Book Review: The Turning by Helen Ellis

The Turning imageMary Richards isn’t sure what’s wrong with her. She got so tired in school she fell asleep…and purred. She’s sprouting fur wherever a cat rubs against her skin. And she’s craving milk. When Nick, the guy she has a crush on, seems to understand what’s happening to her, and he offers to help, she decides that maybe what’s happening to her isn’t so wrong after all.

The Turning: What Curiosity Kills by Helen Ellis is a new teen series focusing on humans who can turn into cats. Ellis pokes fun at Upper-East-Side-priveliged- Manhattan life with her cast of characters—most of whom attend an elite private school populated by scads of fertility drug, embryo implanted twins and children adopted as babies from Asia. Mary and her sister Octavia are the only students adopted out of the foster-child system in the U.S. when they were eight. Their school is super politically correct.

The Turning brings up several issues for Mary: Who can she tell about what’s happening to her? Given the chance to go back to her regular life, will she take it? Can she adapt to her new realities without getting hurt in the sometimes-violent cat life? This first novel is funny and intriguing. While it sometimes feels like a prologue for the books that are to come,  I expect teens interested in finding a new series with an intriguing premise will find a lot to like here.

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