Fat Girl on a Plane

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

Fat Girl on a Plane was truly a joy to read. I'm a woman who's gone through a similar weight transformation and I so deeply related to Cookie and her experience with the world throughout her transition. The plot is perfectly balanced with light and dark moments, difficult and lovely characters, familiar and exciting settings. This is a book every store and library should stock for a woman of any age. It's one of those reads you devour in a matter of hours. And dare I recommend? Read it on a plane.
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There is so much I want to say about this book, but don't know how to articulate my feelings.

Cookie Vonn was so relatable!! She validated a lot of my feelings. She also got me thinking too.

I began writing notes while I was reading.

I started questioning how I perceived things regarding size, weight, and fashion.

I wondered about things like, "Why are most plus size clothes "grandma-ish" looking?" "Why is there one clothing store geared toward being on trend, and a basic tank top is twenty-five dollars? A nice blouse is over fifty dollars? A dress is ninety dollars?" "Is plus size clothing more expensive because they are using more material?"

My favorite quote of Cookie's is: "We need fashion and style for all girls everywhere. We need fabulous fashion finds from size two to thirty-two. We want a place for style that will put a smile on your face."

And, that is what I loved about this book. It made me think about my life, how society treats fat people, and representation of fat people.

I'm so lucky I never went through name calling or heckling growing up from strangers about my weight.

I felt so badly about how Cookie's parents treated her. Thank goodness for her grandma. And every story needs a villain. Kennes was awful towards Cookie.

I'm unsure how I felt about the men Cookie's life. All flawed in ways, and most did not treat my girl, Cookie, right.

Overall, I hope to see more of Cookie Vonn in the future!

I loved the emotional journey Fat Girl on a Plane took me on, and I give it 5-stars!
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You would think with a quote like that, there'd be a ton of plus-size body positivity, but I have never been angrier while reading a book in my life. I don't know how many times I cursed (in my head or quietly to myself...) the characters out, rolled my eyes, or furiously scribbled down pissed off notes while reading. I hardly liked any characters, hated most of their decisions, and found so many aspects extremely problematic. At first I was hell-bent on giving this book 1 star, then I bumped it up to 2 stars because for some reason I was still able to make it until the end. But then, as I laid in bed a little more calm but still sooo very angry, I thought I would give this 5 stars. Because the thing is, everything in Fat Girl on a Plane is on point, and I wonder if I hated it that much because it hit so close to home. I ended up giving this 3.5 stars because even though I'll never say this is my favorite read, I without a doubt think it's an important read.
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The writing with the flashbacks felt a little off to me. I had to set the book aside as I had a tough time connecting to the story because of it. I will likely give the book another chance, most likely on audio.
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4.5! This book was different and unique! I love Cookie and the flushed out characters that DeVos writes about. With everything going on in Cookies life, she has to constantly struggle with her weight and the people around her and how they treat her.
I love the two perspectives that the author chose to write of Cookie before she looses weight and after. This book was fun, fast and enjoyable.
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I hate to give poor reviews as I know how much work is involved in writing, researching, and getting a book to print.
However, for me this was dangerous.
Body shaming is not acceptable. Advanced dieting is not acceptable. Hate against overweight people is not healthy.
We've all been there on those yo-yo diets. Women in general put up with so much in today's society that the stress levels are through the roof, the labels attached are mind blowing, the pressure to stay a stick is constant and for some it's deadly especially in the fashion industry.
I was skinny all my life and even after having kids I had a high metabolism with ADD that blew through sugar like water keeping me active nonstop. I can't sit or I'll rust is my motto. My mind is always on go and my body follows. I work till exhaustion. I had a situation in which I nearly bled to death after my 1st with an emergency section and my body weight went immediately back to my norm pre pregnancy after having him but I nearly died having lost 2 pints of blood requiring a blood transfusion for placenta abruption and my son had to be lifeflighted and nearly died with Vater Syndrome being born med disabled. So for me this is no laughing matter.
I can tell you I graduated from John Casablanca's Modeling School near Philly as a teen and seen the other side in which many girls developed eating disorders to stay a certain weight. Many would go home and force themselves to vomit, eat extremely small portions, if they even ate at all as many remained on liquid diets. Many girls walked around like zombies with a boat load of makeup to the point I have not worn makeup other than for that photo shoot and or special occasions but never daily. I go every day without makeup in public and have done so for many years. Natural beauty is beautiful. 
I'm thrilled we now have models speaking out against the stick figure mentality especially my girl Ashley Graham and my girl Tyra Banks (who by the way is so personable).
I've had two friends in particular one a sex addict who tried to stay thin to be competitive with other women her age in the looks department and another who couldn't care less and had to deal with the cards she was dealt. 
She was naturally big, had larger frame, bigger structure and no matter what she ate or how often she worked out it did nothing for her. She didn't eat more than me in fact quite the opposite and quite healthier (I'm a meat and potatoes gal).
I was always ostracized because I ate like a horse, I didn't eat healthy by any means, I was that pizza, chicken wings, fry gal that you loved to hate and still do.
So I can sympathize because I've gone as far as a size 12 and had to reel it back.
In Fat Girl on a Plane -the older character (Uncle Gary) is in need of an attitude adjustment. He's in his late 30's and she's only 19yo which also wasn't my cup of tea. The idea that fat girls can't do better based on weight is to me very unhealthy."I suck at romance and you're an inexperienced nineteen-year-old." So why are you sleeping with her, dude?" 
One character does more damage by claiming she should simply get over it and accept the body shaming. 
I'll close by saying love yourselves regardless of your weight. If you're obese try your best to be at a healthy weight but don't obsess.
I will add that my best friend joined me for a 'Dirty Girl Mud Run' in which she knew it would be hard on her but made the effort to attend. She got half way up the mountain and nearly collapsed as it was simply too much on her. I waited till she had help and then finished the race. She is my inspiration and those like her that refuse to give up.
Much love 
Thank you to Kelly, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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Usually stories about weight issues take one of two paths: realizing why you're heavy (addressing some deep personal issue) or helping a thin person to see your value. And both of these elements are present in this book, though they don't take center stage. Its more about finding true happiness, not letting yourself be defined by another person's perception, letting go of preconceived notions. And it takes some pretty aggressive shots at the fashion industry in specific and our culture at large which tells us that fat can never equal happy or successful.
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Cookie Vonn is an aspiring fashion designer and blogger who wants to create her own line of clothing. Only problem is, high fashion doesn't accept fat people, which is why Cookie wants to design and make plus size clothing that is high quality. Through a series of events that include her absent mother and father, her best friend Tommy who becomes the biggest jerk on the planet, and snotty brat Kennes who turns out to be Mean Girl 2.0, Cookie joins a weight loss program and ends up losing a large amount of weight over a two year period. It seems like she is thwarted at every turn by Kennes and bad circumstances, but she finally gets a chance to make her dreams come true when famous designer Gareth Miller agrees to help Cookie create a plus size collection. Cookie will have to decide what she really wants in life as she is presented with several difficult, life altering decisions.
This book is written with two alternating storylines, one relating Cookie's life for the past two years and the other taking place in the present. I think this is a very necessary and important book because it addresses the problem society at large has with fat shaming and promoting a culture where it is unacceptable to be less than perfect where looks are concerned. I related to Cookie and Piper very well because I understand what it's like to be treated badly because I don't measure up to the ideal. I was so mad at some of the characters, especially Cookie's parents, Kennes, and Tommy. They treated Cookie horribly, and it seems like they got away with it. I learned quite a bit about fashion from this book, and I thought some of the writing near the end was very encouraging to people like me. I didn't agree with some of the views expressed in the book, and I was very disappointed with the egregious amount of profanity and sexual promiscuity as well. Those objections aside, I believe that this book is a must read with a very important message.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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Three stars: An eye opening read that exposes the struggles of overweight people.

