For what it is (light-hearted, low stakes fun), this was a fantastic story that took me from laughing hysterically to almost crying and everywhere in between.
The narrator was positively brilliant, and clearly understood the tone of the book extremely well. All of her voices were distinct and very closely matched the way they were described. Her vocal inflections were almost perfect, and in each scene she adjusted her tempo just right to match the tone of that scene.
Now, let me just express how much I love the author's beautiful depiction of the cat afterlife. While poignant at times, the optimism here was a joy to read.
Jem is an adorably sweet character and it was both fun and heartbreaking to experience her trials, failures, and successes as she tries to get back to the family she left behind.
My only real criticism is at the prose level. There are a couple of points where the words seem to be in the wrong order and there are some instances of passive voice, telling, and dialogue feeling slightly stilted. None of that pulled me out of the story for more than a moment, however.
From start to finish this was an emotional ride that I can't recommend highly enough.
I love that rather than wasting time with a "day in the life" sequence, we jumped right into the story. And while on the surface it may appear as though it deals with weighty topics (death), pretty much the entire story stays light and fun.
It's absolutely appropriate for a younger audience, especially if, like me, you have a child who loves books written from the perspective of animals.
While it didn't end in the way I expected, the author put together a great ending that was emotionally satisfying.