Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review:Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together by Kayla Fioravanti

 FROM THE PUBLISHER:Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together, an uplifting true story of the deep friendship between a cat and her girl. Their inspiring companionship overcomes the upheaval of growing up in three countries. Their adventure brings laughter and tears mixed generously with hope and loyalty. 


Fioravanti was raised with a nomadic lifestyle as her family was transferred every few years working for AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Service). The only consistent parts of her life were her family and her pets, especially Puffy. 

“Puffy and I travelled the world together. We lived in Tachikawa, Japan; San Mateo, California; Desoto, Texas; Munich, Germany; Duncanville, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Nieder Roden, Germany and finally Portland, Oregon together,” Fioravanti says. “My entire childhood was encapsulated by the years of her life.”     

Readers will agree that nine lives are never enough to spend with a four-legged best friend. Puffy has nine lives, as she survives signifcant trauma eight times in twenty-one years. Fioravanti is the character “Blue,” a nickname she picked up because of her rebellious blue eye shadow, blue eyeliner, blue mascara and bright blue boots. 


FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: While I found Puffy & Blue to be an enjoyable enough read, I found myself saying out loud, "So what about the cat? Where is the cat?"

 Author Fioravanti did a wonderful job of including Puffy in approximately the first half of the book, much of the second half, in my mind, required MORE CAT.

Puffy & Blue IS a book with heart, it shows the strength of a young woman struggling through the illness of her mother, multiple family moves both within the U.S. and outside of the U.S., the value and importance of family, finding your place in life, overcoming fears and all the rest that encompasses a young woman discovering life that is depicted from  pre-school to early adulthood. The book does convey to some extent, the unconditional love of pets, but in my opinion Puffy & Blue is predominantly about Fiorvanti's life experiences that did not center around Puffy.

While reading Puffy & Blue,  I felt that while Kayla Fioravanti kept mentioning how important Puffy was throughout her life, she never showed that enough throughout the book. Puffy seemed to play only a peripheral role in the story. Yes, Puffy licked her when she cried, slept with her every night, Puffy often waited for her outside of her elementary school and in later years joined her in her college classroom. Fiorvanti TOLD US that Puffy was a constant throughout her life, but never shared enough day-to-day experiences that would enable us to actually FEEL Puffy's soul, or experience Puffy's personality.

Where I found Puffy & Blue lacking was,  there were many detailed experiences  that Kayla superbly conveyed in reference to the many challenges SHE faced in HER life, and the emotions she experienced because of those life events that took place, but I longed for more detailed sharing of experiences with she and Puffy that would have allowed me to feel Puffy in my heart the way she was obviously in Kayla's.

Kayla does address traumas that occurred in Puffy's life, and labeled each one numerically as having been one of Puffy's nine lives that were lost. The traumas of Puffy (that were described too briefly, in my opinion), may be correlated to Kayla having experienced various traumas in HER life that if she were a cat, would also have used up a number of HER nine lives.

The publisher compares Puffy & Blue to some other books that I feel made me KNOW the animal "star" of the book. In those books I completely felt and was touched by the personality of the animals the books were written for. While Kayla Fioravanti wrote a book that portrayed some enormous life struggles and poignant lessons and is a worthwhile read, Puffy & Blue left me feeling as if I never truly found out the TRUE PERSONALITY of Puffy, who was supposed to be one of the "stars" of this book.




About Kayla Fioravanti:
Kayla Fioravanti is a wife, mother, author and speaker, and happily married to her entrepreneur  husband, Dennis. The couple live with their three children, four cats, six chickens and one dog in Franklin, Tenn. 

An expert in the natural cosmetic, aromatherapy and skin care industry, Kayla has published seven books and has contributed or been featured in scores of publications, including Real Simple, Self Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Home Business Magazine, Women Entrepreneur, Elle, CCM Magazine, Redbook, InStyle Magazine, Woman’s World and GQ. Kayla was the managing editor and a contributor to 360 Degrees of Grief: Reflections of Hope. 

For more information about Fioravanti, visit KaylaFioravanti.com



Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together is available online through major retailers including Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com in paperback and on Kindle.

