I am taking part in the Rotten Blog tour today hosted by Books With Bite. On my stop I have my review for you!
- Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
- Publication date: 4/1/2013
- Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review/tour
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 (yes, after that guy in the Sex Pistols). Both tough but damaged, JD and Johnny slowly learn to trust each other, but their newfound 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 admit that I was nervous going into this because I was terrified about what might happen to the dog. This story was very hard to read if you are an animal lover. It was emotional, enraging, and hopeful. This was a book that had me feeling irrationally angry at times, close to tears at others, and smiling at other times. This is about a broken boy and a broken dog and how they save each other. I thought it was wonderful!
JD has been away for the summer and when he comes home his mom has gotten them a dog. JD is beating himself up over the secret that he's hiding, and isn't so sure about the dog, but he slowly opens up to him just as the dog, JR for Johnny Rotten, opens up to him too. JD seems like he might be a troubled boy, but he really is a good kid and he just happened to do some stupid things. Things that are now coming back to bite him as they have to fight to save JR. I thought that JD was insecure, afraid, and most of all, ashamed of himself. I loved the bond that he formed with JR and what he was willing to do to save him.
Now here is where I get a little personal in this review. The whole situation with them just labeling the dog as bad and dismissing him as an object makes me so mad. The fact that they can just dismiss how horrible the other people are because a dog is "just an animal" made me get very worked and angry. I got very emotional reading this book because I know what it's like to lose a dog because of a situation gone wrong. I won't go into my actual situation, but I do know how JD felt so this really hit my emotions hard.
This was a very quick read that was tough on my emotions, but really a fantastic book about friendship and hope. It shows the good and bad of people and what people are willing to do on both sides of the scale whether it be save the ones you care about, or destroy them for selfish reasons. It was about getting a second chance and doing everything you can to make the most of it because that second chance could be gone before you know it. This story was really harsh, but beautiful.