Cat Girl's Day Off

By Francesca Amendolia, YA Books Central

The characters were similarly both familiar and surprising. Nat on the one hand fits the mold of the odd-girl heroine, but she never became a stock character. She felt powerfully real – so real I truly cared what happened between her and (sigh) Ian, and I really wanted her family to see her in a new light. Oscar and Mellie likewise – in the hands of a lesser writer, they both could have been clichés, but Pauley infused them with full, rich lives and selves. I ended up wishing they were MY best friends, and that I didn’t have to leave them behind when I turned the last page. The urban-fantasy element—that some humans have Talents (not superpowers, Nat’s mother insists)—was utterly believable, and never needed dull exposition to justify its existence.??

The (dare I say zany?) madcap adventures in Kimberly Pauley’s truly delightful new book are Hughes-ish in the best possible way, happy ending and all. I can’t imagine finding a better beach book this year, but if I were you, I wouldn’t wait until summer to read it.