The surpassingly cute story of a matchmaking cat determined to pair off his human with a neighbor through the power of stinky laundry.
Done with the poor quality of men in her life and done with the search for the right one, Jamie Snyder takes the ultimate risk. She quits her teaching job, moves to LA, and tries to figure out what would make her happy. Using savings from her mother’s estate, Jamie embarks on the “Year of Me,” writing a journal that focuses on how to be happy and spending time with her favorite companion, her cat, MacGyver. Though Helen and Marie, two nosy neighbors, can’t stop trying to set Jamie up, each claiming to have the perfect man, Jamie thinks her perfect man for now is a cat. Rounding out her life is Ruby, another neighbor, whose positive personality inspires Jamie. But Mac thinks there must be something more, and he smells the loneliness of Jamie when she comes home to no one but him each night. Meanwhile, David, another of Jamie’s new neighbors, is undergoing a parallel experience. His good friends Adam and Lucy can’t stop insisting that David, who’s mourning the death of his wife, Clarissa, start dating again. David would rather give up and settle in with his pup, Diogee, who doesn’t seem to pick up on David’s loneliness (typical dumb dog, Mac would say). Mac, who thinks that David is the perfect mate for Jamie, comes up with a plan: he’ll grab some of David’s lonely-smelling clothing and leave it for Jamie. Naturally, she’ll come to the same conclusion as Mac and get together with David. But humans can be sadly dense, and Jamie doesn’t understand when tea towels and single socks seemingly make their way to her house. Though she finally figures out that the missing laundry is David’s, she sees him just as a friend. Can she expand the “Year of Me” to include a possible partner, and can David recover from his grief enough to see Jamie as more than a neighbor? Mac never wavers.
Though this appears to be a departure from Metz’s YA fiction, which is often based on television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it has the same TV structure and sitcom beats, and they work perfectly well in a departure that wraps up just so.