GIVE-AWAY-Kayla Fioravanti has generously offered two of my readers who reside in the U.S. the chance to win a copy of Puffy & Blue: The Chronicles of Nine Lives Together. The give-away is open now and will end on Monday, August 17th at 5pm. Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced on or around Wednesday, August 19th. If you would like to be entered, please leave a comment below stating CLEARLY that you wish to be entered.

 Good luck!

In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of Puffy & Blue in exchange for my honest review. It is important to note that while a book may not completely resonate with me, opinions about books are subjective and it is important to form your own opinion. I always feature books that no matter what I may think of them, I feature books that I feel will be of great interest to my readers and are worthwhile reads.

23 comments:

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful review. I love that you were doing a lot of work writing it. I'm not living in the US, so I can't participate in the giveaway, but I'll see if I can catch a copy here somewhere. Travelling and moving with a cat sounds like a nightmare - and really interesting.

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  2. Thank you for your honesty, Caren. I appreciate it. I still think it would be a worthwhile read and I would love for you to enter me into the giveaway. It sounds like Kayla has triumphed over some pretty major things in her life, and I like stories like that.

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  3. Interesting review, thank you Caren and Cody ! Purrs

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  4. Thanks for the honest review.....sounds like the author may have "used" Puffy in order to bring to light her own struggles and issues and sometimes it's easier for people to tell that kind of tale if they include someone or something that went through it with them. Puffy must have been a great comfort to Kayla since she was part of her life for a long time. I'd be interested in reading the book. Thanks!

    Hugs, Pam

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  5. I love your honest reviews, Caren. It sounds like the cat was a device to thread the memoir together making it a memoir about her and not about the cat.

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  6. First, I'm in. I would love to read this book.

    Second I linked this post to Awww Mondays.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

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  7. Enjoyed your review, Caren. Sounds like an interesting book. Wishing Kayla much success.

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  8. Great review Caren. People treat pets in so many different ways. I have always said there are two different kinds of people that own animals. Layla said it right. I like that word, device and so true with many people. Good one Caren.

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  9. You know, I really enjoy knowing I can come to a blog and get a 100% honest review. Thanks for that. That being said, it does sound like an interesting read and good luck to all who enters!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  10. I agree with you. It sounds like it should have been more about the kitty.

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  11. Great review! I, too, would love to read the book! Also, Toby wants me to tell you that he and the others at the Library of Cats would like Cody to be a guest reviewer of any book the two of you want! Here's a link to the blog so you can decide if Cody would be interested.

    https://libraryofcats.wordpress.com/

    I don't know if the link will work but you can always copy and paste the address! Anyway, if you are interested, let me know!

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    1. Thanks so much but I have a review list a mile long lol.Also, as of January 2016 I will no longer be doing "free" book reviews......but thanks for the offer!

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  12. I wish to be entered! Love reading about animals.

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  13. Please enter me in the drawing- I love true stories about cats.

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  14. enter me please- love it! Have a great week!

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  15. It still sounds like a good book, and we appreciate your honest review, Caren. We would like to be entered in the drawing. Thank you! Hugs to you, Cody, and Dakota!

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  16. Thank you for your honest review of the book. Readers will now know what to expect and not be so disappointed that the cat is not more integral!

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  17. Sounds intewestin'. Hope y'all have a gweat week.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  18. Sounds like an interesting book, but Mom Paula never has the chance to read for enjoyment anymore.

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  19. Thanks for the honest review , Caren. This way, people can enjoy the book with the understanding that it is more of a memoir than a story about a cat!

    the critters in the cottage xo

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    1. You are welcome and THANK YOU!!! You stated it PERFECTLY. In my opinion it is a memoir. Perfectly stated!

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  20. We appreciate your honest review! Our mommy has a stack of books to read and any book that might cause tears about a kitty would be hard for her to read anyway.

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  21. This sounds like a really touching book. It's too bad there isn't more cat. Cats make everything better in my opinion. :) Maybe her next book will make up for the lack of cat in this one.

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