Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos (DRC): Not Another Weight-Loss Story

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4 stars

Cookie Vonn’s dream is to become the next big fashion designer. But being fat is a cardinal sin in the world of fashion, and Cookie’s always being compared to her supermodel mother.

And when a trip to New York gone wrong including being deemed too fat to fly and having her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity snatched from under her nose, Cookie bows to society’s pressure and tries to get her life on track.

With her new life, everything does not go as planned as Cookie’s dreams are closer than ever, but seem to slip farther away as she lives and studies in New York.

Told through dual storylines, Cookie’s old and new life tell the story of her journey of Cookie learning to pursue her dreams and love herself.

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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!

much love, vicky

What books with plus-sized protagonists have you read & loved?

3 thoughts on “Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos (DRC): Not Another Weight-Loss Story

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