Today’s my stop on the blog tour for Dog Girl, which released in November of 2020, and I’m reviewing it on here! This book was a very well-written and had a heart-warming story which I think every dog lover out there, would love. There’s also a giveaway at the bottom of this post and other fun things such as a collage of the locations in the book and a playlist, right below the review!
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54471917-dog-girl
Book Club Link: https://www.gabijustice.com/book-club-kit
Dog Girl is Fangirl meets Pit Bulls and Parolees.
Saving the dogs who end up at Delray Dog Rescue is Kendall’s life. It’s the perfect job for a girl with severe social anxiety.
Delray Dog Rescue doesn’t just rescue dogs, it’s a second chance for felons, like her dad. Losing the rescue means losing Kendall’s home, her sanctuary, the dogs she loves, her identity and her dad, all over again.
But money’s tight, and soon, Kendall must decide between keeping a roof over her head and saving the rescue.
When a video of Kendall’s harrowing rescue of a pit bull from the path of an oncoming train goes viral. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Kendall, making her anxiety worse. But this is an opportunity to put the rescue in the spotlight and secure the donations needed to save it.
Can she overcome the social paralysis that’s plagued her all her life? Can she ignore negative comments on social media about her looks and smell? Can she accept help from a boy who really sees her, even though she can’t understand what he could possibly see in her?
DOG GIRL is the story of a teen girl who wants to save the world, and ends up saving herself in the process.
Thank you to YA Bound Tours and Gabi Justice for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. This did not affect my opinion and all opinions on the book are my own.
Feel-good books with heart-warming stories isn’t really my usual type. My usual is anything that makes me cry my eyes out, I don’t do it on purpose but that’s just what happens ALL THE TIME. And yet, this books absolutely pulled me in and I loved every minute of it.
Like I said, I knew it wasn’t my usual type of book, although I do read a lot of contemporary, but I love dogs and I have anxiety all the time, as I’m sure a lot of others do, as well, so I knew I had to try this book out. It was different than I expected to be honest, it wasn’t just about a girl who loves dogs and has anxiety. There was a little bit of romance (because all my books have that) and there was mystery too. The whole mystery aspect I definitely did not expect but loved and enjoyed anyway.
The main character, Kendall, is a seventeen-year-old with anxiety, doesn’t have too many friends and works at the dog shelter that her parents started years ago. She loves the dogs there, cares for them and the shelter is like a second-chance for people in life since the shelter takes in felons as employees. She always keeps herself isolated due to her anxiety and has some issues like the fact that she talks to her dad, who isn’t alive anymore and a made up figure in her mind who’s a form of her anxiety. She seems to like the life she has with the shelter, her 2 friends and her family(her mom and step-mom) but it changes when a kid from school uploads a video of her rescuing a dog by the train tracks where her and the dog’s life was very much in danger. It wasn’t a first for her, it’s happened before but for the people watching it online? They’re going insane over it! Now, she’s become popular online even though she doesn’t really want it and there’s news channels coming for an interview, etc.
Then there’s Ryan, the cute and surprisingly really nice guy who’s volunteering at the shelter since it’s a graduation requirement. He was a wonderful character who added a lot to the story. Despite knowing what Kendall’s anxiety was like and her attempts to push him away because she couldn’t believe someone like him, a rich tennis player, could truly like someone like her, a diagnosed teenager with the nickname of Dog Girl, he still stuck around and was always there for her and supported her. I loved all the characters including Vicky and Jimmy, Kendall’s best friends and I loved how all 3 of them added so much to the story. (There’s also the fact that although there was romance, I was glad that the book didn’t focus on that)
And the animals, oh my god. Rascal was such a cutie, as was Lucy. I loved them and although I love dogs, I don’t have one of my own right now and this really made me wish I had my own Rascal or Lucy. Then there was Dragon. I knew books impact me a lot but I didn’t think it was this bad, now I wish I had a wolf too. I think a dog lover would especially love this book because we all know that while a lot of people love animals in this world, a lot of people also don’t and people are cruel to animals too. (And I say this with a personal experience, that people are so cruel to animals for no reason whatsoever which is just despicable) The book focused on an issue of dog-fighting too and the lengths that someone would go to, to protect the dogs that they love, or any dog, from a terrible fate like that.
That being said, I think this was an absolutely amazing book and Gabi is an excellent writer (Since this is her debut novel, I can’t wait to see what other works she comes up with!), she gave an amazing voice to Kendall and since the book is in first person point of view, I loved listening to what her thoughts were like, the good and bad, and watching her grow from the anxious girl at the beginning go the book whose inner voice stopped her from putting herself out there and believing good things could happen to her, to the beautiful and strong girl who risked so much to save the animals she loves, believed that good things could happen to her and was confident about herself. A definite recommend for YA Contemporary lovers as well as any and all, dog lovers.
Here’s a collage of some of the locations from the book and one of Gabi with Dragon (the wolf🥺).
And here’s a playlist of songs made by Gabi herself, which also mentions why the song is relevant to the story!
Gabi Justice is the author of Dog Girl, her teen and young adult contemporary romance debut set to publish in the fall of 2020. She is the mom to three dogs and one stray cat named Luna Buna. She lives in Florida with her husband and children. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tennis court in the state that she hasn’t visited, having three competitive junior players in the family. She spent most of her adult life writing editorial copy for local magazines after graduating from the University of South Florida. Florida provides the settings for all her coming-of-age stories that highlight bullying, misjudgment, acceptance, and teen anxiety. Her main characters are goal-oriented teenage girls with a drive that can be fierce and dangerous.
Grand Prize: Dog Girl T-Shirt! (U.S. only – Sizes S-XL)
1st Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card (International)
This blog tour is hosted by: