Cover Image: Fat Girl on a Plane

Fat Girl on a Plane

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Member Reviews

I love this so much.  Cookie is a magnificently flawed and nuanced character.  Her journey, both to and after weight loss, was so realistic and inspiring.
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I love that we have more body positive books for fat girls. I related to the character and overall enjoyed the story. I just felt it was missing something. What that something was, I'm not quite sure. But I am very happy to see more fat rep in a book.
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So this book has been getting A LOT of praise and I couldn't really understand why. Yes, the book had a cool premise and an interesting angle, but I wasn't sure how well this book would hold up to scrutiny, especially since a lot of the early praise I saw for it was similar to Dumplin's. But, after reading Fat Girl on a Plane I get the praise. And by god does it deserve it.

Body positivity books are a hit or miss for me, because the authors try very hard to make the journey the characters go through "realistic" by putting a lot of fat shaming and fatphobia in their books as well as an unhealthy does of self-loathing. And I'm not saying those doesn't exist or aren't realistic but they're blown so much out of proportion and exaggerated they don't seem real. What sets this book apart is that deVos created a setting and characters that felt natural. Cookie's insecurities were based on more then her weight and the fat shaming and fatphobia wasn't so over the top. deVos makes a point to mention how fat shaming isn't calling someone out on their weight, it's looking through them or past them. It's not always words that hurt, but inaction and indecisivness. And that message is so strong, you could feel it on every page.

Additionally, deVos is writer. Cookie's voice was so strong you felt her in every word on every page. deVos clearly did her research on fashion and it shows in Cookie's pure, unbridled passion for the art. I've heard deVos has experience in that field, but I couldn't find a reliable source so take that with a grain of salt. Regardless, Fat Girl on a Plane has a voice, and it's name is Cookie Vonn.

The book is told in two timelines. Fat and skinny. Fat follows Cookie deciding to loose weight and the trails and tribulations she goes through on that journey. Skinny follows Cookie after she's lost the weight and becomes entangled in Gareth Miller, a high profile designer who works with Cookie on a collection for his line. What I think separates this book even more so then it's writing style is that both sections have a distinct feel to them that pushes the boundary of YA. The fat sections are very much focused on Cookie as she goes through her last remaining year of high school while the skinny sections follow her in her sophomore year of college where she enters a relationship with the smarmy yet sexy much older then her Gareth Miller.

I think what will make or break this book for a lot of people is how they read the relationship between Cookie and Gareth. It can come off as super uncomfortable considering he's much, much older then her, but I think that's sort of the point. Their relationship never felt romantic and it's not suppose to be taken as much. deVos touches on this subject quite strongly and it's interesting watching Cookie strive so hard for something while falling into this type of relationship with a man she knows is an asshole, but wants to please on every level. There's so much nuance and thought put into the relationship and deVos is such a good writer you never truly loose that sense of uncomfortableness, but it never overshadow's Cookie's story.

Fat Girl on a Plane is a story that needs to be told and appeals to literally ever person on this planet. People need to read this book again and again. I know I will.
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Did not finish the book. Too much swearing and sex. Didn’t like it.
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Cookie is a nineteen-year-old fashion blogger on her way to bigger things. She’s always had a thing for creating beautiful clothes, and her supermodel mother has nothing to do with this. Now that Gareth — a rich and handsome man she meets during a flight — sets his eyes on her, her life is (almost) complete. 

But her life wasn’t always this way. Just two years ago, Cookie weighed about 300 pounds, and was the victim of bullying and ridicule from everyone around her. Only her best friend Tommy was kind to her. After a humiliating experience on a plane, where she’s forced to purchase two seats, she decides she’s had enough. 

Life lessons continue to plague Cookie, even now that she’s reached a normal weight. Weight loss and good health are great and all, but they mean nothing when there’s a bigger problem at hand. She must address the elephant in the room, and that elephant is her self-worth. 

I don’t want to go into too many details, but I enjoyed Fat Girl On a Plane. The chapters alternate between “Fat Cookie” and “Skinny Cookie.” The Fat Cookie chapters are compelling, albeit infuriating (people are so mean!). The Skinny Cookie chapters are part Project Runway and Jemima J, and I found the characters and drama to be on the superficial side (this is probably done on purpose). Fat Girl On a Plane is a light comedy with heart, and you’ll enjoy it. This book will be out in June, and it’s the perfect beach read. I give it four out of five blueberry smoothies (with a shot of blonde espresso).
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This book had fun humor and heart, and a fun, if slightly far-fetched, plot. It dealt with body image, heartbreak, messy families, dreams coming true and falling apart, and still the protagonist felt authentic and relatable. I really enjoyed meeting Cookie and experiencing this moment in her life and would recommend this book as an enjoyable young adult read.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review.
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This YA book has touches of Bridget Jones's Diary and Eleanor and Park!  It's a very interesting look into body image and our society's perception of healthy versus fat. The body positive attitude and fashion are what made me request this book, but I stayed for the hilariously on point writing.
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Fat Girl On A Plane is a book every young teen girls should read everyone. I am a 28 year old mom of a wonderful little girl and this book inspired me to teach my daughter how to be herself regardless what anyone else things. Cookie is a troubled girl because she has a beautiful mother, and can not see just how beautiful inside and out she is. I cried and laughed and loved everything about this book. Written strategically with grace and charisma. A MUST READ book for any woman who needs a pat on the back and a pump of self esteem!
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This one just wasn’t for me. 