Cookie Vonn stands in line at the airport behind an overweight girl who is being told politely by the airline staff that she is too fat to fly. Cookie knows all to well the agony of the young lady is going through as she herself was in the exact same position two years ago. As a high school senior, Cookie was overweight, an outcast, but now she is skinny after two years of dieting. A thin and determined Cookie is ready to seize her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Will she at last find everything her heart once desired when she was overweight?
What I Liked:
*I have such conflicted emotions over this book. There was a lot to like and lots that I didn’t like, so let’s get to the good stuff. I loved that the author took on this topic. I was completely absorbed in the chapters that featured Cookie while she was struggling with being overweight. As a fat girl, Cookie as an outcast, mistreated and ignored. It was heartbreaking to be inside Cookie’s head and to see how she was treated. This book was an eye opening and informative read. 
*The book presents two time lines. There is Cookie two years in the past as a miserable fat girl who finally attempts to lose weight and realize her dreams. Then you have the current time line two years in the future as Cookie is skinny and finally reaching her goals. The story moves back and forth between fat and thin Cookie. Even though I preferred Cookie as a fat girl, I was interested in both time lines as I liked comparing and contrasting the difference in her life and the way people treated her as a fat girl vs. a thin girl. 
*I couldn’t help but to cheer for the fat Cookie as she fought to overcome all the obstacles in her path. It was a joy to see her lose weight, stand up to the mean girl and to finally have success as a fashion designer. 
*I appreciated that this was a book all about self discovery. It is so much more than a fat girl losing weight. It is a book about standing up to bullies, believing in yourself and fighting against prejudice. By the end, I was satisfied in Cookie’s choices and happy to see her on the right path. 
*The book ends with a somewhat open ending as thin Cookie makes some big decisions. Not everything turns out happily ever after. There were lots of disappointments, but I was happy that Cookie made the decision that she did and I felt that she was in a good place. 
And The Not So Much:
*I struggled with thin Cookie’s decisions. She makes plenty of questionable choices, especially when it comes to a certain fashion designer. At first meeting on the plane, Cookie seemed to see right through his charming demeanor, but then she falls right into his trap. Face palm..... so frustrating.
*I finished the book pretty much hating all of the characters. Almost everyone is unlikeable except Cookie, her grandma and her professor. Her parents are ridiculous, Garrett is a snake, the mean girl is deplorable throughout (gag), and Thomas is a big disappointment. The behavior of most of the characters is terrible, and I couldn’t stand them. Yuck! 
*There are two somewhat romances in this one. Fat Cookie is trying to realize her long time crush, and then one in the future. I didn’t like either romance. The romance that thin Cookie engages was ridiculous, I won’t go into details, but I never felt it at all. The one in the past isn’t much better. Her crush lets her down over and over, until I wanted to punch him. No butterflies or swoon worthy moments in this one. 

