Fat Cat by Robin Brande

Fat CatCat 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.

The cover didn’t grab my attention, but I liked the idea of a book which explored “how girls feel about their bodies .

The main character, Cat, has a lovely personality, but a lack of assertiveness has left her open to hurt. Although it isn’t what she had set out to achieve with her experiment, the need for self-care and boundaries is what Cat faces head-on in this coming of age story.

As Cat’s waistline decreases, she picks up several admirers. Her experiences dating are easy to imagine, cue going out with a guy because she’d feel bad to say no to and kissing a toad and a casanova in her journey to understand what it is that she wants, and how to go after it with positivity and self-confidence.

Throughout her transformation Cat’s former best friend is in the background giving her the stink-eye, but we don’t find out why right away.

During her experiment, Cat starts to connect more with her little brother, learns to love and accept herself and steps outside her comfort zone for her own good. Swim sessions and diet plans abound, and there were times the sensible plea for people to readdress their eating pulled me out of the story.

Cat’s easy to connect with and most of the other characters – including the creep and the casanova – were fascinating. Cat’s best friend though seemed too grown up to me, I know a lot of teens can be grown up but her relationship with Cat bordered on being the mum.

There was a lot to like about this book, the characters, the plot and the writing style. ‘Fat Cat’ does what it says on the tin – without coming across like a lecture – and reminds girls how to take care of themselves: physically, mentally and emotionally.


  1. This sounds like a fun read and reminded me a little of Going Vintage, where the girl gives up anything that wasn’t around when her grandma was in school. Wonderful review!

  2. I agree that the cover could be more compelling–would’ve been good to put a cute, plump character on the cover. That said, I think the subject is a very worthy one!

  3. I haven’t come across this one, but this sounds interesting – I like the fact that it seems like lots of different aspects of Cat’s life are focused on, rather than making it all about romance. Great review Katja!

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