THE TURNING by Helen Ellis


What Curiosity Kills
Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review


Sophmore Mary Richards can’t explain her purring in Pilates, her sudden desire to lap up spilled milk or the strange orange fur growing on her legs until she meets with her crush, Nick Martin, who reveals that she is undergoing “the turning” into a cat. While she learns more about the five-year process (which smoking pot can help alleviate but not fully suppress) and the ongoing feud between domestics and strays, former-classmate–now-cat Yoon, who stays turned as long as possible, tantalizes her inner feline. The convoluted story, the first in a series, continues as Octavia, her African-American, fellow adopted sister, puts aside her intense fear of cats and drags Mary to the used bookstore in the basement of the Webster Library to find answers from Mrs. Wrinkles, a sphynx reference librarian with a blind human protector. The author’s attempts at humor, with satirical commentaries on aging parents’ fertility problems, and horror, with bloody catfights, combine with Octavia’s use of the “race card” to fall flat, leaving readers turned off. (Urban fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4022-3861-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2010