Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Ninja Listens to. . .Fat Cat by Robin Brande

Oh, how I love Robin Brande. Seriously, people. Robin Brande is such a breath of fresh air in teen fiction that when I read one of her books it's like I'm in the Swiss Alps breathing, you know, fresh air.

In Fat Cat, super-smart and super-overweight Cat, in an effort to conduct a science fair experiment that is sure to be more brilliant than her former-childhood-best-
friend-turned-arch-nemesis Matt McKinney, vows to live for 7 months (as closely as possible, anyway) the way Homo erectus did about, oh, roughly 2 million years ago. This means that Cat essentially becomes vegan, gives up her computer, her cell phone, driving her car, using a microwave, and even, dare I say it, wearing makeup.

At first, Cat's parents and her best friend Amanda aren't too sure this is a great idea, let alone a possibility. Cat is seriously overweight and totally reliant on candy bars and soda. But as Cat's experiment progresses, the support she receives from her family and best friend grows and Cat herself starts to become, well, hot. Before she knows it, her experiment takes on a new phase (one that involves some serious kissing), and she becomes more determined than ever to prove that she is smarter and better than that jerk Matt McKinney.

Let me just say that I have always been a meat eater. I love me some bacon and I prefer steaks cooked really rare. But this book, which I listened to on audio 2 1/2 weeks ago, actually inspired me to eat better. I have totally given up drinking soda (Oh, Dr. Pepper - I miss you!) and I haven't had a hamburger since finishing the book.

That being said, I don't think this book will inspire everyone to change their diet like I am. My point is that Robin Brande is such an amazing writer that I was totally sucked into the story. I was rooting for Cat the whole way. Best friend Amanda is the most awesome fictional best friend in the history of literature (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. . .) and Amanda's boyfriend Jordan is equally amazing.

I did not find the vegetarian/vegan aspects of the book to be preachy at all. Cat never looks down on someone else for eating badly. How could she? She spent the last 4 or 5 years putting on weight and eating terribly. I love the way Cat develops a relationship with her little brother who, before her experiment, was always just kind of there in her life.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in science or someone who likes stories about people who used to be best friends and what happened that made the friendship end (yeah, I'm a sucker for those types of stories). If you haven't read anything by Robin Brande, give her a chance! You won't be disappointed.

A few other titles you might enjoy if you like Fat Cat:

by Gordon Korman

Evolution, Me and
Other Freaks of Nature

by Robin Brande

by Justine Larbalestier

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