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Cat meets Mouse as she's about to run over Dog, which could be the start of a dubious animals-as-people novel, except it's not, because Cat and Mouse are really Catrin and Martin, two real-life human kids from, London. The dog's a dog though, and his real name is Lucky, or at least that what Mouse/Martin likes to call him. As the story starts we learn immediately that Mouse is Trouble, and has A Past. We know this because on the first page we are introduced to his social worker, Dave, and learn of the latest Trouble, capital T, he's been getting himself in to. A few pages in, and along comes Cat. She's not like Mouse - she goes to a posh school and lives in a swanky house, as apposed to his tiny flat on a rough estate - but united in their concern for Lucky, the two form an unlikely couple.
Mouse is trying to be good and stay out of Trouble but it's tough when Cat, beautiful, smart, cool Cat, is doing her best to get them both into all sorts of messes. As things heat up, in their relationship and in the outside world, Mouse realises that they might be in over their heads, and that someone needs to put the brakes on Cat before they both get hurt.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was exciting and different and very, very readable. I liked the character reversal of Mouse and Cat - him trying to smarten up his act, her trying deliberately to go off the rails - and the message that permeated the book, that if people care, they can make a difference. I liked the way the story centres more on the wrong side of the tracks family, on Mouse and his mum Magi, and the drug addicts they live near and work with, rather than the neat, clean middle class household of Cat and her parents. Most of all I liked the many new aspects to the story that gradually seeped through, from the reasons behind Scully's release, to the fibs Cat has been telling which gradually catch up with her towards the end.
This is a phenomenal book, for boys as well as girls, who shouldn't be put off by the shiny cover covered in hearts and stars. This really is Mouse's story, with Cat just along for the ride. Definitely recommended. This book is a quasi-sequel to Cassidys 'Dizzy' though the enjoyment of this is not dependent on the reading of the first.
This was my first Cassidy book, and I thought it was fab. She's now a big name among younger readers, but if she's still new to you, check her out! This book was published 3 years ago, and is widely available new and used online.
This review first appeared on The Bookbag.