Author: Tom Crosshill
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Synopsis: Rick Gutierrez is . . . the Cat King of Havana! A cat-video tycoon turned salsa-dancer extraordinaire, he’ll take Cuba by storm, romance the girl of his dreams, and ignite a lolcat revolution!
At least that’s the plan.
It all starts when his girlfriend dumps Rick on his sixteenth birthday for uploading cat videos from his bedroom when he should be out experiencing the real world. Known as “That Cat Guy” at school, Rick isn’t cool and he knows it. He realizes it’s time for a change.
Rick decides joining a salsa class is the answer . . . because of a girl, of course. Ana Cabrera is smart, friendly, and smooth on the dance floor. Rick might be half-Cuban, but he dances like a drunk hippo. Desperate to impress Ana, he invites her to spend the summer in Havana. The official reason: learning to dance. The hidden agenda: romance under the palm trees.
Except Cuba isn’t all sun, salsa, and music. There’s a darker side to the island. As Rick and Ana meet his family and investigate the reason why his mother left Cuba decades ago, they learn that politics isn’t just something that happens to other people. And when they find romance, it’s got sharp edges.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Ever since his mom died, Rick discovered a cache of cat videos on his mother’s laptop. Now Rick runs a popular website that is all about cats to honor his mom. He is even known at “THAT CAT GUY” at school. When Rick is dumped by his girlfriend, Rick decides it’s time for a change. That “change” leads him to meeting Ana. Next thing he knows, Rick is on a plane to Havana, Cuba with Ana attempting to not only connect with his roots, but attempt to connect with his deceased mother.
It seems that the books that surprise me the most, are the books that I least expect. I am so happy I had the oppurtunity to read and review this book, because it is now one of my favorite books this year! The Cat King of Havana is so rich in culture and so, so much fun! I do not read many books set outside of the US, but this book proves that I definitely should.
The Cat King of Havana was such a lovely read that I enjoyed from start to finish. It makes you laugh, it make you think, and it is hard not to connect with such real characters. I cannot wait until this author has more young adult novels, because I will be reading them the second my grabby, little hands can get them!
5 out of 5 stars
Meet The Author
Tom Crosshill’s fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award (thrice) as well as the Latvian Annual Literature Award. His stories have appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Lightspeed. In 2009, he won the Writers of the Future contest. After some years spent in Oregon and New York, he currently lives in his native Latvia. In the past, he has operated a nuclear reactor, translated books and worked in a zinc mine, among other things.
Tom’s young adult novel The Cat King of Havana is forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins) in 2016.
3 Finished Copies of The Cat King of Havana (US Only)
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