Wednesday, January 7, 2015

{Review} P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

File Size: 380 KB
Page Count: 304
Copyright: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Rocking Horse Publishing

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

When Miri’s grandmother dies, she takes with her the family secret. Miri finds herself alone and abandoned in a St. Louis boarding school. But she is about to discover the secret isn’t dead.

Taunted by bullies, Miri is shocked to learn she possesses a secret power. It can save her… but can it save those she loves? After she is befriended by others with the same strange, magical powers, her history comes alive. And with it, Miri’s fate becomes more dangerous.

Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society called the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.

Mandy's Review:

The premise for this book, while somewhat familiar, was interesting enough to catch my attention and warrant an opportunity to be read and reviewed. We have a girl, Miri, who lives with her maternal grandparents in New York City because her mother dropped her off there as an infant and her father is unknown. Her grandparents die of natural causes, there wasn't any hokey pokey in their deaths. Miri's grandmother wakes Miri up in the middle of the night and gives her a necklace with a charm that has been passed down from one generation to the next (always mother to daughter or, in this special case, grandmother to granddaughter). When Miri wakes the next morning, her birthday, she finds her grandmother has died during the night. An aunt Miri never knew she had arrives and takes Miri back to St. Louis to live with her and Miri's uncle.

Miri's aunt and uncle are well-to-do and do not want any children getting in the way of their lifestyle. So, next thing you know, Miri is being shipped off to a boarding school in St. Louis. Her uncle donates enough money to the school that Miri stays there during the summer months as well. The only time she goes back to see her aunt and uncle is at Thanksgiving.

After Miri has been at boarding school for several years, and after she runs to escape a group of mean girls, she finally realizes she has the potential to shapeshift into a cat. From that point on, Miri's life becomes infinitely more interesting ... and dangerous.

I had a few issues with this novel. The first being that it was highly predictable. From almost the beginning I could tell you who Miri's father was going to be. It just seemed inevitable because he was the only logical person in the story.

My second issue is the integration of Mandy (a character in the book, I promise) into the P.A.W.S. family. She could've been a spy, but it was just readily accepted that she was in the P.A.W.S. territory as an innocent. If I had been the one to find her, I would've asked her how she came to be there, what happened to her, etc. Nobody asked her one single question. That just seemed unbelievable to me, especially when the P.A.W.S. crew is on high alert for an evil werewolf who has been trying to gain access to their group in order to wage war on them.

Finally, my third issue with this novel sort of encompasses the other two. The writing seemed amateurish. It was a lot of the author telling was what was going on or what was happening. I didn't get to dive into the story and lose myself in it. I always felt that I was just skimming the surface. While we know quite a bit about Miri, I still don't feel as if I know her personally. I don't feel a connection with her. I wasn't able to emotionally invest into this story, which is sad because it has great potential.

If you want a quick read that involves werewolves, shapeshifters, magic, and all that jazz then I'd recommend you pick this up and give it a go. If you're looking for the next great magical novel, I'm sorry to say you won't find it here.

*An ecopy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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