Furry Faux Paw, A
by Jessica Kara
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Pub Date 26 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 26 Aug 2022
Page Street Publishing, Page Street YA
Sometimes Your Best Self Is Your Fursona
Online, MauveCat (a cool, confident, glittering pixie cat) has friends and a whole supportive furry community that appreciates her art. At home, Maeve Stephens has to tiptoe around her hoarder mother’s mood and mess. When her life is at its hardest, Maeve can always slip into Mauve, her fursona, and be “the happy one,” the bubbliest, friendliest artist in her community—it’s even how she made her best friend, Jade.
With graduation around the corner, Maeve is ready to put her lonely school days behind her and move on with her life. And while her father hasn’t been home since the divorce, he does offer her a dream come true: an all-expenses paid trip to the regional furry convention.
Furlympia will have everything Maeve’s been missing—friends, art mentors, and other furries! So when her mother forbids her from going, Maeve decides to sneak out on her own.
Between hitching a ride with Jade, getting a makeover from a young furry she inspired, and connecting with an art idol who could help Her get into her dream school—the furcon is everything Maeve hoped for and more. A single weekend away shows Maeve how wonderful her life could be, but breaking free of the hoard means abandoning her mother, just like everyone else in their life. And Maeve isn’t sure if she can—even if it destroys her, too.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 11 members
“I don’t think I can save her. And I don’t think I can try anymore.”
I was really excited and interested to see furry repp in YA! Woohoo! Right away I was pulled in by the protagonist and her life with an agoraphobic hoarding mom. I love how they show the disconnect the mom has with her daughter. Too relatable. The situation is very compelling for why she’d have specifically a cat fursona. Fursonas sometimes can connect to one’s life experiences and be a coping mechanism (not all), so it’s interesting to see how the cat connects to living in a hoarder’s house. I'm not a furry so I can’t speak for furries, but as an autistic con-goer/geek, the portrayal seemed authentic and very relatable. I appreciated how authentic and positive the portrayal of fandoms was, especially when there's a lot of false and negative info out there (especially for the furry community).
Kara does a really great job conveying a con, as well as the tension one can feel being obligated to take care of those who should be taking care of them. I especially resonated with: "““It’s not your job,” he says, pointing firmly at me, “to take care of her.”/ “Someone has to,” I cry,"" and how easy it is to feel trapped in an unhealthy dynamic of taking care of someone who doesn't give back. I love the critical point about healthy relationships, and finding give/take dynamics instead of someone who only takes. It's a powerful journey of learning when and how to walk away.
I also appreciated the acknowledgement/exploration of ace identity. The growing friendship with Paige, and seeing her more complexly as the novel progressed was so compelling and relatable. I really resonated with all these characters and how well-rounded they were on the page.
TDLR; I emotionally connected and resonated with several aspects of this book, and found the story well paced narratively. Maeve's struggles are compelling, and model a valuable lesson about setting healthy boundaries while still loving others. I really loved this book. I love how it shows how healing fandoms can be, an how critical fandom communities are. I hope people who aren’t in fandoms will read this and get a better appreciation for why fandoms are critical for identity and community. Highly, highly recommended!