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Bad Kitty
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Bad Kitty

4.4 74
by Michele Jaffe

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Meet Jasmine,1 forensic supersleuth,2 aspiring Model Daughter,3 and friend to animals.4 One second she's trying to enjoy her Vegas Vacation,5 the next she's tangled up in an outrageous adventure and has to outwit a crazed killer before


Meet Jasmine,1 forensic supersleuth,2 aspiring Model Daughter,3 and friend to animals.4 One second she's trying to enjoy her Vegas Vacation,5 the next she's tangled up in an outrageous adventure and has to outwit a crazed killer before he ends ten lives, one of them her own.6

1 Hi! That's me!
2 I. Wish.
3 Emphasis on aspiring. Current status: failing.
4 If friend means "unsuspecting victim" and animals means "one very bad kitty."
5 And meet the cute guy at the Snack Hut. I have priorities.
6 Meep! But I guess it winds up okay since Kirkus Reviews says: "Inventive, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny, with an enjoyably twisty ending." They wouldn't say that if everyone died, right? Right?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Quirky characters breathe energy into Jaffe's (Bad Girl, for adults) silly, if sometimes confusing, mystery novel. Wannabe detective Jasmine, who narrates, is on a family vacation at Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel. When a runaway cat attacks her, she finds herself in the middle of a real-life mystery involving a famous model/actress, her fugitive husband and a very handsome young man with a British accent. Jas seems to attract catastrophe (after the cat attack, she runs into a wedding, causing the cake-and the bride-to wind up in the pool). Other characters, including her fashion-savvy best friend, who drives a van called the Pink Pearl, and an unlikable cousin, who considers flavored lip gloss dessert, come along for the ride, offering assistance and often also ending up in trouble (Jasmine and her best friends also all offer a funny running banter in tinted sections at the bottom of many of the pages). As readers race along with Jas to unravel the mystery, following its many twists, they may find some plotting hard to follow. Also, the inevitable final confrontation seems more cinematic than authentic. Even so, it's hard not to like a book with a bow-wearing bodyguard nicknamed the Fabinator and a main character who grew up playing Barbie Crime Scene. Readers will likely find themselves quickly clawing their way through this fun novel. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Amanda MacGregor
Seventeen-year-old Jasmine (or Jas, as her friends call her) believes that everyone has a superpower, no matter how seemingly trivial it is. Her power happens to be that cats are attracted to her. While that might seem harmless, it's actually what sets off this wild detective story. Everywhere Jas goes, trouble seems to follow her, and her family vacation in Las Vegas is no exception. Here, she meets Fiona Bristol, a television star, her son Fred, and their cat, Mad Joe. Fiona's husband is accused of murder and on the run from the law—and possibly out to harm his family. Before she knows it, Jas is wrapped up in the Bristols's drama. It's a good thing her life's ambition is to be a police detective and that her real superpower is her keen observational skills. Her three best friends also like to play detective and show up in Vegas to both help Jas and protect her. As the teens uncover clues, the mystery only deepens. Soon, it's hard to guess who is actually out to get whom. Jas barrels headfirst into perilous situations, but her quick thinking and fast-talking always saves her. The plot is completely implausible, but readers will get swept up in the action and just go with it. Jas is a sassy, headstrong character with a lot of laugh-out-loud lines. The book would be better off without the many side conversations that take place and show up as footnotes, which are both distracting and hard to follow. Overall, readers will enjoy this fast-paced and quirky caper, even if it is sometimes confusing.
Jas wants to be a detective in this part CSI, part chick-lit book from an adult market author. She is supposed to be taking a relaxing vacation with her family in Las Vegas when strange things start happening. She helps save a boy's cat, and suddenly people with guns are telling her what to do. A gorgeous guy seems to be flirting with her at times and at other times trying to kill her. Her posse of friends Polly, Roxy, and Tom come to help with their fashion advice and crazy pink van. Soon Jas is trying to figure out who is really in danger and who is really a bad guy before something happens to her. Most pages are cut in half with an IM conversation going on at the same time as the plot on the upper half of the page, making it difficult to follow even for multi-tasking teens who are used to it. This effect slows down the action considerably. Lots of elements are funny, such as Jas's homemade fingerprint finders and other CSI tools. Jaffe, who has a PhD in comparative literature, certainly knows how to craft language. She inserts nonstop funny descriptions and lines, but the result is more style than substance. Mysteries for teens are badly needed, but the tone here is more Scooby Doo than Willo Davis Roberts, limiting its appeal. It is nevertheless recommended for larger public libraries. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, HarperCollins, 288p., and PLB Ages 12 to 18.
—Amy Alessio
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Jasmine Callihan, her father, and stepmother are vacationing in Las Vegas at the posh Venetian Hotel. All the 17-year-old really wants to do is sunbathe by the pool, write in her journal, and attempt to be a "Model Hallmark Card" daughter, all the while avoiding her "perfect" cousin Alyson and her "Evil Hench Twin," Veronique. Her plans go awry, however, when a small boy and his cat make Jas a central character in a murder investigation. Soon Jas's best friends come from LA to join her adventure and all attempt to solve the murder of Len Phillips, business manager of world-famous photographer Red Early. Teens will enjoy Jas and her friends' hilarious dialogue and will be entertained by Jaffe's inclusion of footnotes to the plot twists on each page. While the story is somewhat convoluted and often defies credulity, the book does offer some fascinating characters and plenty of amusement for fans of this genre.-Kathryn Childs, Morris Mid/High School, OK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jasmine Callihan, an irrepressible, accident-prone, 17-year-old aspiring police detective, is a trouble magnet. And trouble, in this frothy mystery thriller, is what she gets when she travels to Las Vegas for a family vacation. Inventive, witty and laugh-out-loud-funny in spots, Jas must cope with her troublesome family while trying to help an endangered eight-year-old boy and his famous mother, Fiona, a "yogi-slash-actress-slash-model-slash-scandal-haver." Fiona has been keeping a low profile since her husband's business manager was found stabbed to death, presumably by her husband, who disappeared after being accused of the crime. The plot heats to a boil when the mother and son pair vanish, and Jas's hunky but mysterious love interest is found unconscious in their room. Although readers may become weary of the constant life lessons, argumentative footnotes and the protagonist's voice, which sometimes grates yet is paradoxically the book's greatest asset, the story manages to hang onto its fizz until the enjoyably twisty ending. (Fiction. 12-15)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Bad Kitty

