This is the first book that I’ve read for this year and I’ve read in a long while. And I must say thanks to my friend, Kriselle, for recommending me the book because it gripped me the way I expected it would.
Well, for obvious reasons like the fact that this one’s centered around a girl who has unrequited feelings for a guy who seemed to have indirectly rejected her when they were younger. As you will notice, I go gaga over this kind of story. I like it painful and I like it nurtured for a very long time. What’s more is that this love has turned into an unreasonable hatred that’s pushed our protagonist to improve herself. Not for three years though but we start with a turning point in the character’s life as soon as the story begins. Isn’t that just gripping?
Another aspect to love about this novel is dieting. Now I know we must not fall into the demonic hands of social construct but this novel gave dieting a new– scratch that, it’s not new but better face. Okay we still read the harsh and harshest comments like ‘you’re fat so you’re ugly.’ This novel doesn’t really divert from that route so much but let’s not focus on that. Let’s not even focus on why she did it because it’s sure to disappoint. Let’s look at for whom she did it.
And the only answer to this should be clear for every wo/man who wants to lose a pound or two.
We should do it for ourselves.
You may want to look prettier and hot and good but don’t do it for that guy. Or so you’d belong and blend in with your skinnier friends. Do it because yourself needs it.
Cat may have started out because she was compelled to do it (see: science project and hello I want to beat Matt Mckinney) but, later on, her conversations with her dietitian and with Amanda prove that it is all for herself. Who cares about demolishing the walls of social construct right? If you think you’ll become prettier for yourself when you lose the flabs, then why not? And it’s alright because it’s not just about becoming more physically appealing. Cat learned to appreciate things she never had before when she was living a sedentary lifestyle. Like the wonderful weather when she’s taking her walks. Or how she’s less sluggish and more active after her new diet. You’ll know becoming ‘beautiful’ isn’t the main point because that’s merely just Phase II of her project.
Now what I hate–not hate but yeah. What makes me cringe is Cat’s best friend, Amanda. However good friend she is of a character it just bothers me that she’s a sue. Amanda has everything. In Daniel Padilla’s words, ‘Naseye ne eng lehet.’ She’s literature smart and artsy. She has good fashion sense. She doesn’t get fat even after eating more than what Cat can digest. She’s pretty and has a good personality (she’s humble even after winning awards). Oh wait! She’s plain at school but what do you know? She’s living a different life outside because she can be a total killer once she puts on makeup during her part-time job. And did I read that right? Customers go to this restaurant that serves awful food because she serves there as a hostess?
What can’t she do?
She even has a very good and loyal boyfriend! She’s chaste. She’s even good at persuading people and managing restaurants. Speaking of restaurants, she even knows how to design shirts and create website that served as Karmic Cafe’s promotional materials. What an angel she was when she didn’t even ask Darlene for her first month’s salary.
Can you believe that?
I would accept Cat’s transformation because she went through a lot and hell, but Amanda?
Another thing that I’m iffy about is how the conflict has been resolved. I just can’t accept that those feelings of three or four years can melt with a box of chocolate and a poorly written Valentine card that wasn’t even from Matt. Those feelings were nurtured however deep or shallow. You just can’t break it down.
At first, I thought that Matt just said ‘Cat is fat.’ No sweat. That’ll be petty. She could’ve just confronted him about it and say she’s hurt considering how close they are based on her description at the earlier parts of the book. And besides, it’s true. She really was fat.
But you haven’t heard the end of it. While it’s quite forgivable that she called Cat fat, it’s isn’t when he suddenly goes saying that he just spends time with her because she doesn’t have any other friends apart from him. So now everything he did is out of pity? Cat doesn’t need his pity! Cat is good on her own, thank you very much.
I find it hard to believe how she could just forgive him. How could she? Such a backstabbing asshole deserves no salvation. “If a sorry could resolve everything, why would there be a need of hell in this world?” so says Kyoko. I don’t care if he secretly defended her from Greg. That is now, what’s then is then. He said those words when she wasn’t around and I believe, no matter how young he was, that was how he truly felt. Because you know who’s your friend and enemy when your back is faced to them. That’s why I wanted an acceptable justification.
I somehow thought that he wanted to show her his project because that would explain why things are the way they are. I was hoping for profoundness. A secret untold.
He just wanted to show her his project he registered as an entry for astronomy which should’ve been for the animal science category. He put it there, he said, because there was no intention of winning. He just wanted do science is all. He doesn’t want to win competition or do the science fair.
Oh, so why did he enter Mr. Fizer’s class then? Isn’t his class all about science fair and project?
Ah, what profoundness I found. He joined because !surprise Cat was there.
If he said those hurtful words to Cat because he was thirteen back then, then he’s no different now. He’s still immature.
Now, the only reason this is pardoned is because I liked Cat’s way of thinking. True, she shouldn’t keep punishing herself with that painful part of her history. By forgiving Matt, she’s allowing herself to finally be happy. And it has happened because she chose to. Just like the day she decided to start dieting for herself.
I just didn’t like that they are together. Forgiveness could’ve been given without romanticizing it. Even if I loved Matt. It just doesn’t fit.
That’s why only 3 out of 5 for this book.