Iris Anderson has won the standoff with her father, and he’s agreed to let her be a detective at his struggling detective agency one on condition: he’ll teach her the methods. Then not one, but two, cases fall on Iris’ plate. She uncovers evidence indicating her mother’s may have not committed suicide as previously thought, and Jewish students are finding anti-Semitic letters in their locker at her school.
Iris Anderson returns in this follow-up to The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines. When we last saw Iris, she had just helped solve the case of a missing fellow student. Now she’s a little older and a little wiser. All the elements I loved from the first book return: New York, the period slang, and some side characters. I’d put The Girl is Trouble as a bit more noir than its predecessor but just as enjoyable. Once again I thought this book moved at a good steady pace, and definitely kept ramping up the action.
I love the main story – the mystery of Iris’ mother’s death. It had me guessing the entire time I was reading, and there were times I drew the completely wrong conclusion. I’ll always love a mystery that stumps me. The subplot of the anti-Semitism was well-done and I think it was so strongly done it could’ve stood alone as a separate novel, however, Haines has elements of both subplots intertwine and echo each other, which came together in a brilliant way. And at the core of the novel is Iris trying to reconcile her faith and beliefs.
There’s a nice side romance, something I can always take or leave in a non-romantic YA, and it distract me from the plot. I was very surprised by one romance. I was pleased to see Susie come back, but the best character of all is New York in the 1940s. I simply eat up every bit of detail evoking the time and Kathryn Miller Haines is so good at dishing them out.
You can read this The Girl is Trouble without reading the first book, but I recommend it, especially to see Iris’s character transformation. Trouble keeps you guessing as Iris winds her way down dark alleyways and abandoned streets searching for the truth about her mother and the note-leaver. Get it Veronica Mars fans!
Copy for review provided by the publisher.
Title: The Girl is Trouble
Author: Kathryn Haines
Date: July 2012
Publisher: Roaring Brook
This review comes to you as part of the The Girl is Trouble blog tour run by The Teen Book Scene! Be sure to visit all the stops on the tour!
Natalie Ng, like everyone else in her family, has a Talent. And with a sister who can be a human lie detector, and another who can camouflage herself like a chamelon, Natalie’s talent must be really awesome, right? Wrong. Her Talent is lame and quite useless (if you ask her anyway) because she can talk to cats. And what good is that except for finding out when a cat wants tuna? (And they want tuna all the time!). But maybe her Talent will come in handy when her friend Oscar, a gossiphound, shows her a video of a celebrity blogger being attacked by her own (albeit dyed pink) cat. Natalie realizes the cat is saying the blogger is an imposter. Now Oscar, Natalie, and their best friend Melly, an aspiring actress, are on a madcap tour of Chicago, Ferris Bueller-style, and with cats in tow, to solve the mystery of the kidnapped blogger, and Natalie’s got to put her skills to the test.
I so enjoyed this book that it’s hard to pinpoint what I loved best. First, look at the cover. Diversity! It’s an excellent cover that accurately portrays Natalie Ng as she is. It’s not some homogenized B.S. girl with a tiny tank top bedazzled with rhinestones. Seriously, kudos Tu Books! Also, a gay character, whose sexuality isn’t part of the plot.
This book is fun and light. It’s got some very funny moments. From the moments with the cats (I couldn’t stop cracking up when the cats would refer to Natalie’s crushing on a boy as “she’s in heat for him”) but also the movie-related hijinx. If you’ve ever seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (and who hasn’t?!), then you’ll remember enjoy some of the plot elements. The romance with Ian is sweet, and when P.D. gets involved, things get really fun. (I’ll let you find out who P.D. is!)
Natalie is instantly likable and she just seems real. The dash of paranormal (“Talents”) mixed with the modern day made a fun, not heavy paranormal read that’s accessible to many. While Cat Girl’s Day Off is hilarious and fast, it also packs a story about a girl trying to find her place in an uber-gifted family. Her dialogue crackles as does the cats’, and rings true. You would think with all the zany plot points that come into play, that the romance subplot wouldn’t work, but it really does. It doesn’t feel like a romance was tacked on just for the point of having a romance because “readers like that kind of thing.”
I think what I really love about this book is the fact you can tell Kimberly Pauley wrote a book that didn’t try to follow any trends, she wrote that proverbial “book in your heart,” and it worked. So well. The quotes about cats for each chapter were a nice touch; I am a true sucker for quotes in a book.
Oh, and be sure to follow Rufus Brutus III on Twitter.
If you like cats, movies, bloggers, Chicago, and humor, you will love this book! Highly recommended for fans of Maureen Johnson.
Copy for review provided by the publisher.
Title: Cat Girl’s Day Off
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Date: April 2012
Publisher: Tu Books
For author Kimberly Pauley’s new book Cat Girl’s Day Off, her publisher Tu Books (an imprint of Lee and Low) has a blog tour all about bloggers and their cats. The main character of the novel can speak to cats, so bloggers are answering the question “If my cat could speak, what would it say?”
There’s a giveaway below too, so scroll down if you want that!
