¶ Fat Girl on a Plane ☆ Download by ✓ Kelly deVos 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.
It s not often a book makes me want to stand up and cheer along with making me LOL throughout Fat Girl on a Plane is like SEX IN THE CITY meets BRIDGET JONES S DIARY meets something uniquely and completely all its own I mean, how many authors can get away with casually and hilariously referencing sun bears, blob fish and Noam Chomsky all in one book This Contemporary YA novel is smart, sexy, edgy, rebellious, touching and inspiring and very funny all at the same time Author deVos doesn t just make body positive fashion cool, she turns it into a raucous battle cry that readers can t help but want to enthusiastically join in on P.
S deVos s insider look send up of the fashion industry is both fascinating and slyly subversive And her love for the art and craft of fashion design and clothes construction is infectious Hands down one of the best reads of 2017 TeamCookieVonn TeamGrandma TeamThatHotGondolaScene I finished this book last week and totally forgot to add my review The short version I adored it The longer version It s a bold, sharp, smart, totally unforgettable gem of a YA contemporary debut The main character, Cookie Vonn, is a girl you ll cheer for and relate to as she struggles to find her place in the world of fashion and figure out where her heart is at in the process Emotionally weighty, laugh out loud funny, and impossible to put down I fell in love with this book from the prologue, where the author explains this is not a Cinderella story of getting thin, but that the first chapter was based on a true experience of how she was treated on a flight based on weight Which really strikes home in a visceral way.
But I digress Kelly DeVos has SUCH a great writing voice Cookie is fun, upbeat, sardonic at times, and such a great narrator Told in dual timelines, this book examines her journey as a blogger and budding fashion designer, her experiences with others in the industry, and also how she is treated differently at various points in her life because of her weight Tommy, I fell in love with from the very first time he appeared on page, and alternated between wanting to slap at times and hug for being so real and incredibly imperfect You can t help but cheer for him and Cookie s friendship as it goes through those turbulent growing up times, and appreciate Cookie s strength as she insists on who she is and who she will be valued as LOVED this one Please excuse typos name misspellings Entered on screen reader.
Not my usual fare, but oh, I loved it Cookie s voice grabbed me from page one and I couldn t put the book down Smart, achingly real, fun, and inspiring I received an ARC of this book.
I received an ARC copy of this bookI wasn t sure what to expect going into this book, but I loved it pretty much from page one The scene on the airplane is heartbreaking, and I know people that have gone through exactly that Everything Cookie goes through made me ragey, and then I wanted to stand up and cheer so many times when she stood up for herself, or came out on top I m pretty sure there were a couple moments while reading in starbucks that I fiercly whispered YES and had the people at tables nearby look at me funny.
There is so much to unwrap in this book that I could do a full report on it body image, our relationship with food, people s treatment of anyone they deem lazy or outside the boundaries of societies idea of beauty But what I will say for now is that this is not only an entertaining read, it s intelligent, it will make you think, and it will make you cry And yes, cheer out loud in the middle of a busy coffee shop I have no regrets.
FatHigh 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 Superrich 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 Skinny Cookie Expected Sunshine And Rainbows, But Nothing About Her New Life Is Turning Out Like She Planned When The Fashion Designer Of The Moment Offers Her What She S Always Wanted An Opportunity To Live And Study In New York She Finds Herself In A World Full Of People Interested In Putting Women Down Than Dressing Them Up Her Designs Make Waves, But Her Real Dream Of Creating Great Clothes For People Of All Sizes Seems To Grow Distant By The Day Will She Realize That She S Always Had The Power To Make Her Own Dreams Come True Kelly DeVos Fat Girl on a Plane is an important look into society s perception of body image In it, we meet Cookie, a fat teen fashion designer with a passion to create clothing that all body types can wear and be comfortable in There are two interesting timelines in the story and I was amazed at how fluidly DeVos was able to bring her reader into the then and the now as Cookie starts her weight loss journey But will she be happy when she successfully loses the weight Or does she just need to look deep within to discover true happiness Cookie is torn between deep feelings she has suppressed for her best friend Tommy, and the desire to go to New York and work under the tutelage of iconic fashion designer Gareth Miller When her dreams start becoming reality living in New York and designing a plus size fashion line, Cookie starts to wonder if this is really what she wants Add into the mix a romance with Gareth, a horrible nemesis who I loved to loathe in Kennes, parents that clearly have no interest in parenting, and a spunky loving grandma, and this book is sure to be a well loved story Body image issues, family, romance, friendship, and fashion round out this book to make it a great read for anyone who has ever felt they want to reach their dreams but are uncertain of their potential Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harlequin Teen for this free review copy Cookie s story was such a raw and honest one, depicting a journey that so so so many young women experience every day What really touched me the most was that it wasn t a straight up fat is beautiful, I love my body story the ENTIRE time I love reading that too, but I fully understand just how hard that is to achieve Readers get to experience Cookie s journey toward acceptance, and witness her struggle to maintain the eating and exercise regimen required to maintain weight loss.
and YES I promise she learns to EAT again This journey combined with some FABULOUS plus size fashion design make this an intensely readable story I could go on and on and ON about how complex this issue is, but it s an intensely personal one for everyone, and deVos shares a unique view into one teen s fictional journey The author s note is a must read.
