2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas

25739148Rating: 2 Stars
Published: October 2015
Genre: Contemporary // Adult Fiction 
Favorite Quote:

If you are anything other than humbled in the presence of love, you are not in the presence of love.

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.
As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud. (Summary taken from Blogging for Books)

Initial Thoughts

  • This is my first book by Marie – Helene Bertino (follow her on Twitter here) and I had no idea what to expect.
  • I read the summary and I thought it sounded interesting so I picked it up without really reading any reviews.  I’m a sucker for Christmas books.
  • I think the cover is rather adorable.  I love the snowflakes and the inclusion of the main characters.


  • I thought some of it was unrealistic which made me unable to take Madeleine’s story line seriously.  I’ve met quite a few 9 years (between cousins and campers where I used to work) and none of them acted like her.  I know it’s technically possible that there’s someone like her out there but I felt like she should have been a little older.
  • I liked how the characters connected.  I liked the idea of the story centering on many people.  It’s kind of like those movies New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, except less characters.
  • The chapters were broken up by time.  I liked that each chapter was a new time until 2am. It was a good way to label the chapters.

End Thoughts

  • I liked that it took place in Philadelphia because I used to live outside of Philly and recognized most of the street names & areas so that was cool.
  • Bertino has talent, that’s clear enough.  However, her style of writing was not my favorite.
  • I found it a chore to get through this book because it was a little slow for me.
  • There were moments that I really liked but the book over all was not my cup of tea.  By no means do I think this is a bad book.
  • I think I would give Bertino another chance if she wrote another book because she’s a good writer.  She deserves that.  Maybe I’ll try reading this again next year.

Thank you, Blogging for Books, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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