By Michele Jaffe
In BAD KITTY, Jasmine Callahan discovered a murderous plot afoot in Las Vegas. In KITTY KITTY, she leaves the canals of the Venetian to the canals of Venice, only to stumble across the path of another murderer. Only this time, she isn’t soon enough to prevent tragedy. She can track down the killer and prevent more murders, by following the guidance of Mr. T and using her Italian gleaned from Commissario Rex and translated episodes of CHiPs.
Little Life Lesson 1: Mr. T might not be the best role model. ESPECIALLY if white leather pants are involved.
Of course, the rest of the cast is still along for the ensuing mayhem. The Thwarter has morphed into Dadzilla, a more dangerous version of the breed. Jack just might be off with another girl who can stop a rhinoceros in its tracks with a single look. And while Polly, Roxy, and Tom are in the United States, they’ve just had a very worrying IM conversation with Jas. (Princess P: “Ah. I see that we are using the alternate universe definition of “plan” meaning “a massively horrible idea.”) Oh yeah, and there’s the Evil Hench Twins – call them Sapphyre and Tiger’s*Eye (the star is silent).
BAD KITTY knocked my socks off when I first read it. Hip, funny, and clever. Jaffe follows it with a sequel that’s every bit as fun. I want Polly as my fashion designer, with Roxy providing the armament. Jas’s horrible Italian adds to the book’s strong sense of language. Jaffe has a knack for teenage lingo. Instead of copying current slang, she - like any self-respecting teen – invents her own. The language Jas and her buds share, as well as that of the Evil Hench Twins, rings true with any teenager because it evokes the private words they share with their friends.
Many books aimed at young adult girls in the market today feature bad role models. Jas’s ideas of bad are incredibly funny because she’s such a good girl at heart. Reading a mainstream YA book where the teens use their brains and don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs is a pleasant change. So parents, don’t worry if you see your daughter or son reading KITTY KITTY.
However, I hope they clean up the final version of the cover. On the ARC, someone needed to spend more time in Photoshop. Even cleaned – I envy the United Kingdom. Their cover is Jordache.
KITTY KITTY hits shelves July 1, 2008. Find out more here.
The BAD KITTY manga CATNIPPED will be in stores the same month.
ETA: I think the manga is adorable, but as the second volume was never published you must be prepared to live with the lack of an ending.