Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Cat is smart, sassy, and funny—but thin, she’s not. Until her class science project. That’s when she winds up doing an experiment—on herself. Before she knows it, Cat is living—and eating—like the hominids, our earliest human ancestors. True, no chips or TV is a bummer and no car is a pain, but healthful eating and walking everywhere do have their benefits.
As the pounds drop off, the guys pile on. All this newfound male attention is enough to drive a girl crazy! If only she weren’t too busy hating Matt McKinney to notice. . . .
This funny and thoughtful novel explores how girls feel about their bodies, and the ways they can best take care of their most precious resource: themselves.
Some books start out dull and I have to force myself to keep reading. Other books start out "blah," only vaguely piquing my curiosity. My favorite kind of book captures me from the first page and I rush excitedly through the chapter to see what this book is going to turn into. Fat Cat was one of the best kind of books. I was sucked in by the first few lines. Not because the plot was particularly stunning, but because of the Cat's (the main character) voice.
Cat Locke is smart - a science and math geek. She's also funny, sarcastic, kind, and a great best friend. The revolves around a year-long science project. Cat tries to replicate the eating habits and lifestyle of pre-historic humans. That means no ice cream, no chocolate, and no Doritos. It also means no cars, no computers, no television, and no phone. Cat undergoes a great transformation due to her new habits. Suddenly she's no longer the fat girl; she's the girl boys ogle at.
Cat's biggest character flaw both helps and hinders her - she is stubborn. It is her stubbornness and determination that gets her through this year of sacrifice. Very few people could give up processed food and modern technology with such fervor as Cat. But her stubbornness also leads her to hold a fierce grudge against her former best friend Matt for 4 years. One comment provoked vehement hatred that only intensified as the years passed.
Cat's project benefits herself more than science. She learns how to achieve and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. She learns about boys. She learns about her family and her friends. But can she learn forgiveness as well?
Fat Cat is a fun read from the first page to the last. I particularly love how it portrays smart girls with no guilt, embarrassment, or harassment about their intelligence. It's cool to be a smart girl in Cat's world. Of course, I can always get nit-picky. I wish her dad had been portrayed more fully. Like many YA dads, he's just thrown into the pages occasionally. Mostly my main complaint is the book's predictability. But even though it was wrapped up into a clean, even package with a bow on top, I thought it was a fun, fabulously wrapped package.
Rating: 4.5 / 5