It’s pretty obvious that my cats would say food. FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD. Now I don’t share this with just anyone, but within our family, we have a “special voice” for just one cat, Shadow. I have three cats – Buddha, Shadow and Ivy, but I’ll start with Shadow.
Shadow, a black longhair.
Skill: An adorable disarming squeal whenever she sees anything that may reasonable food. And the worst of all, the big eyes and silent squeak combo. Many a chicken nugget has been lost to this attack.
Shadow thinks all dog’s names were “Dog.” If you asked her about the dogs downstairs, she would name them as Little Dog, Big Dog, Dog, Dog, and Fuzzy Dog. The white terrier next door is “Fancy dog.”
Shadow is a world class lazybones, like the other two. She starts in the living room in the morning, lays on the table in the dining room at lunch, next the kitchen, then the bedrooms. She follows the sun throughout the house taking the world’s longest siesta.
Next we have Buddha…
Buddha, Russian Blue
Skill: Slamming kitchen cabinets at 6 am.
Don’t let that playful cat fool you. She is completely my partner A’s cat. Buddha lets me pet her maybe every other Sunday and she’s very particular about everything. She takes twenty minutes banging her paws after getting in the litter box. She is insane. The other day she did her slow torture method – slowly ripping paper until I got up to check her food bowls. And what did she want was to be fed…in the yellow bowl. The pink bowl had food, but she wanted the yellow bowl.
And she doesn’t like me because she was A’s cat for over 12 years. So if she could talk, she wouldn’t say anything! Except maybe “girl, feed me.”
See this video. I am talking RIGHT TO HER and completely ignores me.
And finally, the baby of them all.
Skill: A loud and persistent meow when she sees food or you’re not really paying attention to her.
She loves high places and if you asked her what she’d wanted to say, it’d pretty much be “chicken? jump! jump!” and then she would jump from the bed to the dresser to her perch on another dresser. Also she’d be sulking because we’re getting rid of the torn chairs that are trash-bound after we move next week. She’s been hiding in the bedroom forever but now she’s become more social…making us feel horrible we’re leaving! She’d probably whine for 8 days about how we WEREN’T FAIR, and she HATED US, and she was going to move to AUSTRALIA to live among the wild calicos.
If you haven’t read my blog before, I adopted Ivy a couple of years ago at a shelter. I’d fallen in love with her after seeing her on Petfinder.com. She’s grown into such a cute kitten with a quirky personality.
She does have an adorable murr.. she murrs when she sees us, when she’s hungry, when she’s sleepy…
Wow! After all that, I am so glad my cats don’t talk. Although they are perfectly lovely creatures. I’d much rather read about the dialogue of a cat in books.. like Cat Girl’s Day Off!
Natalie Ng’s little sister is a super-genius with a chameleon-like ability to disappear. Her older sister has three Class A Talents, including being a human lie detector. Her mom has laser vision and one of the highest IQs ever. Her dad’s Talent is so complex even the Bureau of Extra-Sensory Regulation and Management (BERM) hardly knows what to classify him as.
And Nat? She can talk to cats.
But it’s Nat’s Talent that catapults her and her friends right into the middle of a celebrity kidnapping mystery that takes them through Ferris Bueller’s Chicago and on and off movie sets. Can she keep her reputation intact? Can she keep her friends Oscar and Melly focused long enough to save the day? And, most importantly, can she keep from embarrassing herself in front of Ian?
Find out what happens when the kitty litter hits the fan.
If you like, leave me a comment telling me about what your cat would say (or another animal, I’ll be equal opportunity here). I’ve also got a giveaway! US only please. The giveaway will end May 7. Enter below.
I set up the widget incorrectly, so I extended the giveaway window to May 11!
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and lets bloggers spotlight the upcoming releases they’re anxious to read.
I’ll probably buy myself this one as a birthday treat (ugh, I’m going to be 30!).. Starting from Here by Lisa Jenn Bigelow.
Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother is dead, her truck driver father is always away, and her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy. When an injured stray dog lands at her feet, she decides to care for it, against her better judgment. But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursing her, and even her dog’s vet, who’s taken Colby under her wing. Colby can’t start over, but can she learn how to move on?
My awesome friend, Carey Corp, let me know an anthology she participated in is out now! Eternal Spring can be found for FREE on Smashwords in a variety of formats. If you haven’t got over to Smashwords for your e-book fix, go now. I love it!
Flowers, vacation, baseball, prom…what does spring mean to you? From unicorn hunters and teenage exorcists to Egyptian princesses and aspiring ballerinas, this collection of thirteen stories by some of the most exciting authors in Young Adult fiction explores young love and new beginnings during the most beautiful time of the year.
Camp Cauldron by Juli Alexander
Barre Hopping at Midnight by Amanda Brice
The Vanishing Spring by Carey Corp
The Princess of Egypt Must Die by Stephanie Dray
Spring Perfection by Leslie Dubois
Picture Not Perfect by Lois Lavrisa
Potionate Love by P.R. Mason
1:30, Tour Eiffel by Jennifer McAndrews
Off Balance by Renee Pace
On A Field, Sable by Diana Peterfreund
The Language of Flowers by Rhonda Stapleton
Dating After Dark (With Clowns) by Tawny Stokes
Sometime by Alicia Street