose the weight.  

Fast forward two years.  Thanks to insane self-control and the power of NutriMin (a stand in for Weight Watchers) Cookie has lost the weight.  And the opportunities do start to roll in.  She’s offered the chance to meet her idol and cover his fashion show for NutriMin.  Better yet, after a breakfast meeting with him, she gets an offer to design a special plus size line that will be released as a preview for his upcoming Winter/Spring Collection.  But even as Cookie’s life seems to be exactly what she wanted, she finds being skinny isn’t a panacea.  Somewhere along the way, she might have lost not only the weight, but herself.

This is a great new adult coming of age novel that I ate right up.  It’s not my normal fare – I typically don’t read YA romances unless the protagonist is a person of color.  While Cookie is white, she is fat, and that is definitely an underrepresented group of people in most modern literature, so I decided to take a chance on this one, and I’m really glad I did.  I think some overweight readers will balk at the idea of this being a Cinderella story, but that’s not what this is – a lot of the book really centers on Cookie realizing that while her weight might be part of her identity, it’s not what makes her Cookie, and that realization is what makes this a strong coming of age tale.

The book switches back and forth between past and present Cookie (fat and skinny), a literary device that worked well here.  We know Cookie gets skinny, but we learn why and how in the “fat” chapters, and we get to learn how she reaps the fruits of her labor in the “skinny” chapters.  I wanted to know what happened to both versions of Cookies, and I found myself staying up way too late one night reading this.  Cookie herself is a smart, resourceful young woman, and while she makes some seriously stupid decisions, they all seem in character and are the sort of decisions an inexperienced young woman might make – especially when the adults around her were often giving her awful advice.  I hated both of her relationships, but they seemed pretty realistic, and hopefully young women can learn from Cookie’s mistakes.  I wish she had cut both guys out of her life as they were both toxic (one of them gets off way too easily), but that is my only major complaint.  

I really liked this one, and I think new adults and older teens who enjoy contemporary reads will as well.  If you like Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella or Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, this book is definitely for you.    4 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Cookie Vonn is an up-and-coming fashion designer whose story is told in two timelines: FAT and SKINNY — aka BEFORE she lost 100 pounds via a Weight Watchers-like program, and AFTER. 

“Fat” Cookie pines for her guy best friend, works at a donut shop, and endures the verbal abuse of mean girl Kennes Butterfield, whose daddy owns the blog Cookie’s interning for. “Skinny” Cookie starts her own blog and is able to convince noted fashion designed Garreth Miller to design a plus-size collection with her as his codesigner. Both Cookies have a cool Australian bestie, loving Grandma, uncaring supermodel mom, and absent “Doctors Without Borders”-type dad.

Although it’s made clear that being a size six doesn’t bring Cookie happiness, the weight-loss storyline may be problematic for some readers. Other YA titles by Julie Murphy, Becky Albertalli, and Amy Spalding showcase fat girls who are (or become) comfortable in their bodies without dieting. FAT GIRL does make some important points about the hypocrisy of the fashion industry, while retaining a fun fashionista feel. Not so fun? The relationship between Cookie and Gareth, who is at least a decade older and taking clear advantage of his powerful position — hardly romantic.

Many readers will relate to Cookie’s aspirations and insecurities, but mixed messages keep FAT GIRL ON A PLANE from being a must-read.
Was this review helpful?
This book was very absorbing. It was thought provoking and evolved around character development.  I really enjoyed how seamlessly the time jumps melded together. The characters were flawed but the only one I could not reconcile was Tommy. I would definitely recommend this book in my library.
Was this review helpful?
Empowering, fun, and amazing. FAT GIRL ON A PLANE was a wonderful debut full of body posivity and fashion! I loved it, how easy and quick it was to read. The voice, which stood out and felt authentic. DeVos' writing was just perfection!
Was this review helpful?
I thought I would like this book more than I did.  The skipping back between timelines format was confusing and I am not a fan.  That said, it was a quick read about a strong female character, Cookie, before and after she lost weight.  She is kind of judgmental about others which made me not love her character either which was frustrating to me as the reader.  The story was inspirational in that she lost weight and changed her life but I am not a big fan of "thin girl's lives are better than fat girls" stories.  SO I guess this book wasn't really for me, except that I went to ASU and I loved all the ASU references!!!  That was awesome!!!  Thanks NetGalley for the ARC!!!
Was this review helpful?