By Michele Jaffe

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Michele Jaffe
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060781092

Chapter One

I believe everyone has a superpower. My friend Polly can name the designer, season, and price of any garment on any person (knockoffs too) with flawless accuracy. Roxy can eat more food faster than anyone I've ever seen, has a perfect sense of direction, and over one spring break she built a working TV out of an old toaster. And her twin brother Tom can imitate anyone's voice and pick any kind of lock.

Still, I've never been able to figure out what my superpower is. Dr. Payne, my dentist, says my teeth generate plaque faster than anyone he's ever seen. And I have an incredible ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, without fail. But I'm not sure either of those count. I guess the only thing I've got going for me is that cats like me.

But if that is a superpower, you can have it, because it's the reason I got into this whole mess.

It had started out as such a nice day too.

I was relaxing on my chaise lounge at the Venetian Hotel pool in Las Vegas after a grueling fifteen minutes of water aerobics with my stepmother, Sherri! (Actually, she just recently stopped writing her name with the exclamation point after it. Now she just puts a heart over the i.)

Sherri! and I had just finished our "exercise," which mostly consisted of me flailing my arms around like I was telling some hovering space aliens, "Over here, come this way," and Sherri! naming the different brands of breast implants on display around us in the pool. Sherri!'s breasts are real, but since almost all her friends from the ABA where she works as a hand-breast-thigh body double, are "enhanced," she's become kind of an expert. (ABA stands for All-Body Agency, supplying body doubles to Hollywood since 1984, not the American Bar Association, which is what my aunt Liz thinks.)

That's not her superpower, though. Sherri!'s superpower is that it's impossible to hate her. I know, you're thinking that is not a superpower, but in the case of Sherri!, believe me, it is. Because it's not just men who don't hate her. Everyone doesn't hate Sherri! Even I can't hate her, which, if you know anything about stepmothers, is really very wrong. We are supposed to hate each other; it's in the natural order of things. And that does not take into account the special circumstances of me vs. Sherri! Which are:


Boobs: C-cup, real, perky

Eyes: sky blue

Skin: peach sorbet

Face: could totally launch a thousand ships.

Even rockets.

Figure: she's a body double for Hollywood stars.

Need I say more?

