From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Rotund brainiac Catherine "Cat" Locke, a junior, becomes her own science-fair project "guinea pig," trying to live a prehistoric lifestyle for seven months. Out for revenge on former best friend/crush and detested rival Matt McKinney, she gives up cars, phones, TV, computers, and processed foods in her determination to win this year's competition. Cat's slimmed-down body attracts several boys' attention, and she expands her project to observe the effects on herself and others, coached in the social graces by her beautiful, brilliant girlfriend Amanda. Delightful character depth and humorous plot twists make this a satisfying read as Cat confronts the real issues separating her from Matt. Brande precisely captures the different psyches of teenage guys and girls, weaving fitness, friendship, and forgiveness around the scientific method.—Joyce Adams Burner, National Archives at Kansas City, MO
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From the Author
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:
Q: FAT CAT reads like a romantic comedy, but you seemed to have just as much fun with some of the other relationships in the book. Can you talk about that?
A: What I've heard most from readers is that they love the friendship between Cat and her best friend Amanda, and the brother-sister relationship between Cat and her little brother Peter. I loved writing all those side scenes. I've never liked friendships (either in fiction or in real life) where the girls are competitive with each other or otherwise snarky and mean. The relationship between Cat and Amanda is based on my own friendship with the same best friend I've had since high school. We're both happy to see the other one succeed. That's true friendship to me.
As for the relationship between Cat and her brother, I loved writing that, too! I'm friends with my own siblings, and I see that all around me in other families. I love it when siblings genuinely like and support each other.
Q: Besides FAT CAT, you've written other science-oriented young adult novels: EVOLUTION, ME & OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE and the PARALLELOGRAM series in particular. Have you always been interested in science?
A: Not at all. I was very intimidated by science when I was younger. I never thought I was "good at it." I didn't realize you could be interested in it and want to know more even if you didn't necessarily understand all the math behind it. But now in my adult life I watch science shows and read science books all the time. I'm definitely a late-blooming science nerd. There's so much cool science being done out there, and it's fascinating to learn about all of it.
Q: Aside from the science-oriented books, what other books would fans of FAT CAT enjoy?
A: If they want another book of mine that's funny and sweet, I'd send them to DOGGIRL. If they're looking for cool phenomena more on the paranormal side, then definitely REPLAY, which explores reincarnation and near-death experiences.
Q: What's coming up next?
A: I'm very excited about my new series, THE BRADAMANTE SAGA, which is unlike anything else I've written. It's an epic historical medieval fantasy featuring a tough, fearless girl warrior. It's a series I've wanted to write for decades! The first book, BOOK OF EARTH, was recently released, and several more installments in the saga will follow this year.
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Q: Any message you'd like to share with your readers?
A: First of all, thank you. I know as well as any of you that there are only so many entertainment hours available to us every day, and they need to be split among our favorite shows, some movies here and there, and then that big stack of books we all keep adding to every month. So I appreciate whenever someone spends some time with characters I've created.
Second, please never be shy about reaching out to me. I try to answer every email. If you take the time to write to me, I'll take the time to answer!
And last, I love to reward my readers with news, freebies, and random giveaways. The best way to get all three is to subscribe on my website at robinbrande.com.