Monday, December 31, 2012

Doggirl by Robin Brande

Doggirl (Print edition)I don't think I've ever read a YA novel in which I could relate to the heroine so well. Having grown up being bullied, similar to what this young girl faces, the parallels surprised me. Like myself, the girl turns to dogs.

"I don't get a lot of things people do. Which is why I prefer living as part of a dog pack rather than a human one. Every time I think I might have figured people out, it turns out to be a disaster."

Riley is fourteen and knows enough to keep to herself. But wanting to put "dog trainer" on her resume, she signs up for a school play that wants some well-trained dogs involved...and she and her dogs steal the show. I confess that at first I found it unbelievable that a girl at fourteen could be so knowledgeable about dogs, their habits, their packs, their communications, and could train all of them so well. But I figure anything's possible.

Through Riley's eyes, we see the world of human: odd, and the world of dogs: easy to understand. It's funny, cute, heartwarming, and I found myself cheering for her, hoping she would stand up for herself, find a friend, give people a chance, because I think that was the lesson here underneath the cute dog stuff: just because you've been hurt once, doesn't mean all people are out to get you.

And another one, spoken by one of the characters:

"You can let people tell you who you are, or you can tell them yourself."

Great read. I even got teary eyed toward the end, when she was watching a video put together by the camera guy.

The dogs and their tricks are absolutely amazing and the book has many a humorous spot. And something else I have to quote, just because I feel the same way about my pooches:

"My dogs are beautiful, but they're not "show quality." I wouldn't want them to be....All of my dogs are healthy and happy and complete joys to be around. That's what matters to me."

I wish there was a sequel. I'd like to see what happens to Riley and her dogs. 5 bikes. I bought this on Kindle.

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