At just nineteen years old, Wendy has so much of the world left to explore. Traveling and online communities and romance—once upon a time, they all seemed so attainable. But Wendy’s hearing has been getting worse, leaving no certainty for the future. After her beloved grandmother dies, Wendy is left with nothing but her grandmother’s tabby cat for company. The problem? Wendy hates cats.
"Challenges in life make up part of who we are. They make us stronger." Not only does Wendy have to accept her deteriorating hearing herself, but she is also forced to get used to others’ small slights about it. Surprisingly, the tabby cat is not the enemy Wendy thought she was. As Wendy navigates her strange new life, she realizes the cat was not the only thing her grandmother left behind. Amidst everything, there is still one shining beam moving Wendy’s heart into the next day: hope.
I absolutely loved the disability representation in this one! Although I couldn’t relate to Wendy’s hearing loss on a personal level, it was heartbreaking to read about her struggle to accept these changes as well as the condescending people around her, ranging from random mailmen to her boss. The book was heavily character-driven, which was a great opportunity to explore Wendy’s feelings and character development. Nevertheless, the writing was beautifully atmospheric, providing a nice bit of plot too. I adored one event toward the end in particular, as it tied in both the effects of Wendy’s weak hearing and the positive symbolism of the cat. Unfortunately, I wasn’t much of a fan of the third-act conflict. It felt too rushed and too upbeat, overly eager to tie everything up in a big ribbon, especially seeing as the romance was very underdeveloped. I would have preferred for the book to completely focus on Wendy’s emotional turmoil rather than try to stick in a weak subplot. The book did mostly deliver on that point, though. Overall, it was so sweet with such amazing representation. I’d recommend this to everyone!