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Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos
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Fat Girl on a Plane

by Kelly deVos

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High school senior Cookie Vonn's post graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn't help that she's constantly compared to her supermodel mother and named after a dessert. Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship but her plans are put on standby when she's declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she's been replaced by the boss's daughter, a girl who's everything she's not: ultrathin and super rich. Bowing to society's pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush and put her life on track .… (more)

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To say that I am highly disappointed in this book is probably an understatement.

I was expecting a book about body positivity, of fashion for all sizes, of seeing the main character realize that she doesn't have to have a perfect body to have a good life. Instead, for 98% of the book, all I got was a bunch of fat-phobia and disordered eating patterns and beliefs. The very last chapter tries to rectify the situation a bit, but it was way too little, too late for me.

The book starts out with Cookie Vonn, daughter of a well-known supermodel, being too fat to fly. Humiliated, she decides to lose weight and goes on a Weight Watchers-esque dieting program - and it works. She loses two hundred pounds and is now a size six. The chapters go back and forth from "fat" Cookie to the "new and improved" Cookie.

One of the few things that I liked about the book was that the author showed that Cookie's life didn't miraculously become better overnight just because she was skinnier. She still had problems.

But the book is so full of Cookie's disordered thinking about food and dieting and life (until the very end) that I just couldn't get into it or recommend reading the book in general. I've long given up on diets and have been a Giver of Zero Fucks for quite some time, and even I was having a hard time living in Cookie's head. She meticulously counts everything she eats (she can only have a certain number of almonds for a snack or croutons in her salad, for example), and that made me think back to when that was my life, too - and I didn't like being put back into that headspace over and over again.

So many of the relationships in this book are toxic. Thin Cookie, who states that she still feels like the fat girl who was too fat to fly, is immediately attracted to someone (Gareth) who is cracking jokes about fat women almost from the instant they met. What? I can't even imagine finding someone like that attractive, but Cookie seems to fall for him without a moment's hesitation. Maybe "fat jokes" are more acceptable to her now that she isn't fat. Tommy, her best friend and the guy she has a crush on when she's "Fat" Cookie, isn't any better. He takes up with a girl who is ruthlessly bullying Cookie and stands up for that girl instead of his "best friend." He also sets her up to take a fall in a shoplifting ring. MAJORLY NOT COOL. And Grandma? I'm sorry, she's wrong. You shouldn't keep forgiving someone who doesn't stand up for you and allows you to be bullied by his girlfriend. You shouldn't have to keep the family peace and shove down all of your feelings. You shouldn't be forced to attend the funeral of your skeevy step-dad who totally hit on you. None of that is healthy.

Cookie is relentlessly fat-phobic throughout the book until the very last chapter. It was incredibly annoying.

I'm glad that I got this one from the library - I almost bought a copy! ( )
  schatzi | Mar 24, 2019 |
I'm not really blown away by Cookie at all. I like that she's not afraid to call out buffoonery against plus-sized people, but I just never fell for her. Maybe she was too snarky for me. And I sho' didn't care for her 31-year-old-grown-behind-man-abusing-his-power love interest.

His nice-then-nasty personality was fun to an extent. Him and Cookie one-upping each other was fun. Good banter. When he progressed beyond that, I was kind of over it.

The funeral was the absolute best part. Everything else is pretty forgettable. ( )
  DestDest | Oct 11, 2018 |
Cookie wants to be a fashion designer, but after her dreams come true and she's offered an opportunity to visit a fashion designer in NY, the airline declares her too fat to fly. This prompts her to lose weight and become the societal image of fashion. However, after doing all of that, she's not sure that this industry and its pressure on women is something she wants to be apart of. ( )
  ShawnStipic | Jul 25, 2018 |
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