I m really behind on putting reviews up here, but this article came across my twitter feed and it made me want to crosspost, so, skipping ahead for this one.
Blog link this review is 3500 words long I did not like this book, and worse than that, I thought this was a very harmful book, and this will not be a positive review If that bothers you, move on now I am also putting a major trigger warning if you have any kind of sensitivity about fatmisia or dieting, because this review has to talk about those a lot as that s all the book is about Fair warning, I will also not hesitate to delete comments I find offensive Please click over to my blog post if you would like to see some of the 20 citations I have in this review.
Also this review will not be my usual formatting as I have too much to talk about I will also be quoting the eARC quite a bit, so you know, all material subject to change etc Let s do this Just to get this out of the way, the author is fat and this is ownvoices It just seems the author and I have very different views on fatness and dieting.
I think my first clue I was going to be irked at this book was actually a line in the author s note before the book even started, when it says, I don t know if I will decide to lose weight in the future, but if I do, my efforts will be wellness focused I object to the idea that intentional weight loss i.
e.
, dieting is healthy Did you know that intentional weight loss increases the risk of mortality in fat people with type 2 diabetes Did you know that intentional weight loss is considered so unhealthy for children and adolescents that the American Acedemy of Pediactrics explicitly tells parents and doctors not to do talk negatively about weight I wholely and sincerely disagree with this framing of intentional weight loss as a measure of health or as something that will make you healthier.
My second was the second line of the book is actually wrong The first and second lines of the book are, No You can t just buy two seats in advance This is talking about airline seats specifically and goes on to blame global terrorism This is wrong, and has been for probably the last decade In fact, many airlines specifically require it Now, bear in mind, that the person whose blog I m linking to in two of those links is at least sixty pounds heavier than Cookie I don t know their exact weight, but it s over 400 pounds it s kind of in the blog name and Cookie is specifically stated as being 330 to 337 pounds I have a majorly hard time believing that someone who is as self conscious about their weight as Cookie is didn t bother to google Flying while fat Which is also the title of a short six minute documentary you should watch So I have serious disbelief in general that she had no clue that this was something that happened, when half her character is talking about fatmisia, and then to say something I know isn t true in the second line of the book That s not a good start.
Where do I even go from here I guess let s talk about the storytelling a bit This is told in two storylines past and present The past is denoted by FAT number days until NutriNation at first, and later FAT Day number on NutriNation and the present is denoted by SKINNY Day number of NutriNation , with the past slowly catching up to the present, but still leaving about a year s gap between them First of all, the fact that both the past and the present are told in first person present tense is a little weird I dunno, that s just a weird stylistic choice that I wasn t into Second, wow, that s kind of obnoxious The very first thing you read in each chapter is about her weight.
I m going to try and knock out my other complaints before getting into the meat of the weight stuff, so let s skip to the romances in this are obnoxious and I didn t like either of them First of all, let s talk about the fashion designer Gareth she gets in a relationship in He hates fat people She doesn t care about that because she s thin now and he s hot He would not have looked at her twice when she was fat literally, they were supposed to meet when she was fat and it didn t happen basically because she was fat and the book s buttmonkey but you know, he s hot, so who cares if he s an awful person Now ignoring all that, he s in at least his mid thirties, and she s nineteen He literally says, I suck at romance and you re an inexperienced nineteen year old So why are you sleeping with her, dude She s literally idolized him for years He is on a first name basis with the Dean of her dream school that she couldn t afford to go to, and everyone suggests that he pay her tuition and acts like it s a given he will because they re sleeping together His company hired her, so he s her boss, and could also ruin her future career That s totally not an imbalance of power that makes the consent situation sticky at all, is it He calls himself Uncle Gary jokingly when she s upset at one point and I was so grossed out.
On the other hand, you have Tommy Her best friend who she s had a crush on forever He is perfectly fine with people bullying her about her weight and thinks that she should just get over it and not take it so seriously At one point he says stuff about how people have tried diets and they don t work and some people are happy the way they are , and then almost immediately goes, My mom s doing NutriNation You could try that Like, wow Sure, you re great, but try this diet that will surely work When they talk about his feelings, it s really gross He goes on about howhe did everything , and mentions taking her to school dances, spent hours with her grandmothers, was there for her, and waited and waited And honestly what the frig Does he think that she should have liked him because he was her friend Not to mention, he blames her for not knowing she liked him, but he never uses his big boy words to say he likes her It s so entitled, and gross, and it reflects a lot of the misogyny in the book.
