I loved, loved, LOVED this book. Humorous, delightfully cheerful, clever, and refreshingly quirky, Cat Girl's Day Off is one of the most enjoyable novels I've ever read. You wouldn't believe how much fun I had with this book. Filled with vibrant personalities, laugh-out-loud hilarious dialogues, eye-popping situations, mysteries, and cats with attitude, Kimberly Pauley's most recent book is a cat story like you've never read before. I'm not exaggerating, this book is flipping EPIC!
Our heroine, Natalie, is a cat girl. No, I don't mean an old and grumpy cat lady that smells like cat urine and is totally socially awkward. I mean a girl that can hear cats and carry out full-blown conversations with them. The ability to talk to cats is Natalie's talent. In fact, each of her family members has some sort of a special talent/ability: her little sister is uber-smart and can blend into the environment much like a chameleon, her older sister is a human-lie detector, her mom - is super intelligent (highest IQ in the world) and has incredible laser vision, and her dad's talent is so complex it's practically not possible to classify it. Natalie always thought that from all the talents she could've ended up with, she got the most boring one. She's so ashamed of it, keeps it a secret and never ever talks about it. Only her two best friends, the geektastic celebrity-gossip-machine Oscar and gorgeous born-to-be-famous Melly, know about Natalie's ability. It isn't until the famous celebrity blogger, Easton West, gets kidnapped that Natalie's unique skills finally come in handy. With the help of the most aristocratic pink cat you'll ever meet, Nat and her two faithful side-kicks will make saving Easton their mission. And let me just tell, it won't be an easy one!
Where do I begin? I loved everything about this book, from the phenomenal, three-dimensional characters to intriguing plot line to Kimberly's fluid and entirely captivating writing style. This book is a treat, and not only for cat people - I don't consider myself a cat person (please don't tell Rufus!), but I enjoyed every second of this novel. The plot line was mysterious, funny, romantic and positively energetic. It kept me intrigued and well entertained throughout the entire time. There were some paranormal elements to it (the talents), but I can't really call it a paranormal book, to me it was a contemporary novel with paranormal elements (and I will stick to that!). Light, fluffy, and colourful, this is an uplifting read, and one that is sure to bring a huge grin to your face.
One aspect of Cat Girl's Day Off was especially fascinating to me, and I'm talking about this book being minority and LGBT friendly. The story featured not one, but many Asian or half-Asian (like Oscar) characters and they were all brilliantly fleshed-out, and - what is extremely important - in totally non-stereotypical way. I can't tell you how refreshing it was to read a book with such multicultural diversity, and one that would also be incredibly tolerant and accepting of homosexual characters. A breath of fresh air, to say the least! I loved that the lead protagonist was not yet another gorgeous blond girl with blue eyes. I'm so tired of clones! I needed Nat to be different, and she was - in so many ways, all of them absolutely wonderful. Her vibrant personality really stood out to me (and so did Oscar's and Melly's, not to mention the absolutely fabulous Rufus!), and I quickly warmed up to her. She was likeable, just a little bit shy (but not embarrassingly so), full of energy, and with a charming sense of humour. I was so proud of her when she asked Ian out! She did it in the most stylish, bad-ass, adorable way, and at that time all I wanted to do is high-five her - I was so proud, I think I almost teared up! Oscar was just wicked awesome, and I absolutely and utterly adored him. Next to Nat and Rufus he was one of my top three favourite characters. And out of all the characters in this book, I believe Oscar to have the most approachable, sparkly personality - I couldn't help but to love him.
Cat Girl's Day Off is not only an action-packed and intensely entertaining story. This book is also layered up with meaning and profound messages. Featuring themes like friendship, family, self-discovery and self-acceptance, it's a book that will not only make you snort your drink through your nose, but also make you stop and think. To me, this book is a gem. It's a pocket full of sunshine that brightened my day, made me laugh like a maniac (and in public, too!), and left me feeling satisfied, mellow, and enriched.