Height: perfect (5'6"; 5'9" in heels)

If her hair were a character in a horror movie, it would be:

the pretty girl who always looks tidy yet sexy even when running for her life from the scary unpredictable murderer

Dream: to invent a line of comfortable, safe, and attractive seat belts for small dogs

Age: 25

Me (Jas):

Boobs: nonexistent (like my superpower)

Eyes: grass green (from my Irish father)

Skin: chocolate milkshake (from my Jamaican mother.

Along with my dimples.)

Face: could launch, maybe, a science experiment

Figure: stick bug

Height: King Kong

If my hair were a character in a horror movie it would be:

the scary unpredictable murderer who sometimes looks perfectly normal and then other times reveals an inner demonic self.

Dream: to have a boyfriend I can look up to. Literally. While wearing my cowboy

boots. Oh, also to fight crime and make the world a safer place.

Age: 17

Yes, that is right, my stepmother was eight when I was born. Don't even ask how old my father was when she was born; it's upsetting. And yet, despite that, I cannot hate her.

Since she and my dad got married a year ago, Sherri! has been nothing but excellent. She doesn't take my dad's side in our arguments, and she uses logic on me to get me to do what she wants. Like, "If you use the car without permission, you'd better remember to fill the gas tank. You have money for gas, right? If you don't, you might not want to go." I mean, that's helpful. Plus, she has never tried to give me menstruation tips, or tell me how lucky I am because my exotic coloring opens up a whole palette of eye shadow colors most women can't go near, or point out that some boys like to date women a foot taller than them, or advise me about guys at all.

Not that her advice would work anyway, since her experiences as a seventeen-year-old and mine have nothing in common except that we are both the same species. And I'm not even sure that's true. I mean, Sherri! could well be some new, improved form of Homo sapiens designed to end hatred and bring voluptuous beauty to the world. The way the really cute guy sitting at the pool's Snack Hut looked in our direction as she perfectly "Right arm, jab! Left arm, jab!"ed her way through water aerobics made this very clear.

My plan for the afternoon was to lie around far, far from Sherri! and Dad and their cooing, trying to come up with something to write in my summer Meaningful Reflection Journal for school. It seemed like a good time to start, since school was beginning in two weeks and so far my journal was empty. So I decided I would just write down whatever I wanted. Like this haiku:

Cute guy at Snack Hut
Why won't you remove your shirt?
It's so hot (you too)

The point of the Meaningful Reflection Journal, according to Dr. Lansdowne, the college counselor at the Westborough School for Girls, which I attend, is to encourage us to compile thoughts and reflections and take stock of all the little life lessons we learn each day. (Translated, that meant that it would force us to practice SAT vocabulary words while helping us come up with something that sounded deep in our college essays.) Young people, Dr. Lansdowne said, experience so much and process so little; the journals would change that. He can get away with saying things like that without choking on his tongue because he looks like Hugh Grant did when he was young, complete with British accent.


Excerpted from Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe Copyright © 2006 by Michele Jaffe. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Michele Jaffe is the author of Bad Kitty, Kitty Kitty, and the mangas Bad Kitty: Catnipped and Bad Kitty: Catnapped as well as several adult novels, including the thrillers Bad Girl and Loverboy. After getting her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard, she retired from academia and decided to become an FBI special agent or glamorous showgirl but somehow ended up writing. A native of Los Angeles, CA, Michele and her sparkly shoes reside in New York City.

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Bad Kitty 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
BAD KITTY is the story of Jasmine Callihan, amateur super sleuth and trouble magnet extraordinaire. While on vacation with her family in Las Vegas, all she wants to do is lounge around by the pool, check out the cute guy she saw at the snack hut, and, most of all, be a Model Daughter and prove to her dad that she can stay out of trouble. This lasts for all of about five minutes, until a little boy and his three-legged cat entangle her, "literally," in a murder mystery.

Add in a famous fashion model (who happens to be the little boy's mother), an intimidating bodyguard, an insane killer, threatening messages, limo rides, the Evil Hench Twins (Jas' cousin Alyson and her best friend, Veronique), and even jail time, and you have one crazy adventure. Not to mention that Jack, the cute snack hut guy that Jas can't seem to stop thinking about, may be more than he appears. Pretty soon Jas' best friends Roxy, Tom, and Polly also crash the vacation, bringing with them a handy Bedazzler and tons of hilarious ideas to aid (and hinder) Jas in her investigation.

