Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for (again, not really) Rotten

Q is a hard letter. So I'm just going to give a book review that has absolutely no relationship to the letter.  

A troubled teen. A rescued Rottweiler. An unlikely friendship.

Jimmer "JD" Dobbs is back in town after spending the summer "upstate." No one believes his story about visiting his aunt, and it's pretty clear that he has something to hide. It's also pretty clear that his mom made a new friend while he was away---a rescued Rottweiler that JD immediately renames Johnny Rotten. Both tough but damaged, JD and Johnny slowly learn to trust each other, but their new found bond is threatened by a treacherous friend and one snap of Johnny's powerful jaws. As the secrets JD has tried so hard to keep under wraps start to unravel, he suddenly has something much bigger to worry about: saving his dog.

I don't read books with strong animal roles. I'm not sure why. I just enjoy human logic more, I guess. But the cover for this book reminded me of Swindle by Gordon Korman (picture to the right - and do you know how long it took me to remember the title? And I thought the author was Patrick Carman, them having similar last names and all that,  and I had to Google "books with dogs", and do you know how many results that comes up with? About 418,000,000 results (0.22 seconds). And that's only about. So you better appreciate that book cover to the right). And, I mean, if you look at if from a "does the book have a dog?" kind of perspective, then they're very similar indeed. And Korman's book is pure genius, so I somehow connected the two and decided to read Rotten. Oh, and you know why else I don't like books about animals, especially dogs? Especially the big black ones? Because those dogs freak me out. And they have some weird emotion-detecting mojo, which makes them, I don't know, chase after the scent of fear maybe. Anyway, I reek like a dumpster with the fear oozing off me when I encounter one of those dogs, and so me and big, black dog? No. I much prefer the small fluffy white kind. So liking this book, really enjoying it, came as a surprise to me.

The story is told from a sixteen-year-old delinquent's POV. Thank god it wasn't from the dog's POV, because then I would have put the book down. No offense.The story line was intriguing. A boy who spent his summer at "his aunt's house" comes back to find that his mother has adopted a rescue dog. Not a dog that rescues - a dog that was rescued (because I find that to be slightly confusing). Initially, the two don't like each other, but they slowly bond together. That was the sweet part of the story - the love story of a dog and a boy. And then one of the JD's friends comes too close and gets bitten by the dog. JD says that his friend pushed the dog, while the friend denies and says that the dog came forward to bite him. And now JD risks getting his dog put down. 

I really wanted to like this book more than the three stars I gave it. JD's character is well done and by far the best thing in this story. He's a sixteen year old. He's not perfect. He's a criminal (well, not exactly). His still innocent and naive and experiencing a whole rush of different feelings. He's perfect.

Also, the page numbers are cute little numbers in white with maybe Handwriting-Lucinda font, on a black circle. Definitely not the most important thing, but I love cute things in books. So bonus points for that.

Oh, and a final note. I have a few short passages highlighted so I could share those with you, but when I finished reading the book, I forgot that I had highlighted them. So I deleted the book, and now I no longer have those passages, and I am not in the mood to go looking for them (and I even tried re-downloading the book, but the highlights were not saved.)