Fat Cat (by Robin Brande) c. 2009

Fat Cat by Robin Brande
c. 2009
Teen Fiction, eBook

At the beginning of the school year, Cat Locke finds herself in need of a science project. But this can’t be just any science project—it has to be good. Like really good. Good enough to win top honors at the science fair at the end of the year and blow the competition—including her archrival and ex-friend Matt McKinney—completely out of the water. It will be the project that defines her academic career and propels her to scientific success beyond the classroom.

Cat Locke is going prehistoric.

Fat Cat starts out as an account of a vengeful science project, but delivers so much more. Cat is a funny and introspective character who is intensely relatable in her struggles with self-acceptance. Such a character might present a trap of overt didacticism and heavy-handed moralizing to a lesser author, but Robin Brande deftly avoids such clichés with humor and realism. The appeal and strength of Fat Cat lie in Cat’s internal dialogue and her personal growth throughout the course of the novel.

If you enjoy Fat Cat, you might also like The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson, and The Karma Club by Jessica Brody.

Pros: A funny and thoughtful novel that examines issues of self-acceptance and self-perception with humor and honesty.

Review by Martha

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