Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Doggirl by Robin Brande

Doggirl (Print edition)Doggirl by Robin Brande

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Doggirl is a well-written coming of age story. Riley Case is a freshman in a new town at a new high school. That's enough to make anyone a bit self-concious. But Riley is coming from a bad situation at her old school. Riley was the odd-girl out because of her love and understanding for animals and her parent's hand-made values in a buy-more-stuff world. Riley has always stood a bit back from the crowd, trying not to get involved, and her one attempt last year resulted in major bullying from the students at her middle school. Cue the move to the new town and high school.

Throughout the book, Riley does a lot of self-analysis, as she worries about whether she should try to make friends at the new school, whether her parents are really happy with new jobs and a new city home as opposed to the farm life they left behind, and how to train and work with her dogs.

The major plot of the book centers around a school play. A group of students are entering a drama contest for an original play that has to be written, produced, and acted in 2 weeks. As part of the plot, the director is looking for a dog that can maybe walk across the stage on cue. Riley gathers her gumption to apply, and becomes the darling of the show with her 3 dogs that can be trained to do all sorts of tricks and even change the plot of the show. It's no secret that they steal the show.

In the midst of all of this postive attention for her and her dogs, Riley struggles with herself. Should she accept the cast's friendship at face value and become part of their team, or will they only turn on her and make her more of an outcast than before?

This book is well-written, has a good plot, and definitly pulls you into the characters. It also does a very good job of taking you through the thought process and steps of working with animals. I highly recommend it.

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