2018 Reviews · contemporary fiction · young adult

New Release Book Review: Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos

Title: Fat Girl on a Planefat girl plane small

Author: Kelly deVos

Published: June 1st 2018

Publisher: HQ – Young Adult

Pages: 250

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult

RRP: $9.99

Rating: 3 stars

Big dreams come in all sizes, and Cookie Vonn isn’t about to give up hers.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post–graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons School of Design, and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin – and Cookie weighs in at over three hundred pounds. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother – and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her work for a Scottsdale fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to meet her design idols – where she hopes to personally pitch her plus–size portfolio and appeal for a scholarship to Parsons . Her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF, Tommy, for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane only to arrive in the city to find the blog is under new ownership. Cookie has been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not – ultra thin and super rich. Hurt and humiliated, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with Tommy, and put her life on track.

Fast–forward two years. Cookie has dropped the weight – and won the attention of designer–of–the–moment, Gareth Miller. He offers her what she’s always wanted – an opportunity to live and study in New York. Cookie expected nothing but sunshine and rainbows. But not only is she stuck with the same old problems, she has a big choice to make: achieve her old dreams…or dream new ones.

My review:

Body image is a particularly sensitive topic, which impacts on young adults and adults alike. Inspired by her own experiences with body image, debut author Kelly deVos brings her audience the tale of Cookie Vonn, a late teen grappling with the ins and outs of being classed as ‘too fat’. Fat Girl on a Plane is an insightful and heartbreaking tale, but told with a good measure of humour to lighten up Cookie’s situation.

It is pleasing to see a book on the young adult shelves that moves away from the traditional girl meets bad boy story. Fat Girl on a Plane is fresh, light and different.  Although I had trouble connecting to this tale, I thought it was adequately able to tackle an important topic in the lives of our young people and adults alike, body image and self confidence.

There are some comforting issues that are brought to our attention while reading Fat Girl on a Plane. At times I found it rather confronting, as well as distressing. deVos tackles the issues at hand with a strong sense of sensitivity and understanding. Many of the difficult sequences of this novel appeared to be touched with a sense of first hand understanding and realism.

Cookie is an agreeable character, I could see her flaws as well as a her attributes. I mostly enjoyed following her character arc. deVos structures Cookies journey in a before and after weight loss format. For the most part this seemed to work well, but the transitions could have been a touch smoother for me personally. In terms of the secondary characters, these were a perfectly agreeable set that added substance to the book and Cookie’s interactions.

deVos provides the reader with an insight into the fashion and weight loss world through her first novel. On the whole I thought deVos was able to draw in plenty of insight and interest in these areas, but there were times when I felt like I was the wrong target audience for this book. Despite this, I appreciated the messages that were conveyed to the reader, that it is more important to be happy in your own skin than to embark on a radical weight loss journey. deVos highlights how weight loss isn’t always the key to happiness or attainment in Fat Girl on a Plane.  Plenty of thoughtful rhetoric for this young adult offering for older readers (aged 14 +).

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos was published on 1st June 2018 by HQ Young Adult. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Fat Girl on a PlaneKelly deVos visit here.

*I wish to thank Harlequin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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