The Cats We Meet Along the Way

by Nadia Mikail

Children's & YA Fiction Debut Books of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of The Cats We Meet Along the Way

The impending end of the world heralds a soul-stirring road-trip across Malaysia to find an estranged sister

When dynamic independent children’s publisher Guppy Books put out a call for submissions from unpublished, un-agented writers in 2020, Nadia Mikail answered with The Cats We Meet Along the Way - a poignant debut with a punch-packing, end-of-the-world set-up, and unconditional love at its heart. Through its deeply endearing characters, this tells a stirring story of family finding a way through loss, loneliness and feeling abandoned to embrace what’s really important.

Until the Announcement “Aisha had been a seventeen-year-old student, who treasured her lie-ins and whose mother shouted about breakfast to wake her up. Now time was precious”. And the Announcement? Nothing less than the imminent end of Earth, with predictions of “the world wreathed in fire and smoke” in the fatal wake of an asteroid collision. How’s that for a mind-blowing set-up? But that’s not all Aisha has to deal with. Three years ago, before the Announcement, her older sister, June, left home and hasn’t been seen since: “she had chosen to disappear from their lives without a trace, and had chosen not to come back”. Now, mere months before the world will end, Aisha and her mother Esah want to find June, so they embark on an emotional road-trip across Malaysia with Aisha’s adorable boyfriend, his compassionate parents, and Fleabag the cat.

Though the scenario is urgent, the author has a powerfully steady style, as seen in her measured, bone-deep evocations of memories, and characters’ mourning of memories that will never be made - their sorrow and grief is profoundly palpable. Then there’s Aisha and Esah’s deep-rooted connection to the place they were born, where they hope to find June, and an unleashing of pent-up anger, grief and guilt before a love-filled sense that light may be found through even the darkest of days.

Joanne Owen

The Cats We Meet Along the Way Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Aisha hasn't seen her sister June for two years. And now that a calamity is about to end the world in nine months' time, she and her mother decide that it's time to track her down and mend the hurts of the past. Along with Aisha's boyfriend, Walter and his parents (and Fleabag the stray cat), the group take a roadtrip through Malaysia in a wildly decorated campervan - to put the past to rest, to come to terms with the present, and to hope for the future.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781913101596
Publication date: 3rd February 2022
Author: Nadia Mikail
Publisher: Guppy Publishing Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 192 pages
Primary Genre Children's & YA Fiction
Other Genres:

What To Read After The Cats We Meet Along the Way

The Other Side of Lost
Proud of Me
Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl

Nadia Mikail Press Reviews

This moving, unique, incredibly assured YA debut is full of life's slow richness, the lagging toll of grief and the brightness of unconditional love. - The Guardian

Poignant, thoughtful and life-affirming. - The Bookseller

A phenomenal book. Such a distinctive voice, so beautifully crafted, and what a premise. - Louisa Reid

Original, emotionally truthful and infused with love and hope. - Patrice Lawrence

A beautiful debut about finding the light even as the world is ending. - Jenny Downham

Fresh, hopeful and thought-provoking and with a real lightness of touch - Rashmi Sirdeshpande

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781913101596
Publication date: 03/02/2022
Format: Paperback

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