Cover of A Furry Faux Pass by Jessica Kara. A lot of fur and nothing else

About the Book

Title: A Furry Faux Paw
Published: 2022

Cover Story: The Pun-isher
Drinking Buddy: Watering Hole
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Crude humor, adult situations)
Talky Talk: Pick of the Litter
Bonus Factors: Furries, Hoarding
Bromance Status: Con Roomie

Cover Story: The Pun-isher

Simple cover (and that art makes me want to pet it). Love the joke in the title.

The Deal:

Maeve is about to graduate high school, having made very few friends in real life. How could she, with her mother’s hoarding habit destroying any chance she’d have for socialization or personal hygiene? How can she bathe when the shower is half full of trash? How can she stay clean when she smells of mold and cigarettes? How can she eat when the fridge is filled with rotten food?

But online, Maeve becomes MauveCat, a confident pixie cat in the furry community. This is where she shines. This is where she can truly glow. This is where she met Jade, whose fursona is a handsome dragon.

Her father is going to bail on her high school graduation, but in an effort to mend fences, he offers Maeve an all-expenses trip to the regional furry convention. She can finally meet all her online friends! Show off her MauveCat costume! Take a shower! And maybe show off some of the artwork she’s so proud of.

The problem is that her mother refuses to allow her to attend. But Maeve is an adult now, right? Well, she will be in a couple of days. And if she tells her mother she’s staying overnight with a friend, she’ll buy that, won’t she?

Drinking Buddy: Watering Hole

Two pints of beer cheersing

Maeve is used to having her artistic skills ignored by her absent father and her mother, who buys her drawing supplies from the dollar store. And on top of that, she’s not super anxious to tell the world that she sometimes is…a cat. So when she shows up to this convention and people are actually interested in her art…when one of her heroes invites MauveCat to sit on a panel with her…when some of her new friends throw her a surprise (chokes back tears) birthday party…could it be that’s she’s finally found her tribe?

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Crude humor, adult situations)

There was the usual amount of screwball comedy, knowing glances, and con craziness. But what really stuck with me was the shower scene.

No, not like that. When Maeve checks into the room her father rented for her, it’s…clean. Nothing is piled everywhere. The sheets don’t reek. She doesn’t have to step over crap on the floor. And she can take a shower. With actual new bottles of shampoo and soaps. And she just lays on the bed and enjoys being clean.

Sometimes we forget that, for one reason or another, not everyone can enjoy that fresh out of the shower feeling.

Talky Talk: Pick of the Litter

Once again, I just want to give a fictional character a hug. Maeve is a skateboarding, artistic, sweet, and objectively cute girl that anyone would be glad to befriend. But thanks to living in a house of garbage and not being willing to ‘come out’ as a furry, she honestly believes no one will like her in real life. So when a gang of zany furries kind of adopts her into their group…it’s pretty overwhelming.

Sometimes we believe we’re worthless so intently, it’s easy to ignore evidence to the contrary.

Bonus Factor: Furries

For years the furry community has had a sketchy reputation as weirdos, especially since people assumed the costuming was part of a sexual fetish. That’s why Maeve’s mother doesn’t want her to go to the con and hang out with those strange people in their costumes. But it’s not like that. Some people like to dress like Starfleet officers, some like knights, and some like lions and tigers and bears. Maueve, who has trouble relating to people, blossoms when she can put on her fursona. And there’s not a thing wrong with that. We all pretended to be superheroes and animals and whatnot as children. What rule says we can’t keep that up as adults?

Bonus Factor: Hoarding

Title card of Hoarding: Buried Alive

Maueve has to fight to keep her room from becoming yet another storage space. Every other inch of the house is filled with recyclables (which are never recycled) stuff to donate to Goodwill (which is never donated) and rotting food. Bills are misplaced in the piles of old junk mail and if they don’t order out, they simply don’t eat. And even though this is what drove Maeve’s father away, even though this is what nearly made CPS take Maeve away, her mother still doesn’t see this as a problem. Only when Maeve goes to the con and realizes that her oddball companions live a much more normal life than she does, does she understand the extent of her mother’s issues.

Bromance Status: Con Roomie

I had a great time. Let’s meet up again.

Literary Matchmaking

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak

An awkward teen girl sneaks off to go to a crazy convention (in Washington, no less)? Where have I read this plot before?

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

Sarvenaz Tash’s The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love is another great ‘con’ book.

Chaotic Good

For another take on costuming, read Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

FTC full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but no money or cat tales for writing this review.

Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.