Friday, February 28, 2014
Worst Distopian Cat-based Young Adult Novel Ever!
Blake, Jon (2008) The Last Free Cat Chicago: Alfred Whitman and Co.
It is the near future. A horrible flu transmitted by cats has devastated the world. An enterprising corporation has seized the chance to gain a monopoly on disease free cats and sells them to the rich of the world at impossibly high prices. What are normal cat-loving people supposed to do? When Jade finds a stray in her back yard and takes it in, she sets in motion a chain of events that involve the death of someone she loves, a cross-country flight with a boy she hardly knows, and pursuit by corporate/government cops who have to be the most incompetent law enforcement personnel in the fictional universe. Sound like a ridiculous story? Yup.
I don't usually do reviews of books I don't want to recommend, but this one is worth it if I can save you the pain. The main character, Jade, is a cross between a watered-down Katniss from Hunger Games and a slightly more alive Bella from Twilight. Jade seems to have a multiple personality disorder though, as you alternates between utter calm warrior focus and utter hysterical panic. I found it hard to care about her as a character. I also have no idea how old she is supposed to be.
Kris, her friend/boyfriend alternates between being a jerk and being a really useful tough guy/scoundrel. The love tension doesn't work because the annoyance and hatred they have for each other is far stronger than the attraction. What do they see in each other?
The ending is a bizarre Dues ex Machina thing.
On top of all this, the book has enough superfluous vulgar language that it is sure to be challenged by a parent if you tried to use it in class. I suppose I is written for high school readers, but do yourself a favor. Skip this one. I am not a cat person, but I have read some excellent stories with cats in them that I have really enjoyed. This one would be a bad book with or without the cats.