Review: Katzenjammer

Title: Katzenjammer
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Contemporary
Publisher: HCC Frenzy
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Cat lives in her high school. She never leaves, and for a long time her school has provided her with everything she needs. But now things are changing. The hallways contract and expand along with the school’s breathing, and the showers in the bathroom run a bloody red. Cat’s best friend is slowly turning into cardboard, and instead of a face, Cat has a cat mask made of her own hardened flesh.

Cat doesn’t remember why she is trapped in her school or why half of them—Cat included—are slowly transforming. Escaping has always been the one impossibility in her school’s upside-down world. But to save herself from the eventual self-destruction all the students face, Cat must find the way out. And to do that, she’ll have to remember what put her there in the first place.


Cat lives in her high school along with a bunch of other students. None of them are able to leave. The school expands and contracts like it’s breathing, and the showers pour with blood. Cat wears a cat mask that she can’t remove, and her best friend, Jeffrey, is turning into cardboard. Many of them are transforming into animals or inanimate objects. The problem is that Cat doesn’t know why or how they got there. As she slowly regains her memories, she discovers the events that led them there. 

This story was very good but also very unusual. It was inspired by the story Metamorphosis by Kafka, in which the main character wakes up to discover he has turned into an insect. This story was complex and disturbing. It’s one of those stories that I can’t say much about without spoiling it. 

There were some disturbing scenes, but that’s expected with a horror. There was a lot of trauma experienced in the present story, along with bullying in Cat’s memories of the before time. The one thing that I didn’t like at the end was that there were a lot of questions left with open ended answers. I prefer it when everything is answered at the end, but that’s just my preference. 

Katzenjammer is a suspenseful, high school horror story!

Thank you HCCFrenzy for sending me a copy of this book.

What to read next:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Have you read Katzenjammer? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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