The story follows Jasmine on a trip to Las Vegas with her dad and stepmother. She tells the story in first-person and has a dry wit about her, acknowledging all sorts of things: that she isn't a stranger to pratfalls; that guys don't always like six foot tall girls; and that although she should, on principle, abhor her stepmom Sherri! (yes, her name comes complete with exclamation point! and she's less than ten years older than Jasmine), she gets along rather well with her.
While lounging at the hotel, Jas gets entangled - literally - in a murder mystery. It all starts with a little boy and his three-legged cat. Add in his famous mother, his infamous father, an intimidating bodyguard, and the Hench Twins (Jasmine's gum-popping cousin Alyson and her best friend Veronique). Jas also finds herself as smitten as a kitten with Jack, a handsome British guy who may be more than meets the eye. When Jasmine's closest pals Polly, Tom, and Roxy hear about her hijinks, they come to visit. They all help and hinder the investigation, and more trouble comes their way.
In the sequel, Kitty Kitty, intrigue follows our heroine (and her cool hair) all the way to Venice, Italy, where Jasmine's father has moved his family for professional reasons. Thousands of miles (and ocean!) away from her friends and her rock star boyfriend, Jas is miserable.
Just when she finally makes a new friend, something tres tragic happens. Dun dun dun! Jas starts searching for a murderer. While on the prowl, she eats delicious pizza, fights her inner bad girl, looks for goldfish, and translates (bad) Italian cop shows (badly). Along the way, she encounters plenty of strange people and familiar faces. She almost gets killed herself - while wearing an awesome pair of boots, natch. Those boots are made for walking, and that's just what they do until she finally figures out the mystery.
Bad Kitty and Kitty Kitty are good fun. Footnotes scattered throughout the books act as conversations between the characters, correcting and embellishing the narrative. The light tone and quick banter will appeal to Meg Cabot and Lauren Myracle fans.
Read my interview with the author.
Two fun quotes from the first book:
Monkeys, you couldn't have stepped in here to at least make me say something clever? Monkeys? Hello? - Page 95
Well, look at that. The monkeys were back and channeling Noir films of 1940s. - Page 156
...and from the second:
BECAUSE YES THAT IS HOW I ROLL. LIKE A SUAVE THING. - Page 137 (Yes, that part is all in caps.)
Kitty Kitty will be available in July 2007. Bad Kitty, Volume 1: Catnipped by Michele Jaffe and TokyoPop will also be available in July. The manga will have new stories taking place between the two novels.