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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Fat Cat* by Robin Brande- young adult book review
Also by Robin Brande:

Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature
Fat Cat
by Robin Brande
Grades 8+ 336 pages Knopf October Hardcover    

In a world dominated by social networking websites, mobile phones and television, can one high school student make it through 207 days without junk food or modern technology? So goes the premise of Robin Brandeís latest novel, Fat Cat.

Cat is your typical lovable heroine. Slightly overweight, hilarious, ambitious and kind, sheís bumbling through life as most teens do, worrying about boys, school projects and her looks. However, her latest science project changes her life forever, when she decides to live like the hominids, the earliest human ancestors. She cuts out television, her car, junk food, caffeine Ė the lot, all in the name of science.

Catís drastic new lifestyle is tough at first but it does have its benefits. The pounds begin to drop off, and Cat no longer hides behind baggy sweaters and jeans. Out come the tank tops and the skirts, and up prick the ears of the male classmates who have never shown an interest in her before.

Of course, there is the one boy Cat canít (but should) resist: Matt McKinney Ė her childhood best friend who she hasnít spoken to in years because of a horrible incident years ago that Cat can barely bring herself to think about. Matt is cool, popular, and her main rival for the school science fair prize, something Cat has her sights set on.

Fat Cat is one of the most enjoyable books Iíve read in a long while. Cat is such a likeable character, and there were moments where I actually laughed out loud. Itís so refreshing to read a book where the heroine isnít a stick-thin, blonde model type whose only worry in life is boys.

However, Fat Cat wouldnít be quite so great if boys werenít present at all, as Catís relationship with Matt fascinated me from the beginning. What exactly did he do to make her hate him so much? When I finally found out, I put the book down with a sharp intake of breath: How dare he!

As Cat explores hominid-friendly recipes, my mouth began to water, and as the story progressed I became more and more interested in Catís new lifestyle. Aside from being a great tale of high school relationships, Fat Cat is a thoroughly interesting take on teenage body image.

Brande herself actually lived the hominid lifestyle as she wrote the book and it really shows. Her passion is clear, and I donít think Fat Cat would have been such a brilliant book without all the research and care Brande put into the story.

All women (but particularly teenagers) can find something to relate to in Catís story. Weíve all felt bad about ourselves, our looks, our weight at some point. We could all benefit from a little bit of Catís attitude and determination... and maybe a few of her hominid recipes.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Carly Bennett/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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