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Fat Cat Hardcover – October 13, 2009

55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From 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.   
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
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Missouri Gateway Readers 2012
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037584449X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375844492
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,988,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robin Brande is the award-winning author of THE WISE GIRL'S GUIDE TO LIFE; the fantasy series THE BRADAMANTE SAGA; the young adult novels EVOLUTION, ME & OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE, FAT CAT, DOGGIRL, the PARALLELOGRAM series, REPLAY, and THE GOOD LIE; and the adult novels LOVE PROOF, FREEFALL, HEART OF ICE, and FIRE AND ICE.

She is a former trial attorney, speaker, entrepreneur, law instructor, yoga teacher, black belt in martial arts, girls' and women's self-defense instructor, Girl Scout leader, outdoor adventurer, and certified wilderness medic. Her books have won various awards throughout the country and have been named "Best Fiction for Young Adults" by the American Library Association. She was selected as the 2013 Judy Goddard/Libraries Ltd. Young Adult Author of the Year.

You can connect with Robin and find out more about current and upcoming titles at

You can sign up for free daily inspiration at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Book Scout on October 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed Fat Cat. I loved Robin's last book, Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature so I was really excited to get this one for review! Robin's books always deal with unique issues, and always are packed full of characters I love. Cat was a great main character, but my favorite has to be her best friend- Amanda. Amanda was sweet, loyal, funny, poetic, stylish- everything you could want in a best friend. The best part was she stayed friends with Cat even before she lost weight. It was interesting to be a part of Cat's struggle to stick with the rules she assigned herself, and at times I felt myself wishing I could do what she did. She was very strong, because I don't think I could give up chocolate and the computer for as long as she did. Since Fat Cat was a first person narrative, I enjoyed it that much more. The reader got an inside look at Cat's life and everything she felt. I'm glad Cat stayed true to herself. She didn't just abandon her friends or anything now that she was becoming pretty, she did it for herself. To feel and be healthier.

Although it was a bit predictable at times, I highly recommend Fat Cat. It had great messages about being overweight and friendship also played a big role. Another thing I really liked was the cooking. Cat was a great cook and she and Amanda even helped revive a restaurant. I learned about a bunch of new recipes and really want to try cooking more myself now!

All in all, Fat Cat was a light read with a great message. Perfect for all girls to read.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 7/10
Overall: 45/50= 90%
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer J. Stewart on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is both smart and funny, and like its first person narrator, there's a lot to love about it.

In an attempt to take home top prize at the science fair, Cat decides to live like a cave girl: meaning no modern technology or conveniences (exceptions made for safety), and no processed foods (fruits and nuts are allowed; diet coke is out).

It's kind of the direct opposite of that movie Supersize Me. And if that were all it was, it would still be entertaining and insightful.

But Cat's experiment is not only for scientific glory; she hates being fat, and she fully intends to shed some weight along the way. The weight comes off along with the major chip Cat carries on her shoulder, and she learns a lot about herself, teenage boys, and love, especially that she has used her fat as an insulator, to avoid taking chances on relationships.

I hope many teens will read this book, because it has heart and humor, and a heroine for the modern, as well as the stone age!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Fuka on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who knew that after being overweight your whole life could be so easily solved? One reader, who is a bit overweight, said she felt betrayed by an author making it (losing weight) look SO easy, and it isn't.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mariah on January 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was a really powerful book. I felt that Robin poured herself into this novel, because you can't write a book about such a personal issue without having some back story. Maybe I am wrong but that is the impression I got.

Cat is a like-able character she is funny and unlike many other fat book main characters she does not really look down on herself. Because I am scientifically minded as well I enjoyed how she made changing her life into an experiment. All of the nutrition advice, while sometimes being too much, was informative, and interesting. This book really inspired me to get up and eat healthier.

Besides the nutrition aspect, the love story was really cute, while sometimes being obvious, i really loved Matt, and her other friends were so wonderful. I would love to be friends with any of these characters.

I enjoyed this book, it made me look at my eating choices through a good plot, and a cute love story. One of my favorite books I read in 2009.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sara VINE VOICE on December 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved FAT CAT! I received an audiobook of the novel from a Twitter contest hosted by the author, Robin Brande, and started listening to it on my 20 minute drive to work. It was so good though, that I started going out to my car on my breaks just to listen to it! I wanted to drive ALL THE TIME! I was so excited to make the 5 hour drive up to my family's for Thanksgiving because it meant 5 hours of FAT CAT!

When I first saw FAT CAT around on blogs, I wasn't particularly interested. The cover didn't really draw me in, but I thought the premise was promising. So when I saw that the author was giving away a couple audiobooks, I entered on a whim. I am so glad I won - otherwise I might have missed out on an awesome novel! And while I still don't love the cover, it has grown on me some!

The novel and Cat's experiment really made me think about my own eating habits and lifestyle. I found that not only were the results of Cat's experiment amazing, the lessons she learned about herself after losing weight were encouraging. The story reminded me that if you want to lose weight, or change yourself in anyway, you must do it for you, not anyone else.

Cat was a wonderful narrator; I felt like she was a friend by the end of the novel. I think that we are alike in many ways. I loved her no-nonsense attitude and her moments of weakness: she was loveable.

Cat's romantic mishaps and relationships were one of my favorite aspects of the novel. I loved the fact that Cat hadn't dated before, it made the story a bit different than the rest. I liked that Cat was independent and didn't need a boy, even though she wanted one. And I wanted her to have one... well, there's at least one boy I wanted her to have.

Read FAT CAT! I loved this novel and even borrowed it to my mom. If you like audiobooks, I thought that the narrator did a great job. There is a bonus interview with the author at the end of the audio version as well that I really enjoyed.
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