Catherine Locke is determined to crush the competition in Mr. Fizerâ€™s torturous A.P. Special Topics in Research Sciences class, especially smug Matt McKinney, her ex-best friend and science fair rival since 6th grade. Each student must randomly choose a picture from Fizerâ€™s dreaded Stack of science photos and devise a secret year long research project around it, culminating in a science fair presentation that could make or break their college apps. When Cat pulls a picture of naked Neanderthals from the Stack, at first her mind draws a blank. Cave people couldnâ€™t be further from her previous studies of insect evolution. Then it dawns on her: Cat, overweight since she gave up swimming for Snickers, will study the eating habits of ancient hominids, with herself as the test subject! By dropping all â€œprocessed, manufactured, chemically altered, or preservedâ€ foods from her menu, she hopes to prove that conforming to a â€œCave Girl CafÃ©â€ diet will help return the body to itâ€™s original, pre-junk-food-and-artificial-sweetner state. Catâ€™s prepared for how physically difficult itâ€™s going to be giving up her six-pack-a-day Diet Coke habit and beloved candy bars. But what she never saw coming was how boys would react to her newly svelte bod, now shed of itâ€™s protective layers.Â Suddenly Catâ€™s drawing appreciative stares and longing glances from all sorts of male hominidsâ€”except smug Matt McKinney, of course. Good thing she isnâ€™t secretly in love with him or she just might care! This funny take on love, food, biology and gender differences is one of the freshest chick lit. titles Iâ€™ve read in awhile. Like another recent favorite of mine, Brande weaves lots of interesting scientific facts into a story that is both about our societal battle with food and the battle between the sexes. Cat and Matt’s stormy relationship humorously illustrates how girls and boys are wired differently when it comes to dealing with emotions and handling competition. Clearly influenced by food origin books like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Fat Cat is a happy meld of romaine and romance, tofu and tenacity, that will appeal to even the most picky of eaters and readers. Oh, and one last thing: If Brande sounds familiar, it’s because she is the author of RR 2007 Top Ten Title,Â Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature.