Search This Blog

The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill: Review and Giveaway!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Rick Gutierrez is . . . the Cat King of Havana! A cat-video tycoon turned salsa-dancer extraordinaire, he’ll take Cuba by storm, romance the girl of his dreams, and ignite a lolcat revolution!

At least that’s the plan.

It all starts when his girlfriend dumps Rick on his sixteenth birthday for uploading cat videos from his bedroom when he should be out experiencing the real world. Known as “That Cat Guy” at school, Rick isn’t cool and he knows it. He realizes it’s time for a change.

Rick decides joining a salsa class is the answer . . . because of a girl, of course. Ana Cabrera is smart, friendly, and smooth on the dance floor. Rick might be half-Cuban, but he dances like a drunk hippo. Desperate to impress Ana, he invites her to spend the summer in Havana. The official reason: learning to dance. The hidden agenda: romance under the palm trees.

Except Cuba isn’t all sun, salsa, and music. There’s a darker side to the island. As Rick and Ana meet his family and investigate the reason why his mother left Cuba decades ago, they learn that politics isn’t just something that happens to other people. And when they find romance, it’s got sharp edges.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks


Rick knows he's not exactly the coolest guy in the world. So when his girlfriend ditches him, he decides to become an accomplished salsa dancer (which isn't exactly easy). He joined partly because of an attractive girl who just so happens to be an amazing dancer herself. He didn't think it entirely through though; his goofy moves and seeming lack of flexibility are more humorous than endearing. When the pair end up spending the summer together they not only get to know each other, but they get to know the reason Rick's mom's left Cuba.

This novel was hilarious. Rick was a riot and I loved his personality. He reminded me of a fun-loving, goofy, lovable puppy sometimes. I thought his crush on Ana was cute. She was a pretty good secondary character and love interest. I liked learning more about salsa and the Cuban culture. The real reason behind Rick's mother's departure was interesting and I wasn't totally surprised. This would be a great beach read or rainy weekend read.

4 Stars

Tom Crosshill's fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award (thrice) as well as the Latvian Annual Literature Award. His stories have appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Lightspeed. In 2009, he won the Writers of the Future contest. After some years spent in Oregon and New York, he currently lives in his native Latvia. In the past, he has operated a nuclear reactor, translated books and worked in a zinc mine, among other things. 

Tom's young adult novel "The Cat King of Havana" is forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins) in 2016.

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of THE CAT KING OF HAVANA (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ


  1. Anne C. said...:

    This sounds like a fun read! The main character sounds like a guy I would be friends with. Will be happy to get a copy. :)

  1. I love reading humor in my books and this one has caught my attention. I think it's funny that you thought the "cat king" was like a puppy sometimes.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    So excited to read this one, it sounds like a clever novel (an has an awesome cover!)

  1. Kelly G said...:

    This sounds like such a clever novel, and I love that cover! I can't wait to read this one!

  1. Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds great!

  1. I'm bummed because my comment from yesterday didn't appear here. Anyway, I can't wait to read this book based on all the great reviews it's getting, including here.