Let me tell you a few things about FAT CAT.
I spent a long, long, LONG time researching it and doing my usual method-acting version of novel-writing, which basically means I lived the life my heroine lived during the whole time I wrote her. Which was quite interesting (and, by the way, completely changed my life), since here is what the novel is about:
An overweight high school science genius decides to improve her life, defeat the guy who broke her heart, and win the science fair at the same time by undergoing a radical experiment.
What is the experiment? What did I do to myself for the past year or two? Read the book and find out!
Want a little more information than that? Then take a look at this fun interview between Meg Cabot and me!
Great news! FAT CAT has been named an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults! Thank you, ALA and YALSA!
And more great news! The Michigan Library Association has chosen FAT CAT as an Honor Winner of its prestigious Thumbs Up! Award for excellence in young adult literature. Thank you, Michigan librarians!
And thank you, Texas librarians for naming FAT CAT to your wonderful Lone Star List! What an honor!
Starred review for the FAT CAT audio! Thank you, School Library Journal!
“Cat, 17, is driven to succeed, especially in her science research class where her goal is to beat her long-time nemesis, Matt McKinney, at the science fair. Her idea of using herself as a test subject for an in-depth study of early hominids and their lifestyle leads to some interesting shifts in perspective, not only in how others see her, but in how she sees herself. As her project continues, her weight drops, her confidence increases, and Cat becomes “hot,” garnering male attention and a boyfriend for the first time. But she still can’t stop thinking about Matt. Cat is a believable, flawed character. Her odyssey from fat to hot and the slowly unfolding tale about why she and Matt, best friends since childhood, haven’t spoken since the seventh grade science fair, speaks volumes about her values and her self-esteem. Kirsten Potter’s top-notch narration of Robin Brande’s novel (Knopf, 2009) has a distinctive flair, and she gives each character a unique voice. A conversation with the author and activist/cooking instructor Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, including a discussion about vegetarianism and teens, rounds out the recording. A great selection for both public and school libraries.â€”Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI, School Library Journal
Can an American teen survive 207 days without junk food and modern conveniences? Budding scientist Catherine (Cat) Locke finds out the answer after embarking on her most ambitious experiment yet: living the lifestyle of a primitive Homo erectus. Cat is determined to win a prize at the science fair and outshine her rival and former friend, Matt, â€œMr. I’ve-Won-More Science-Fairs-Than-Any-of-You,â€ but that’s not her only motivation: she hopes that by following the diet of her ancestors, she’ll shed some unwanted pounds. Going without processed food, technology and motorized transportation isn’t easy (â€œA big fat Snickers and a slice of pizza would have made everything so much betterâ€), but Cat learns much about herself and other members of the human species as she observes changes in her body and attitude, while noting how others react to her metamorphosis (namely, she’s suddenly juggling the attention of several boys). Well-versed in adolescent emotions and behaviors, Brande (Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature) offers a fresh, funny portrait of a strong-minded young woman hurdling obstacles and fighting cravings to reach her goal. Publisher’s Weekly
. . . Cat and her friends are smart and unabashedly so, whether their talents are in science, art, or languages. It is encouraging to read about teens who find intelligence sexy and are supported by their friends. The lessons about loving yourself and others for who they are, speaking your mind, and making smart decisions about physical intimacy are clear but realistic, not didactic. Expect to see this on year-end favorite lists. Heather Booth, Booklist
. . . Delightful character depth and humorous plot twists make this a satisfying read . . . Brande precisely captures the different psyches of teenage guys and girls, weaving fitness, friendship, and forgiveness around the scientific method. Joyce Adams Burner, School Library Journal
“This isn’t your run-of-the-mill young adult novel about an overweight teen losing weight. The story is cleverly twisted, with the heroine slimming down due to an unconventional science experiment. Brande layers several storylines, and just when it seems like it might be too much, she successfully reins in the plot. Look out for some quirky, hilarious one-liners!” 4 Stars Lauren Spielberg, Romantic Times