BAD KITTY is a fantastic read, and one you might not want to read in public if you tend to laugh while reading. Footnotes sprinkled throughout every chapter act as conversations between Jas and her friends, correcting and adding to the story, and by the end of the book, Jas has come up with sixty hilarious "Little Life Lessons" that everyone should know. For example, "Little Life Lesson 12: If you have your cousin and her friend stand out the sunroof of your limo to give you navigational instructions, be sure that they aren't facing backward to wave at the cute guys in the Porsche behind you when they tell you to go left or right."

The characters are fun and entertaining, the plot hysterical, and you can't help but be swept along with Jas and her friends for the ride. This will definitely appeal to fans of authors like Meg Cabot and Louise Rennison, and for readers who are already fans of the book, Michele Jaffe is hard at work on the sequel.

So hurry to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of BAD KITTY. Believe me, it's totally Visa! (Oh, go read the book and you'll understand!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is a great comedy im in the sixth grade and its kind of inapropriatte
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book i have ever read. If your name is Jasmine ur gonna live it. It kinda desribed me so thats why i love it :)
Sonal Bhatt More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book i cant wait to read the second book
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
This is a super funny book about Jas and her family as she gets involved in a mystery while she is staying in Las Vegas. Pretty soon her friends Polly, Tom and Roxy come to crash her vacation and help her solve the mystery, one BeDazzled clue at a time. The writing is great and I was laughing so much. There are a lot of annotations where you go to the bottom of the page and Jas and her friends are making side comments about things in the story, and that only adds to the hilarity. Also sprinkled about are her Little Life Lessons which usually have some basis in the story line, and almost always poke fun at her. Ms. Jaffe does a great ob of bringing the Las Vegas Strip to the pages of the book and I picked this book up shortly after my own trip to Vegas and I happily remembered every scene she writes about. If you want a quick but funny read...look for the Bad Kitty.
SparklesAM More than 1 year ago
This book was really good and funny. I love how Jas keeps running in to Jack almost everywhere she goes. The notes at the bottom are good to have because she and her friends all talk in the notes at the bottom, sometimes they don't all talk there at the same time. I like how Roxy and Polly go down in the little notes and talk about jas and then jas comes in and they just ignore her and go back up to the story. I think that some of her " Little Life Lessons " are fuuny and some are helpful. I love how the book ends. Also her cousins can be funny sometime, like when the go and say something Mastercard or Visa ( you'll know what i'm talking about if you read the book.) Also if your like me, you won't want to stop reading this book even if you have to. This book was really hard for me to put down when i had to go to bed or had to stop reading it in class because the bell was gonna ring or i had to go eat dinner. I loved this book and i hope you read it and will love it too !!!
nstig8r More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book!!! It had great plot and character development. You really love all the characters. I laughed all the way through!! The book had humor that could be understood by many different age groups!! I had my whole family laughing at some of the lines!! I am looking forward to more adventures of Jas, Jack, and her friends!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say, I am surprised. When one of my friends offered to let me borrow this book in lit class, I was a little discouraged. Besides, it looked like a preppy, I-only-worry-about-myself-because the-world-revolves-around-me-and-the-way-I-look-when-a-cute-guy-is-aro und type of book anyway. But, boy, was I wrong. The book isn¿t a stereotypical kind with the main character being a blonde-haired, blue-eyed type of girl. 'He father is of Irish decent and her mother was Jamaican.' And the main character doesn¿t worry about whether she has the latest Prada bag or cutest outfit. From the first page, I was hooked. Michele Jaffe knows how to bring the kind of laughter that gets your family to stare at you through the corner of their eyes. It was hilarious. And even though I sometimes did not like the fact that the story was interrupted by the characters talking at the bottom of the page, it added a special funniness that I still enjoyed. This is positively a great read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
good book. It's comical and adventurous, has mystery but as i read the book i felt that sometimes the book lost it's flow and lagged a bit. Other than that Bad Kitty is a good book to read during the summer! :]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good but innapropriot for a 5th grader to be in a kids section il give two of five for some credit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks good want to read it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it any good? Im 14 and want to find a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bad as Hell
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What grade or you in first grade or something? Diden't you even read what i said? You are not a great listener are you?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it spoiler alert its great thats why i reacomend it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Needs a , Some people just don't have a high iq (no offense) Or are in a rush Or don't notice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is soooooo inapropreate.im only 11?I TO MUCH INFO FOR ME WAY TO MUCH? SOOOOOOOOO DESCUSTING
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