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Cat and Mouse

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Worth reading 😎

This drama-filled romance read is guaranteed to keep you turning pages. Cat and Mouse is a solid introduction to a new series.

Jacquelyn Phillips’ Cat and Mouse (The Games We Play #1) is a solid introduction to a new series. This drama-filled romance read is guaranteed to keep you turning pages. This story explores the opportunities of change that attending college can provide, and the beautiful mess that finding yourself can turn into. This novel takes the phrase “it’s complicated” to a whole new level, and author Jacquelyn Phillips leaves you demanding answers by the book’s end. 


The game of “cat and mouse” is one many people are familiar with. When applying it to a college setting, we see this take form in two individuals wanting what they can’t have. For people like the novel’s protagonist, Roxanne Vaughn, relationships don’t come easy. After having her heart broken in high school, she’s looking for a fresh start at Sonoma State University. While struggling to fit into a new crowd of people, survive pre-med classes she hates, and cope with the harsh judgment of her family, Roxanne meets Lamont Carwyn. This tall, dark, and handsome dreamboat of an athlete is truly captivating. There’s only one problem: he’s already in a relationship. 


This novel is a rollercoaster of a read, and explores Roxanne’s journey to finding love, finding her voice, and finding acceptance in what she gives up along the way. Can Roxanne find herself and happiness together? Or does she have to sacrifice one to have the other? 


I thoroughly enjoyed the concept behind this book, I found myself struggling to really enter the narrative in the beginning. Phillips crafts characters with tremendous potential, but fails to lay the groundwork in their motivations in the foundational first chapters. For me, not knowing enough about certain characters made it hard for their dialogue and actions to be truly believable later in the story. I always love complicated characters, but I felt like some characters in Roxanne’s world were written off as stereotypical simplicities when they could have added richness to the story. Likewise, certain inconsistencies in plot and structure elements also distracted me at times from the storyline. Despite these few quirks, there are some truly awesome scenes written into this story, and they make me excited about the next installment. 


While I struggled to really invest in this story to start, I found myself captivated in Phillips’ story by the final chapters. Phillips makes it clear Roxanne’s story is far from over, and I look forward to picking up the second installment Little Bird, Big Sky when it releases! 


Reviewed by

Hi! I'm Kayla, one of the co-founders of Queens of Coffee and Canon. I am a High School English teacher working in Chicago Illinois, and I'm a lover of all things books! I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, but personally enjoy Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Fantasy!

About the author

Jacquelyn Phillips is a San Diego State University Graduate, with her Master's in Fiction/Creative Writing. "Cat and Mouse" is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the second novel of the series. She lives in San Diego with her cat (and muse) Gatsby. view profile

Published on August 09, 2016

Published by

130000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: New Adult

Reviewed by