Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Cats, Scarves, and Liars by Kathryn White

Title: Cats, Scarves, and Liars
Author: Kathryn White
Publication Date: April 21, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
Pages: 181
Add to Goodreads

I received this book from the author 
in exchange for an honest review. 
Meet Peppa Grove.

Peppa is just your average Australian young woman, really. 23 years old, widowed and owner of a cat who can speak perfect English. (But no one will believe her about the cat.) Why is she being stalked by one of the customers from her job at the City South Post Office? What secrets does the mysterious Ivory Black know about Peppa and her past? What does he know about the strange murders that are happening all over Adelaide? And was it really necessary of him to steal her boyfriend's scarf?

Cats, Scarves and Liars is a quirky, offbeat tail tale from a unique Australian writer. You'll laugh, you'll cry you'll discover the meaning of life. (Actually, we lied about that last part.)

Cats, Scarves and Liars... What can I say about this book? Well, the author doesn't believe in the Oxford comma, so we disagree there. Okay, so that's irrelevant.

This book claims to be an offbeat thriller and it's definitely not lying about the "offbeat" part. I would call it a blend of Amelia Bedelia and Scooby Doo, but I would not label it a thriller. In fact, I'd say the mystery part of the story is pretty predictable. The plot is largely unbelievable and a bit ridiculous, to be honest, but it's a quick read and it did keep me turning pages, so it wasn't a total loss. That being said, the flaws outweighed the positives, unfortunately.

The main character in Cats, Scarves and Liars is Peppa (who is apparently quite forgettable since I had to look that up just now), a recent widow who is apparently the catch of the town while simultaneously being worthy of no one. In fact, Peppa reminds the reader repeatedly of how unworthy she is of Julian (her new main squeeze), which becomes really annoying very early on. She's honestly an extremely confusing character - very wishy washy. For example, when we learn about her previous relationship, she tells us that she stripped to her underwear and let Tom, her dearly departed husband, give her her first big O... but followed this by informing him that she was saving sex for marriage. Not only that, but she criticizes others for sexism while being (previously) married to a misogynistic pig. Tom was a despicable human being. So much so that I cannot understand why Peppa is at all torn up about his death. She knows that he was a piece of crap and she still feels bad about dating. Why? The antagonist in this book is severely disturbed and disgusting. To be honest, he was the best part of the book!

The main plot device in the book was an unusual form of LSD and was really too far fetched for me. The characters were all very one dimensional with not much growth (the main reason it was all so predictable) and the world building could definitely have been better.

I wanted to like Cats, Scarves and Liars, I really did, but I just couldn't get into the story. It's far lighter than what I was hoping for since it was, after all, listed as a thriller (it's on the cover!). I'm not sure I could recommend this book, but maybe that's just because it wasn't my cup of tea. If anyone should read it, it's someone might would enjoy a quick, light, humorous book without much thrill over a weekend.