Okay, I definitely picked this one up because of the title. 10 Things I Hate About You is one of my all-time fave movies, and as a cat lover as well, this romantic comedy looked to be nicely geared towards my interests. And in a lot of ways, it is; with a charmingly kooky protagonist in assistant museum curator Clara whose rescued cat Casper takes great pleasure in terrorizing her potential love interests and the beautifully scenic city of Cambridge, England as a backdrop.
Unfortunately, there are also a few things I really don’t like. Two love interests both given about equal weight in the story even though only one of them was endgame, both of them treating Clara badly - Josh was a player and Adam infantilized her - and, frankly, irresponsible cat ownership. About 90% of Clara’s problems with Casper’s attitude would have been solved if she’d neutered him and kept him inside at night. My inner RSPCA volunteer was SCREAMING about her blase attitude to Casper’s nocturnal wanderings. She lives in a city, not on a farm. Allowing an entire tom to wander the neighbourhood at night to terrorise the urban wildlife and father unwanted kittens made me want to shake some sense into Clara, and her pet ownership pretty much typified her entire attitude to life. She needed to wise up and start behaving like an adult if she wanted to be taken seriously, and stop complaining about not being taken seriously!
Clara works as an assistant museum curator but doesn’t want to do the unglamorous work of completing grant applications, even though she knows very well they’re the lifeblood of the museum; is it any wonder her boss is reluctant to give her greater responsibility? Her self-centredness was nowhere better illustrated than her relationship with her younger brother Freddie, who comes to stay with her at the start of the book. It’s more than a month later when Clara actually notices something serious is wrong and Freddie needs her help and advice, but doesn’t know how to ask for it. Or maybe doesn’t ask because he can’t rely on her to be helpful, I wasn’t really too sure. In short, Clara’s a flake, and though she could be charming and funny, she’s also unreliable. I struggled to like her, I didn’t believe in her happy ending because there was too much left unresolved, and I just wanted her to neuter the darn cat. Two stars.
Ten Things My Cat Hates About You is available now.
Disclaimer; I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.