13 February 2010

Stray by Stacey Goldblatt


When 16-year-old Natalie Kaplan meets a new person, she knows right away what kind of dog they'd be. Natalie herself resembles an Ibizan hound—quiet, playful, loyal, smart, and above all, obedient. Actually, Natalie has been trained so well that sometimes she thinks her mother is secretly controlling her with a dog whistle. (Her mom is a respected veterinarian with a successful clinic, so it's not that much of a stretch.)

Just like the Ibizan, Natalie is very mindful of her master's rules, but at the first sign of freedom, she is prone to stray. And who can blame her when the gorgeous and mysterious Carver Reed comes to live with the Kaplan family for the summer? Little by little, Natalie is drawn to Carver's spontaneity and free spirit, and before long, she turns into another breed of girl, who surprisingly bites the hand that feeds her.
The only reason I gave this four out of five stars is because it's not a book I'd go out and buy.

The best part of this book was the humor--I was constantly laughing.  If I feeling a little under it, I would pick this up and feel better in no time.  Natalie is a cool girl.  A little obtuse at times but otherwise, she's pretty sharp.  I love how real it seems: this struggle for her to find out who to trust, who she is, what she has to do and what she shouldn't.

I love the dog references.  They're flawless and offer a huge insight to the book.  Stacey Goldblatt is excellent at showing the gears of Natalie's head.  It was like stepping into someone else entirely.

The descriptions are incredible.  They were something a feisty and dogs-are-the-center-of-the-world type of girl would describe something.  They were hilarious and honest.

Overall, a touching story and a very satisfying read.  Once I managed to have a solid chunk of time to read, I flew through this book.  I recommend it to anyone who wants a good read--and anyone who likes to laugh. :)

Book Info:

  • pages - hardcover, 288
  • published - May 2007
  • publisher - Delacourte
  • genre - contemporary
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 4/5