Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kitty Kitty

Crime-solving Jasmine Callihan is back in Michele Jaffe’s Kitty Kitty, sequel to last year’s young adult novel Bad Kitty. This time, though, Jas is sleuthing in Venice, Italy where her father, a “genius,” is researching the history of soap.

Jas meets a quirky young woman, Arabella, in Italian class. When disaster strikes Arabella, Jas disagrees with the official investigation (and I can’t blame her for distrusting the Italian police force after reading The Monster of Florence). Instead, she decides to solve Arabella’s mystery on her own.

Naturally, Jas’s search leads her into multiple sticky situations, helps her meet several interesting young males, and causes her friends (who obviously have a different income than I did as a teen or do as an adult) to travel halfway around the world to come to her aid.

Of course, despite mishaps and mayhem, Jas is a top-notch heroine. She is smart, funny, and humble—plus she has a dreamboat boyfriend. Though lacking somewhat in substance, this series is harmless fun.

Jaffe’s writing is often witty—although it reminds me too much of a self-conscious, less-clever, wannabe version of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. Jaffe also walks a fine line between hip and horribly out-of-date. Hip: her use of footnotes to represent instant messages. Out-of-date: references to VH1’s Behind the Music and M*A*S*H. Does she think teenagers have the same interests as the middle-aged?

Jaffe does redeem herself, though, with multiple references to the Austrian television show Kommissar Rex, one of my favorite programs I watched in Paris (except Jas’s Italian version is called Il Commissario Rex, the French version is Rex, chien flic, and in English it's Inspector Rex). Anyone who enjoys a crime-fighting dog can’t be bad.


notaconnoisseur said...

That is pretty funny about the M*A*S*H references. I wonder if Celeste knows anything about the series. It ended in 1983, the year that Steve was born.

The Aspirant said...

Um, that show is about Rex but they used another dog to protect Rex's anonymity.

Wanna-Be Lit said...

Rex is a crime-fighting dog?

Blogger said...

Of course, do you find that surprising? Also, I can't believe you didn't watch this show in Geneva.