Book Review: To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

To Be a Cat by Matt HaigTo Be a Cat: What it is about

The publisher says: “Barney Willow’s life couldn’t get any worse. He’s weedy, with sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him – Barney has no idea why. And headteacher-from-hell Miss Whipmire seems determined to make every second of Barney’s existence a complete misery! Worst of all, Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there’s no sign of him ever coming home.

Barney just wants to escape. To find another life. To be a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier – right?“

To Be a Cat: What I thought

Be careful what you wish for! Barney doesn’t have a good time of it: his father’s disappeared, his mother hasn’t got time for him, he has a bully and even the head teacher is making his life a misery. When he thinks how nice it would be to be a cat, well, things happen.

Very strange things seem to be going on under his very nose, and he never knew! Now it all makes sense, but that is no use, for Barney is in a real pickle.

This is such a fun read! Things of course get worse before they get better, but in the end Barney gets his revenge. Everything turns out all right, well, almost.  It is cleverly written and a convincing explanation is given of how things could happen as they did.

A fun book for adults who enjoy reading children’s books, and probably also for children themselves.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 312

First published: 2012

I got this: from the library

Genre: Children’s (9+)

Extra: Other books I read by Matt Haig are The Humans and The Radleys, both novels for adults.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

6 Responses to Book Review: To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

  1. This sounds like a fun one – anything about cats seems to work for me though:)

  2. lindyloumac says:

    It does sound like fun, by coincidence my last review was a book with a cat as the main character!

  3. BookerTalk says:

    No matter how good this was, the very fact it has an animal as a central character would make it a no-no for me. I just can’t do animal related stories. When the animal talks, it’s even more of a turn off

  4. I read To Be a Cat a couple of years ago and loved it 🙂

  5. Isi says:

    Ohh sounds very fun, poor boy, now a cat!! Well, now he can take revenge with his brand new nails, or not? I’m going to add this to the list, because I think I can like it 😀

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