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Search tags: kelly-devos
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review 2020-03-12 05:52
Review: Day Zero by Kelly deVos
Day Zero - Kelly deVos

To sum it up in one sentence, this book wasn’t very good but wasn’t completely without redeeming qualities. The writing was solid. A bit too much tell versus show at times but the narrative was engaging enough that it didn’t bother me. I liked the introductions to all the characters and felt that those early chapters gave me a really good handle on who everyone was. Except Toby, for the first few chapters I kept forgetting who he was and I am still not sure why I couldn’t remember him.

 

Jinx was a terrible main character. I could tell that she’s supposed to be smart but she really enjoyed acting like she wasn’t. Her father prepared her for the apocalypse for years, she knows what she should do in the situations presented in the book. She just decides not to do it. And then regrets it once everything goes horribly wrong. Just once I wanted her to follow the lessons of her father and go along with the disaster plan. But, alas, she did not. I tried really hard to like her as a character but I just couldn’t do it.

 

Charles was an absolutely delight as a character, which was completely unexpected for me. I did not expect to like him but he stole my heart. I wanted to protect him in his anxiety and fear. And to quite frank, he was a lot smarter than his older sister too.

 

My biggest problem with this book however was the political overtones. I don’t mind books that are commentaries on the current political climate. But, is it really so hard to disguise that a tiny bit? Somehow the current political parties have been replaced by The Spark and The Opposition. I have no idea how that happened because the author didn’t bother to tell me. The Spark is basically the Democrat party. Socialist, popular with “educated” folks who majored in political science, and the goal is take rich people’s money and spread it around so that everyone has a mediocre existence. They have been in power for about 10 years according to the book. Their leader is Rosenthal. Everyone in the book repeats the party catch phrase ad nauseum “Everyone’s for Rosenthal.” And if anyone in the book even hints that they might not be for Rosenthal they are immediately attacked with “so you just hate people? you just want to hoard your stuff instead of take care of people?!” Yawn. Boring. The Opposition is the Republicans, allegedly. Led by Ammon Carver, an enigmatic billionaire who owns the largest bank in the country and since “Everyone’s for Rosenthal” he obviously cheated in order to win. Is this sounding familiar at all? Oh yes, everyone in The Opposition wears red hats, carries shotguns, has a poor command of the English language, has a pickup truck, and obviously wants the world to descend into anarchy so they can keep all their stuff. Oh and every other character immediately labels them a Neo-Nazi seemingly without any evidence of that at all. Is this sounding familiar now?

 

I didn’t mind the political themes at first because after the first 20 pages or so they seemed to largely move on to other things. But then it comes back at the end in such a heavy handed way that I wanted to scream. It felt like the author was beating me over the head with a MAGA hat screaming “I’m talking about Trump and 2016!!!” I get it. Okay? Honestly. I get it. I am not so stupid that I didn’t see your glaringly obvious theme. I was so tired of it by the time we got to the big twist at the end that I mostly just wanted the book to end. I don’t mind politics in my books, but please refrain from beating me over the head with your own opinions. I don’t need the brain damage.

 

And then we come to the twist. It wasn’t that good either. I started figuring it out about halfway through the book. I was completely sure that I knew what was going on shortly after. It was so blatantly obvious that even another character basically says to Jinx, “Hey isn’t all this stuff weird and suspicious? Do you think there might be something odd going on here?” And Jinx just laughs and says “Of course not!”. Then she is oh so shocked when the traitor is revealed. Um, that other character literally told you all that stuff about 40 pages ago. Are you really that dense?

 

Overall, not a good book. I won’t be reading the next book but it gets some credit for the exciting middle portion and for Charles.

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review 2018-05-23 17:57
Reads as Unfinished
Fat Girl on a Plane - Kelly deVos

Please note that I received his via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

 

 

I had a hard time with this one. I think the back and forth of the story-lines, Cookie being "fat" and Cookie afterwards being "skinny" just made the flow of this book slow to a crawl. We also had to keep re-reading the same point made over and over again. I also thought Cookie's relationship (she's 19) with an older man (he's 31) did not read as loving or even romantic, it was just messed up the whole way through. I also didn't like the resolution between her and her supposed best friend Thomas, he was a jerk and a user who didn't stand up for her at all. DeVos tries to wrap things up in a nice tidy bow, it just didn't really work. 