There is a heavy reliance on mean girls for conflict, which makes the conflict feels incredibly shallow A thin girl was mean to me because I m fat is a very shallow take on fat oppression At one point Cookie seeks out a geek guy to make her blog because she s not capable of Googling how to make a wordpress seriously , and he says a girl who he asked out and rejected him will be on a barstool next to me begging for my phone number in five years, and Cookie basically agrees with him It s really not cool.
There are no queer people in this A book focused on the fashion industry has no queer people Not a one I also noticed a grand total of one POC in a book set almost entirely in New York, Argentina, and Arizona Cause you know, those places are super white It is also quite amisic, with gross comments about just friends and weird things about being a virgin forever being treated like being a leper There s also a lot of ableism I ll get into the healthism later, but there s ableism even aside from that Disabled people just don t exist in this book.
And I suppose it s time to talk about the weight loss arc The author s note says this isn t a Cinderella weight loss story , but yeah it kinda is It s the Fantasy of Being Thin Every single good thing that happens to her happens because she s thin She got the NutriWater sponsorship of her blog solely because she ran into an important person from the company at the airport literally, she dropped her water all over the floor and he s impressed by her inspirational weight loss Gareth wouldn t have dated her when she was fat, which frankly I think is a small mercy, but certainly helped her get further ahead.
Meanwhile, everything bad that happens to her happens because she is fat, or because she was fat She pretty much loses her friendship with Tommy because she wouldn t put up with being bullied for her weight and he somehow thought that was all her fault, and even at the end they basically agree to disagree so they can stay friends People are constantly making weight related comments around her seriously, no one is just talking about their taxes in public Every single bad thing that could happen to a fat person ever happens to Cookie while she s fat, because of course it does She has to buy a second seat on an airplane, a mean girl bullies her about her weight and then turns out to work at her job, no one ever likes her romantically because she s fat, she gets sent to fat camp, and on and on.
There is not a bad thing that happens to her that isn t because she s fat, and there is basically not a good thing that happens to her that isn t because she s thin It is exhausting to read.
Here s a list of things that the book says fat people can t do have people be romantically interested in them, be asked to school dances by said romantically interested people, get married, hike up a hill, walk a mile, run five miles, exercise for reasons that aren t based in revenge, wear miniskirts, wear clothing that isn t flattering , wear clothing that doesn t pull off something of a magic act and make them look thin , and this one really makes me angry.
This book implies that fat people can t be victims of sexual assault or harassment To quote a scene where a very creepy dude is oggling her Situations like this have been one of the hardest things about losing weight My body changed, and suddenly I became a player in this game where people are trying to get sex or approval or whatever from each other I m going to point out this creepy dude is her stepfather Might be a shocker, Cookie, but fat people aren t immune from abuse I d also point out that fat people have plenty of consensual sex, but wow, the implication there that fat people can t be harassed is really freaking gross.
The diet program that magically works when nothing else, including the nine thousand USD for the length Christmas break fat camp that she s sent to twice, works, is basically Weight Watchers by another name I m going to quote Ragen Chastain here, because she says it wonderfully One study showed that participants lost around about 10 pounds in six months and kept off half of that for two years Karen Miller Kovach, chief scientific officer of Weight Watchers International at the time, said It s nice to see this validation of what we ve been doing So we re in agreement that Weight Watchers doesn t work, yes This is also part of the reason why they are bleeding money, leading to things like serial yo yo dieter Oprah needing to buy them, co opting the language of size acceptance and releasing special lightbulbs because having sex as a fat person is just something you shouldn t do with the lights on, and offering their program to teens for free, because why not get the children on the diet culture wagon as early as possible Mind you, Cookie thinks there s less support for losing weight than there is for quitting smoking I guess Cookie didn t know there s a 65 billion diet industry She also mentions medicaton for quitting smoking, but acts like that doesn t exist for losing weight I guess the anal leakage wasn t glamorous enough to write about and to be fair, it doesn t work , but there s a 615 million dollar industry of those, too.
The fact of the matter is long term intentional weight loss doesn t work If it did, why would there be such a big industry trying to sell it to you You could just do it, and be done, if it was easy Diets don t work It doesn t matter if you call it a lifestyle change or healthy eating or anything There is little to no evidence that anyone knows how to make fat people thin permanently Fifty years of weight loss research says this The book, however, argues that people who drop weight faster than two pounds a week don t usually keep it off , and sometimes people with thyroid conditions might plateau several sizes below what they started at, but they won t gain weight when they stop dieting or anything see Piper.
