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Kat Jumps the Shark

Suddenly a dark blur dropped through her line of vision, followed by a thump behind the glass. Kat saw first the faces of the extras. Then Peru, the prettiest contestant, fixed in horror and disbelief. There was a high, thin, sustained scream. Finally Kat shifted her gaze to the street, where a body lay at all angles in an extravagant splatter of blood.

‘Oh dear,’ she said. Then started, helplessly, laughing.

Kat Kelly reckons she’s got life sorted. She has a man who cooks and does the dishes. A stepdaughter she adores. And her dream job: scouting locations for a TV production company. All the big dramas are behind her, right? 

Before she knows it, Kat is out of love and has nowhere to live. Between her ditzy new intern and an amorous ex-footballer, work isn’t much better. And just when things couldn’t get any worse, disaster strikes Kat’s set, sending her spinning totally out of control.

Kat Jumps the Shark is a moving and at times hilarious tale about losing it all, only to find it again in the most unexpected place. Full of cheeky digs at television and celebrity culture, this fun-filled novel is for all readers. 


Online media

The Wheeler Centre interview

Weekly Times review

Read Melinda’s article on ‘How Australia fell for reality TV’ for the Guardian.

Melinda Houston
About the Author

After 20 years writing everything from local news to celebrity profiles and hundreds of book, film, food and bar reviews, Melinda Houston scored her own dream job—TV critic—in 2006. These days she contributes as a critic and columnist to most Fairfax newspapers and to radio 3AW and 2UE. She lives in Melbourne.

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Text publication date:
26 March 2014
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Praise for Melinda Houston
andKat Jumps the Shark

‘An irresistible cocktail of intrigue, egos and insider information. A great read for lovers of TV told from the perspective of a no-nonsense, brave and funny heroine.’

‘Fun, heartfelt and deeply satisfying…Houston’s leading lady is incredibly likeable—think Nina Proudman from Offspring—and I was cheering Kat on within the first pages of this book…I relished my time in Kat’s world and I hope this is the first of many more clever and entertaining novels from Houston.’

‘The delight is in the telling and Houston tells the story in an engaging way…with our current fixation on reality shows, it’s quite fun to see what is going on behind the scenes…Fun.’

‘Houston’s descriptions are marvellously evocative…there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in the novel, as well as some thought-provoking and lump-in-the-throat instances. A remarkable debut novel and a very enjoyable read.’

‘What’s notable about Houston’s debut novel is that rather than overwhelming the reader with a million twists and turns as Kat struggles to sort out her life, this novel takes a clear-eyed look at one woman’s vulnerabilities and resilience, and chronicles the challenges of finding love after 40 and choosing what’s right for you.’

‘Set in Melbourne, this novel is a pleasant, light read, with easily recognisable characters and an insightful behind-the-scenes look at reality television.’

‘This is a rollicking journey of local streetscapes told with humour, and directed pointedly at our modern television viewing…An escapist read, if you enjoy the writings of Anita Heiss or Toni Jordan, pick this one up too.’

‘[Houston’s] prose is easy and chatty, her characters colourfully and affectionately drawn, the story warm-hearted, laugh-out-loud funny…On the chick-lit spectrum this one is up at the smart and sparky end. It’s a story that bubbles along yet still has enough depth…a fun and friendly book.’

‘Often funny, sometimes moving, this is one for fans of reality TV, independent women and strong friendships.’

Kat Jumps the Shark is fun, chatty and delivers a message that being nice can often turn out to be the best approach to life.’

‘Kat is a great character, likeable, funny and believable, and you’re rooting for her from the start. Looking forward to the next book already.’

‘In a similar vein to Marian Keyes or Kathy Lette, Houston has crafted a witty read which feels a little too dark and grown-up to be called mere chick lit.’

‘I loved Houston’s turn of phrase. She has a truly wonderful, witty way with words, right down to some exceptional vocabulary choices…Houston hits the mark repeatedly.’

Other editions ofKat Jumps the Shark
  • Kat Jumps the Shark
    ISBN: 9781922148803
    26 March 2014
    Buy ebook