(This book is part of my personal library.)
Book's Author: J. S. Frankel
Rating: Four Paws
Harry Goldman, teenage DNA researcher, genius, and total nerd, is thrown into jail for illegal transgenic research. Freed by the FBI on the condition he works under their aegis, Harry is taken to New York where he meets Anastasia, a cat-girl and the product of transgenic engineering. No sooner do they get acquainted then they are attacked by another creature, a bear which is more than a bear, and are forced to flee for their lives. Along the way, they encounter furries, Doug the Dog, find out that they are more into each other emotionally than they’re willing to admit, and end up in the Catskill Mountains where Harry finds out the shocking truth about how Anastasia was created...and what she was created for.
***Minor Spoilers---Mostly In Description***
Let me just start by saying that if the words "science" and "genius" don't make any sense when put next to each other, I completely relate. Science has never been, and will most likely never be, my thing. However, reading this book and words like "transgenics" and "DNA helix" and understanding what they meant made me feel like a genius.
In Catnip, each of the words that could be seen as confusing are explained so well that the story isn't hard to follow even though it may seem like it, something that I feel deserves a round of applause. On top of all that sciency jazz, the book is well written as well.
Harry was developed in such a way that anyone could relate him to someone they knew in high school (or know, if you're still in it like me). His personality is cute in a way because he's just so awkward, but you can't laugh at him for it because he had the brain of a mad scientist at sixteen. And his experience with girls? One hundred percent relatable.
Anastasia, on the other hand, is not awkward. Right from the get-go, she's feisty and straightforward and knows exactly what she wants from every person she talks to. The only problem is, she doesn't know who she is. Aside from her outward, feline appearance, she has no idea who she's supposed to be, save for her name. All she knows is she woke up one day and she was a cat. Only, not really.
When Harry and Anastasia meet, you know right away that they are going to be the couple. Their meeting and her acceptance of him is well-written, and the intentions were good through the story with their relationship.
However, as a romantic, I would have liked a little bit more development between them before anything actually happened. It seemed a little fast paced, and while I can take into account that their relationship is not the main focus and that the book is meant to be short, it is also the first in a five book series. Ergo, I feel there was a little room to space the relationship out a bit more. It's minor, however, and I don't think it affected the quality of the book at all.
The book in itself was entertaining, the characters were relatable and likable, and the plot of the story was relatively easy to follow. I feel like the book had something to offer to every age group, and I would definitely recommend it. I would say the book is geared towards those between fourteen (just for some minor content) and eighteen, but anyone would find it enjoyable.
I look forward to reading the rest of the series in the future.