Friday, May 29, 2009

Fat Cat (YA)

Brande, Robin. 2009. (October 2009) Fat Cat. Random House. 336 pages.

"You're all good little machines," Mr Fizer told us. He sat there this afternoon in his tweed jacket and his white shirt and plaid bow tie and glared at us over the top of his half-glasses.

Cat hearts science. And she's thrilled to be in Mr. Fizer's class--Fizer's Special Topics In Research science class. A class that is legendary, "not the least because every few years someone has to run out of there on the first day and vomit because of the stress." On the first day of class, each student randomly selects a picture/photo from Mr. Fizer's hands. Your research topic for the year? A complete gamble. No matter your interest, you'll be forced to be "inspired" by the picture you select. No wonder there is stress! What does fate have in store for Cat?

It was an artist's rendering of how these early humans might have lived. There were three men and a woman out in a meadow of some sort. They were all lean and muscular and tan--and did I mention naked? They were gathered around a dead deer, guarding it from a pack of saber-toothed hyenas who were trying to move in and snatch it. One of the men was shouting. The woman had the only weapon--a rock--and she stood there poised to pitch it at the hyenas. It was a great action scene if you're into that sort of thing--the whole anthro-paleo field of studies where you care more about the dead then the living.

Can prehistoric men and women inspire Cat to greatness? Read and see for yourself in Fat Cat. 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. No, reading Fat Cat didn't make me want to become a vegan, I still love my meat. But it did make me think about what changes I would be willing to make. Encouraged me to stick with those changes I've already made. I also loved that science wasn't Cat's only interest. She was passionate about many things--including cooking and swimming. People were also important to her. Her friends. Her family. Especially her little brother. Loved the development of that relationship. Cat was a complex, very human, character that I just loved.

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's a romance too. I love Matt. I do. While our heroine, Cat, was loving-to-hate and hating-to-love him, I was loving to love him and cheering this reluctant couple on. It reminded me of some of my favorite reluctant romances--like Anne and Gilbert, for example. This is one giddy-making romance...

They say your muscles have memory. Once you've trained your arms to swing a tennis racket or your legs to ride a bike, you can quit for a while--for years, even--and all it takes is picking up a racket or jumping on a bike again and your muscles remember what to do. They snap right back to performing the way you taught them.
The heart is a muscle, too. And I've been training mine since I was a kid to fall in love with one particular person.... (313)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Laura H 3:19 PM  

This doesnt come out Oct 2009!! How I'm going to remember about this one???

Becky 3:24 PM  

I'll try to post a reminder in October near its release date :)

Vasilly 6:54 PM  

The 30 books in 30 days is open to everyone.

Melissa 4:44 PM  

So, Robin Brande has done it again? Yay! We have to wait until October? Boo.

Paige Y. 5:37 AM  

I cannot wait to get my hands on this book -- I loved her first one. I had hoped to get an ARC but haven't been reviewing enough this past year to feel like I have a right to ask for one. Hopefully the reviews will pick up this summer after school gets out.

biblauragraphy 11:08 PM  

Everything I hear about this one makes me want to read it more! I'll definitely be on the lookout for it this fall.

Zibilee 11:52 AM  

This sounds like a great book. I have been meaning to read more YA this summer, so I will be checking out this book. Thanks!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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