P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer
A YA Paranormal Novel published by Rocking Horse Publishing (06/25/13)
“You never know how strong you really are until you are tested.” (Page 263).
Miri Katz is barely keeping her head above water. She is clumsy and nerdy. She has made no friends at her school and is made fun of by the cool kids almost daily. She is an average girl, maybe even below average because she has no special talents. She is failing math. But then everything changes when, in a moment of panic, the amulet her omama gave her transforms her into a cat. Now everyone wants Miri, but not to be her friend.
Animagi, Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Animagi, Revenge, Loyalty, World Domination, Special Powers, Friendship
I almost put this book down. It started off with a historical fiction spin which was really exciting, but then quickly turned into something else entirely that was barely keeping my attention. The writing was a bit stilted and the main character Miri was much too pathetic to like or relate to when we first met her. “Miri did very little other than read fantasy novels and write in her notebooks. In her classes she was a mediocre student at best, plus she was clumsy and socially awkward.” (Page 65).
But I kept reading. There was something about the story that just wouldn’t let me go. And then the story got so much better. The author sucked me into the clutter of Miri’s life and the deepening intrigue of the multiple subplots that eventually merged into the main story. The author had woven a complicated plot that was not at first visible.
Normally I don’t pick up and read paranormal fantasy, but I liked the story and the characters of P.A.W.S. In a world where there are shape shifters, werewolves, and animagi, Kupfer has done a great job sorting through the possibilities of what life would be like in this kind of environment. There are rules and boundaries that make these abilities much more interesting. Kupfer is great at world building.
The essential story Kupfer tells is the one that hooked me. In the beginning I thought it was about a girl trying to find her place in the world (coming of age) and it was, at least to begin with. Then Kupfer adds in complication after complication and the depth of the plot was what held my attention raptly to the end.
If you want a young adult version of Interview with a Vampire, then P.A.W.S. is your book.
This novel was published by Rocking Horse Publishing June 25th, 2013 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.25
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