Cookie Vonn is the daughter of a supermodel, but didn’t inherit her moms slim figure. She’s fat and always has been, but after an embarrassing situation on a plane — Cookie is forced to buy a second seat because she is deemed too fat for one seat — Cookie is determined to lose weight. The story unfolds from two perspectives: “fat,” while Cookie is in her senior year of high school, and “skinny,” while Cookie is a fashion student at ASU. 

The writing is pretty good for a young adult novel, but I think I have finally grown out of this genre and was very irritated by a lot of it. The whole thing with Gareth and Cookie falling all over him two seconds after meeting him was obnoxious, not to mention how inappropriate it is that he’s significantly older than her (I don’t remember if they say his exact age, but he’s the same age as the head of the fashion dept at her school, so I am assuming at least ten years) and pursuing a relationship with a 19 year old, who becomes a coworker. 

The whole plotline in the “skinny” section is very The Devil Wears Prada, right down to the backstabbing twist at the end. The “fat” section really was irritating to read. Cookie is mercilessly bullied by Kennes throughout the whole book. She makes fun of her for being fat — and not just her, but random girls she doesn’t even know. She does it in front of Cookie’s best friend, Tommy, and Tommy sits there and doesn’t say anything. She messes with her graduation gown so that she’s stuck with a gown that doesn’t fit. A teacher is threatening to kick Cookie out of graduation, so she tells her the truth, that Kennes switched her gown form and she couldn’t afford to purchase a new gown. For some reason, this ruins Tommy’s graduation day that Cookie finally stood up for himself, and he skips graduation. Her grandmother also berates her for what she did. Ummm?? Am I living in an alternate universe? She has been the subject of this girls bullying the whole novel and now we have to see her shamed when she finally stands up for herself? The whole thing was just really irritating and twisted to read. 

I did finish it and it’s a relatively quick read, but not a book for me. Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading a well-written book makes me want to write a better-written review. Kelly deVos’ Fat Girl on a Plane makes me want to write the best review I’ve ever written.

This book wasn’t what I was expecting. Honestly, the number of books with plus-size protagonists I’ve read is pretty limited, and I assumed this would be another one of those books in which the protagonist learns to love herself the way she is with the help of the male version of a manic pixie dream girl love interest. DeVos took my expectations and exploded them into shreds of velvet and edible glitter.

Fat Girl protagonist Cookie Vonn has wanted to be a fashion designer since she could talk. Told in alternating time lines, the book follows her as she gives everything both for that dream and to find herself. In her senior year of high school, Cookie interns for a local fashion blog and finds everything she cares about threatened when the blog is bought by a new owner. After a humiliating experience flying to New York for a show, she vows to lose weight and make her dreams come true. In the second timeline, Cookie is in college and is given the chance to interview one of her designer models. She gets way more than she expected, though, and receives the opportunity of a lifetime. But at what cost?

Through the dual timelines, deVos illustrates the dichotomy of how society treats plus-size and thin women. She writes the world as it is: favoring thin women over those who aren’t, but treating all women with a heavy dose of misogyny. We follow Cookie as she sets her sights on a weight-loss goal and achieves it. DeVos writes this without casting shame on either side. She shows exercising as a chore, yes, but not necessarily a bore or great labor. She does, however, have us sympathize with Cookie when she’s constantly unable to eat the things she wants. Throughout the book, deVos doesn’t portray the character’s weight loss as a negative thing. Cookie worked really hard to get what she wanted. It’s in the end that she finally begins to see that maybe it just wasn’t what she wanted all along.

I would consider this a coming-of-age novel. But there’s isn’t a clear line of when Cookie can be considered “grown up.” If anything, deVos has written a dynamic character arc that reads like real life. There’s no magic moment when Cookie becomes a better, put-together person. On any given page, she’s a work in progress.

Let’s talk about the protagonist some more. Cookie Vonn is driven, witty, and direct. She makes all of her own clothes and sews pockets into all of her leggings (!!). In either timeline, Cookie’s actions are both cringe-worthy and completely relatable. DeVos has created a character so realistic and fantastic that I rooted for her even as she made choices that sent her life spiraling. If Cookie rallied armies for battle, I’d take up my sewing shears and follow.