“A transformative story about living life to the fullest. . . .What did I love about this one? Practically everything. I’m not a science person. Not even a little bit. But I loved this novel. Loved that the heroine’s passion for science was so strong and intellectual yet always relevant to real life, to the real world. I liked that the novel made me think. Really think. You see, it in a way goes to the science of nutrition, the science of healthy living. And I think every reader can benefit from that exposure. . . But this isn’t just a novel about a diet or lifestyle change. How a fat girl can go from not to hot…It’s so much more than that. It’s a reflective and smart coming of age novel. . . It reminded me of some of my favorite reluctant romances . . .This is one giddy-making romance…” Becky Laney, Becky’s Book Reviews
“This funny take on love, food, biology and gender differences is one of the freshest chick lit. titles Iâ€™ve read in awhile. . . . Brande weaves lots of interesting scientific facts into a story that is both about our societal battle with food and the battle between the sexes. Clearly influenced by food origin books like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and The Omnivoreâ€™s Dilemma, Fat Cat is a happy meld of romaine and romance, tofu and tenacity, that will appeal to even the most picky of eaters and readers.” Jennifer Hubert, Reading Rants
“The great thing about Fat Cat is the focus on healthy eating and exercise as science with side benefits, rather than a front-and-center body issues book. Yes, Cat does lose weight, but let’s be fair, most people would if they made the changes to her life that she does. Though Cat has her pages of angst, overall this is a ‘happy’ book that really makes readers think about food and physical well-being.” Carlie Webber, Librarilly Blonde
“Thereâ€™s a lot to love about FAT CAT. Itâ€™s a mix of science, romance, humor, and a deep exploration of relationshipsâ€”including the relationships we have with our own selves. Most of all, I loved the natural-food concept behind this book. I have long wondered why our culture doesnâ€™t look more carefully at what itâ€™s eating. Healthy living is easy and really cheap. Itâ€™s a matter of education and changing long-held habits and debunking long-leaned-upon myths. FAT CAT shows us how to do it and how simple it really is to start. In FAT CAT, Brande tackled a subject very close to my heart better than I ever could. But more than that, she made the journey so enjoyable, it locked me into my seat. I read it in two sittings and lost precious sleep. Itâ€™s engaging, interesting and heart-warming. Robin Brande knocked this one out of the park. I am now an official fangirl.” A.S. King, author of THE DUST OF 100 DOGS
“LOVE THIS BOOK! When Cat changes her diet and lifestyle as the test subject for her science fair project, the results are life-altering in ways she could not have imagined. Fat Cat is full of humor and romance, touching moments and quotable zingers. Reading it made me very happy. It also made me think. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.” Michelle, Good Reads
“Catherine (Cat) is a smart, wise-cracking, funny high school junior who is trapped in a fat suit. She wishes there was a way to unzip the suit and start living her real life . . . Catâ€™s voice is authentic and unique and Brandeâ€™s depiction rings true to the roller coaster of high school life. . . . Building and maintaining a healthy body image is an ongoing battle for most teenage girls (and guys too) and itâ€™s refreshing to see a funny and honest portrayal with such a likeable character.” Phoenix Book Company
“Man, oh, man, is this a fun read . . . The characters are sharp and witty and they like science. (Ok, there’s one snappy poetry chick, but she’s not one of those dreamy, brooding types I’m getting so tired of.) . . . There’s only one thing that sucks about this book: it’s not available until October.” Sarah Miller, author of MISS SPITFIRE
“Fat Cat mixes science, adolescent confusion, and romance in a delightful dollop. There are few YA books that encourage you to think about what you’re consuming while questioning your daily habits. About halfway through the book, I had to stop to review what I was doing; my car trips, food intake, internet usage. I also have to agree with Cat, Brian Greene isn’t bad to look at. . . .” Jamie Tan, Goodreads
“Fat Cat, by Robin Brande, is one of those books that surprises you with its layers . . . Grade: A-” The Children’s Book Report
“This was a great book, I read straight through in 2.5 hours. I couldn’t put it down. . . . In Fat Cat, Cat really analyzes herself and is a great example of what would be great if so many girls could do. So much negative image is placed on girls that aren’t the perfect size and shape. I really liked the message Brande was sending through her book.” The Book Cellar