So this book acting like it s as easy to lose weight as going on Weight Watchers for a year really makes me angry I also think it really enforces a ton of stereotypes about fat people, like that they eat than thin people because god forbid someone with a larger body NEED to eat , that they re only fat because they overeat, that every fat person emotionally eats which is not handled with any kind of depth it s just handled through determination and not Weight Watchers , that no fat person is physically fit, that fat people binge, that fat people must be made to look thinner by their clothing or it s not flattering f ck flattering There s also so much healthism It s only okay to be fat if you re healthy A sugary drink is a diabetic nightmare of a drink , and don t eat too much of this food because you ll have a heart attack at forty.
Okay I m going to try and get off this track before I stress out But I will say Cookie s obsession with food and calories once she starts is incredibly triggering And if you read a character who had always been thin with this, you would be saying, wow, that s disordered eating At one point she counts the croutons in the salad because she s only allowed to eat five She talks about eating food that isn t low fat low calorie as falling off the wagon She runs five miles every morning but doesn t eat breakfast She talks about food like peanut butter cups only in terms of how long it ll take to run them off on the treadmill Hey, newsflash, people aren t Bunsen burners, you can t just say how long someone s body uses energy for She hasn t eaten Doritos in two years and is proud of this because it means she s being good food morality at play She talks about not wasting calories on alcohol multiple times.
She uses the phrase, and I quote, There s a hunger stronger than the desire for food The desire for revenge This is ridiculously close to the pro anorexia quote, Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels Because her revenge is losing weight.
She won t eat 15 almonds instead of 12 because that s three points instead of two When she s dieting, she s hungry every second of every single day She eats the same lunch, either cubed cheese, almonds, and fruit, or Lean Cuisine spring rolls with fruit, and for dinner she eats Lean Cuisine dinners and steamed vegetables Sidenote, I wouldn t have been surprised to find this book was sponsored by Lean Cuisine At one point, one of her weight loss companions gives her the advice of stick with the spring rolls even if she has to choke them down.
Because that sounds so much healthier than eating a wide variety of food you enjoy and that makes you feel good, but doing so in a fat body These are disordered eating patterns, and the idea of them being normalized like this is horrific Seriously, the summary does not discuss how graphic the dieting talk is, and it s really triggering.
Let s talk her blog and fashion.
I detest the idea of a plus size fashion blog being run by a thin person I would personally unfollow a plus size fashion blog run by a person who was dieting, because I do not support diet culture, but a plus size fashion blog run by someone who s a size six You are speaking over fat people instead of boosting their voices Cookie is practically a Thin Savior of fat people, nobly battling for their right to flattering clothing It feels incredibly hypocritical And if that plus size fashion blog was sponsdered by a diet water company WOW would I bail That is predatory.
That also represents something that annoyed me about the book It acted like Cookie was the only fat person to ever want to make fat size clothing I m not big fans of either of them, but you re not gonna mention Tess Holliday or Ashley Graham You don t mention Beth Ditto You re going to talk about Project Runway constantly, but you don t talk about Ashley Nell Tipton who won season season 14 with a collection of plus size clothes that weren t remotely flattering , but were gorgeous and amazing Or if you don t want to talk about actual fat people, how about Christian Sirano who won Season Four in 2008, and makes amazing plus sized clothing That last link is a youtube video It seems incredibly disrespectful to write a book about plus size fashion and ignore all the people who are doing amazing things that field Cookie is not the saviour of fat clothes She is a nineteen year old girl who doesn t seem to have any respect for the amazing people who paved the way for her successes.
Summary Let s wrap this thing up, because I ve probably lost you all by now with my ranting.
Now, I think there will be arguments that says well the book shows that weight loss doesn t solve everything and she decides to stop dieting at the end and sure, that happens for like one page But there are three hundred other pages that do the exact opposite This is not the fat representation that I want This is not body positive There are tiny, tiny attempts at well maybe being fat is okay , but it is so lost in the flood of diet culture and fat hatred that it s incredibly underwhelming.
I think if you gave this book to someone who believed there was something wrong with their body, it would only reinforce that It certainly didn t make me feel good about my body It, in fact, made me not want to exercise do the yoga I do regularly because I would proving the book right And I like yoga I think it could trigger an eating disorder episode in people I think in general it just sends a terrible message, but for anyone with any kind of sensitivity to dieting or not the best relationship with food, this could be incredibly harmful.
I do not recommend this book, and next time I m going to trust my instincts, because when I first read the summary of this, I knew it was going to be like this, and I wasn t going to read it But people I thought I could trust said it was good, so I decided to give it a shot I regret that Half a star solely because the writing didn t always make me want to claw my eyes out, and Piper was okay as a character.
Other notes I can t include these on goodreads because this review is too long for the character limit with them There are a fair few, though, if you pop over to my blog.