 

So I was initially intrigued by the premise of this novel. We have a young woman (Cookie) who is the daughter of a well known model who has struggled with her weight for a number of years. When she has an awful experience trying to fly and is forced to buy a second seat she decides that she is over having to deal with being treated as less than due to her size. Deciding to join a weight loss company (think Jenny Craig but called NutriNation) she finally starts to lose the weight. However, she has a harder time putting to rest a lot of things she has carried with her. 

 

Cookie Vonn is dealing with her first year at college and is off to interview a well known fashion designer, Gareth Miller. Newly skinny, she meets Gareth on a plane and does her best to resist him. When he offers her an opportunity to design clothes with him she ping pongs between being with him and avoiding her past. 

 

I honestly don't know about Cookie. I was meh on her for most of this book. Probably because she has a lot of issues that I don't think are worked out very well in the end. She had an absentee mother and father who sound like the worst. A stepfather who is creepy. And a solid grandmother. Until her best friend Thomas ditched her for someone awful, she seemed to be doing alright. I just didn't buy that the girl who are introduced to in this book would be so foolish to get involved with Gareth, there is no substance there at all. 

 

Speaking of Gareth, I was bored of reading about the lifestyles of the rich and famous (the "Skinny" chapters) with her and Gareth flying everywhere and her being hot for him. I wanted to actually read more about design, the history of fashion, some more descriptions of clothing that Cookie was making. The fashion for the most part takes a back seat. 

 

The other characters don't work at all either. Cookie's parents are barely in this, but the backstory to them doesn't work very well. Things are also left hanging between Cookie and her parents too so we don't even get a resolution. 

 

I loathed Thomas. Sorry. All of the mess that went down between him and Cookie, I think that her grandmother telling her to keep taking the high road was nonsense. She was wronged and even arrested (mild spoiler) cause of his actions. He chooses to be with someone who dismisses Cookie and calls her Cankles. His entire actions shows that he doesn't care about her at all. I was fine with him disappearing in the "Skinny" chapters until he shows his face again. 

 

We get some other minor characters that don't really sing for me at all. 

 

The writing didn't really work for me in the "Skinny" sections. In the "Fat" chapters with Cookie finishing up her last year of high school and dealing with the loss of her best friend to a new nemesis, I felt that book was more authentic for me as a reader. If deVos could have found a way to make the two versions of Cookie work together, this would have been a different book. 

 

The flow was not good. I don't even know what to say. Thank goodness for the chapter headings telling me where we were in Cookie's personal journey cause I would have been lost. Sometimes it is better to tell a story through chronologically. This one maybe would have worked better that way.


The locations of this book are Phoenix and New York and some other "exotic" locations. I didn't really get a sense of any of the cities. I would have liked the cities, especially Cookie's hometown and New York coming more alive via the narration. 

 

This book reads as New Adult to me too by the way. And I usually cannot get into those types of books very well. 

 

The end was....well it happened. I cannot begin to guess what is next for Cookie. 

 

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text 2018-05-23 14:02
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Fat Girl on a Plane - Kelly deVos

This book read as unfinished to me. Probably due to the timelines jumping back and forth. There are also some threads that were just left dangling which left me feeling slightly unsatisfied.

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text 2018-05-22 21:24
Reading progress update: I've read 28%.
Fat Girl on a Plane - Kelly deVos

First off applause for the author taking a look at how the world treats anyone who is larger than them. Reading the fictional character's (Cookie) struggle to even be able to fly without being treated like some abhorrent thing made me cringe.

 

That said, I don't know if I like the timeline flitting back and forth from when she was "fat" and then when she got "thin." Thank goodness there are chapter headings showing us what time period we are in. But I think it would have just worked from a straight chronological storytelling perspective. At least we are mainly focused on the same secondary characters throughout. 

 

I am interested in her designing clothes for plus size women, I have become less interested in her having sexy thoughts about a 31 year old designer (FYI our main character is 19) and it's grossing me out. It doesn't help that I find the male love interest at this time (I guess he's a love interest) to be a jerk and also did I mention he's 31. 

 

 

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