Fat Girl on a Plane isn’t an easy book for me to review. I liked many aspects about this book especially the way the author exposed the cruelty that overweight people endure. However I was frustrated with the unlikeable characters and the poor decisions that thin Cookie makes. I wanted to love this book but there were too many parts that left a bitter taste in my mouth. Still it is worth a read because this is an important an interesting issue to explore. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.
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This book seemed to have a lot of mixed reviews. I personally loved it much more than I thought I would. This book is about Cookie Vonn, a fashion blogger and designer who has lost over 100 lbs.  It is written with 2 timelines of skinny Cookie vs. fat Cookie. Being a plus size woman, this made me put my hackles up a little at first but it turns out much better than I expected. In today's diet culture, we are told our lives will be much, much better if we lose weight. We can get whatever guy we want, whatever job we want, and be happy all the time. This book did a great job of addressing the truth of that issue. Cookie almost had too many tense relationships that all didn't get resolved. She has a complicated relationship with most people in this novel. I would have liked to have seen more of a resolution, but like real life there isn't a start and finish to a relationship with a neat resolution. Her relationship with her boss did seem a little fifty shades of grey and didn't seem to really add much to the novel. The plot felt a little scattered at some points, but I loved the overall theme of the novel and the ending. I'm not quite sure with her slightly creepy sexual relationship with her boss it should be ready by anyone too young, but I would recommend it to people in their 20s or 30s.
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I had fun reading this book, for the most part. 

I liked Cookie’s growth throughout the novel and that’s really what the plot is about, her personal growth and gaining self confidence. I think the novel did a great job of portraying that. Where I falter is with Cookie herself... 

I found Cookie a little hard to like at times, she would take certain situations and events so personally that I couldn’t relate to her (even though I am a “fat girl” around the same age). I remember being 17-18 and it’s possible she’s just more outspoken than I am but I had a hard time relating to her even though I’m the demographic for her. I had such a hard time liking Tommy after he kissed Cookie the first time too, it seemed scummy. Gareth was also a creep. I think Kennes needed more characterization but that could be excused for the novel being in Cookie’s POV. 

I thought the back and forth between fat and skinny was clever at first but quickly it started to mess with the rhythm of the novel. If it was a short story or novella I don’t think I would have had as much of a problem with it. 

Overall I enjoyed the novel and got through it rather quickly. If you like sassy commentary and stories about personal growth, than I would suggest this for you.
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A great book that gives insight into what being overweight can feel like.  Unfortunately loses some of its potential as a thought-provoking piece with the whole falling-into-bed-with-the-hot-designer aspect of it.
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Great book, loved the juxstaposition between the before and after, and the message of body positivity and acceptance
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I didn't love the title of this book, I didn't love the timeline of this book and I didn't love relationship in this book but I do understand why it's been a much loved YA book this year. I believe the author was going for a being happy in your own skin regardless of size, but it just didn't work for me.
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I enjoyed this book, and found it to be more satisfying than a YA designation might suggest.  The pains that the lead, Cookie, suffered, feel genuine and never overdone.  The 'before and after' style was not distracting and was clearly delineated in the book and easy to follow.  
I didn't find the resolution of her New York experience fully complete or authentic, and wish there had been a bit more to that - although life sometimes doesn't wrap things up neatly, I didn't think it was authentic to the characters as drawn. I did enjoy the locations and the fashion presented in the book.
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A fresh, well-written, and honest novel that I enjoyed immensely! Cookie's story is one that I think people of any size should read and will definitely learn from.
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Just such a heartbreaking, and powerful story.  Truly one of the best I have read this year.  I love the fac that it is told from different viewpoints, by the same character.  I can't say that I have ever read a book that does that, but it was such a useful storytelling tool.
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So this book made me examine so hard truths about the world. As a fat person I tend to think that being skinny will solve all my problems and that's not true. I will simply be skinny and have problems. So I kind of hate the book for that reason. Emotionally I want to give it a 1 or 2 star but that's not a fair rating. It's actually closer to a 3.5-4.5 star.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can't evaluate this one from the perspective of a fat person, though I am a woman in American society so I have a very good idea of what it is like to be looked at for only your body and because of your body. And to be judged constantly on what goes in your mouth. I look forward to reading reviews from people who have lived it, and I expect them to be good because the author has lived some of this experience and she talks about it in the introduction of the book (or at least the ARC).
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