I am enamored with Kelly deVos as a writer. I typically describe myself as a fantasy and science fiction reader; I only have so much patience for contemporary storylines. But, I’m going to be honest, at no point in Fat Girl did I stop and think, “This would have been better with dragons.” (A common reaction for me.) Any author who uses well-placed Harry Potter references gets bonus points from me. But, on top of that, deVos writes phrases like “emotional bandwidth” and “that residential version of the Apple Store [he] calls an apartment.” Her book is sex-positive without being graphic. (I’m ace, guys, and that sex scene was hot.) DeVos’ love for coffee shines throughout the book, and she actually knows what she’s talking about when Cookie enters a coffee shop. (If I have to read another writer have their character order a “double mocha latte with three shots of espresso” I will heave a three-head La Marzocco at them.)

I finished the book, and the first thing I thought was, “This is her debut??” Kelly, congratulations on a fantastic book. I look forward to following your phenomenal career.
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This book is about Cookie, an aspiring fashion designer and the child of deadbeat parents. I, personally, know nothing of fashion. I read that <i>GQ</i> article a while back where the famous author took his fashion-obsessed kid son to Paris for fashion week and it left me feeling confused and unsettled for hours afterward. I have, though, been both a fat girl and a losing-weight girl, so I figured I had better read this book.

It's written in flashbacks and flash-forwards -- two different timelines. There's one where Cookie is in high school, struggling with her parents' absenteeism, her poverty, and the relationships with her best friend and her high school nemesis. The other timeline takes place when Cookie is in college, has lost weight, and all her fashion dreams seem to start coming true. Overall, it's a "finding yourself/staying true to yourself" type story, where Cookie has to decide what it is she really wants out of life, and what she's willing to sacrifice. Some people have referenced <i>Bridget Jones's Diary</i> and this book did kind of remind me of that, but in my opinion <i>Fat Girl on a Plane</i> is way better.

Cookie is an individual and real-feeling character. She has her ambitions, a temper, her loves and weaknesses. I really empathized with her anger -- the Grandma's advice to "take the high road" is one thing, but I would have been just as angry as she was at Kennes, Tommy, and her parents. It was good to see some kind of resolution with Tommy that didn't magically make everything okay, but didn't rug-sweep that he had been disrespectful of Cookie in favor of Kennes. Several of her perspectives on weight loss resonated a LOT with me, especially when she talked about being uncomfortable receiving compliments because it was "a reminder that they didn't like the way I looked before." 

I was also really impressed with the priest guy. Usually fictional clergy are terrible, but he is able to give her actually good advice about relationships, and, at the end, about her self-image. Refreshing!

The most unpleasant part of the book was Cookie's time being Gareth's kept woman. It was some funny foreshadowing when she got all awkward about some old lady thinking she was Gareth's "sugar baby" but then like 2 days later she IS. Like, this was a bad decision. Gareth wasn't a terrible person necessarily, but he was Bad News. I was so uncomfortable the entire time they were together, and it was a huge relief when Cookie finally was forced to realize that he's no good.
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I'm sorry but this book was just not for me. There was constant switching back and forth of timelines that just made me super confused at times and had a hard time following. I also expected this book to be different and made me a bit uncomfortable about my weight and myself reading this book so just knew it wasn't for me but I really appreciate this opportunity.
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DNF, but I have to review this. First of all, it was an ARC. Secondly, this book has been all over fat YA Twitter, and I was super excited for it.

HOWEVER, I'm not going to finish this. I'm not even going past 25%. I don't need to read about an "after" thin girl, and the "before" fat girl on two different timelines. I don't need to read about how the thin girl's life is soooo much better and how the fat girl goes to an imitation Weight Watchers because she's so humiliated at her fatness. I DON'T CARE IF THE STORYLINES FLIP AT SOME POINT AND THE FAT GIRL IS THE HAPPY GIRL. I DON'T WANT TO PUT UP WITH EVEN ONE MINUTE OF FAT GIRL SELF-HATE AND LOATHING. It's insulting to me as a fat girl reader that I should have to put up with it to get to some moral of the story about fat girls loving themselves.

There's an author's note attached to the beginning of the book; the author explains exactly her purpose in the dual storyline. And frankly, I do. not. care. This structure is bullshit, and it's exactly the wrong way to go about telling fat teenage girls that they should love themselves, in my opinion. I couldn't read another word of it. The minute fat Cookie walked into the "NutriNation", DeVos lost me. I can't read another minute of fat girls miserably trying to diet themselves thin to learn to love themselves. It's been done.

If you want a real story about a fat girl in fashion, you should read The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding, because that book is so real about fat girls, and it involves dieting, and it's done the right way.

I'm sorry to Kelly DeVos for feeling this way. I'm sure she's a great lady, and a good writer. But I refuse to punish myself by reading about another fat girl on a diet.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the ARC.
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I did not finish Fat Girl on a Plane. I generally enjoy split-timelines in a story, but this one switches too often to follow. I was unable to get a full grasp on her mindframe in either "fat" or "skinny." When a book is too hard to follow, it isn't worth my time.
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I was a bit apprehensive about this book at first, I’m not going to lie. It was a bit slow for me at first but it picked up really quickly and I couldn’t put it down. Legit was accepted for this book not even two days ago and I’m already finished with it. A must read!!!
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