Review: Puss in Prada by Marie Jacquelyn

Puss-in-PradaRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story


Ethan broke up with Alex years ago—and in the years since, Alex has had plenty of time to contemplate all the reasons why. For one thing, Alex knows he’s not the most responsible young adult out there. For another, Alex knows he’s prone to drama. But after one night of partying, Alex manages to forget that he and Ethan are no longer together. Drunk and high, when he sees Ethan’s name shine up from the screen of his mobile phone, Alex’s only desire is to get home to Ethan. Unfortunately for Alex, along the way he goes through a small town blanketed in fog and nearly runs a woman down. What Alex doesn’t know is that the woman is actually a witch and Alex has just crossed her path. In her anger, she transfigures Alex into a cat.

Three years later, Alex is living ostensibly as Ethan’s pet. One saving grace for Alex is that, despite is feline form, he can still verbally communicate. He and Ethan have redeveloped a close friendship—or as close as it can be, given Alex is stuck in cat form. Over the years, Alex has also come to learn how selfishly he has behaved. Now that he knows he’ll never be able to have Ethan as his own, Alex is determined to find the perfect boyfriend for Ethan…someone who can make him happier than Alex thinks he ever could have.

The real test comes when a hunky young man patronizes Ethan’s bakery. Alex senses this could be the man who could win Ethan’s heart. As he works out how to play match maker, Alex must learn how to set aside his unrequited feelings for Ethan—the question is whether or not he actually can.

I found this short story to be fairly charming. Clearly, the big gimmick here is the fact that Alex is a cat. That said, I enjoyed how Jacquelyn worked the beginning on two fronts to keep the reader from immediately guessing if the story starts with Alex as a cat or if we are privy to seeing that unfold on page.

Since the action is told first-person from Alex’s point of view, the reader knows how deeply Alex still yearns for Ethan. It’s so bittersweet because both the blurb and Alex’s own narration make it clear that Alex believes it to be his mission to find Ethan a suitable boyfriend. I’ll admit, not a small part of me picked up this book with the express wish to find out if Alex finds a way to get back together with Ethan or not—and this wish grew as the author kept throwing in little hints about how reptant Alex was about his partying ways and how much he wants to make it up to Ethan, even if that means he can’t have Ethan.

As a character, Ethan didn’t feel quite as deeply defined to me—which is understandable since none of the narrative is from his POV. Nevertheless, the action on page and Ethan’s interactions with the other characters (notably Alex, but also Ethan’s sisters who help him run the bakery, as well as the love interest Alex finds for Ethan) all indicate Ethan is a gentle giant. His overall image is that of a gregarious man genuinely interested in making those in his life happy. This is demonstrated in the fact that he wears “girly” headbands just because they were a gift from his sister, and in the fact that he takes Alex in despite his run in with bad magic.

Alex may be a cat, but he also channels an inner diva a lot. He makes no apologies for his expensive tastes, even as a cat—going so far as to custom order brandname clothes to wear and trying to convince Ethan to take his money to order fancy food. Even while he’s sacrificing his own happiness by searching for a boyfriend for Ethan, Alex maintains his standards.

My only real complaints about the book are the fact that there is never any other mention of magic beyond what magic turned Alex into a cat. Given the POV, I suppose an explanation about magic is out of the question (although we know Alex can definitely use the internet and continues to work as a writer, albeit a super reclusive one). I don’t understand why it took three years for things to resolve; I can imagine it had to do with the fight Alex gets into with a troublesome bird of prey, but that’s just conjecture on my part. A little more attention to some aspect of why magic exists in the world or how this particular magic was woven around Alex would have been nice.

That said, if you’re a fan of opposites attract couples or just looking for a quick, fluffy story to read, this would be a great choice.

camille sig

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