If you read this blog often, you know I'm a dog lover and especially hold a place in my heart for those dogs that previously had some issues and have since been rehabilitated. Heather Waldorf has created a novel for teens that takes dogs in rehab with a teen that also needs a little bit of help after surviving sexual abuse by her father.
"Fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene's father—chef by day, camera buff by night—choked to death on a piece of steak. It was the best day of Sarah's life. But a year later, Sarah still struggles with the legacy of her father's abuse. While other girls her age are determined to find boyfriends and part-time jobs and dresses for the prom, Sarah is on a search-and-destroy mission: to find the shoe box containing her father's collection of kiddy porn. After a brief skirmish with the law, Sarah is sentenced to do community service hours at Camp Dog Gone Fun, a summer program for shelter dogs. With the love of a big goofy dog named Judy, the friendship of Sullivan, a guy with problems of his own, and the support of a few good adults, Sarah begins to understand her past and believe in a brighter future."
I really loved the setting of the book. Camp Dog Gone Fun was somewhere I could see myself volunteering my time (hopefully not because I committed a crime though) and the dogs grabbed at my heart strings. The premise of the novel is really a good one, a bit of a unique take on the typical "issue" book about abuse.
I did have some issues with Sarah as a character. She was a bit overly cynical at times and her flippant attitude was a tad irritating sometimes. I realize her character was written that way to showcase how she dealt with the abuse in her life, but I was definitely annoyed with her sometimes. And that's ok...I'm not going to love every main character that crosses my path!
To learn more about Leftovers or to purchase, click on the book cover to link to Amazon.
Thanks to Orca Publishers for the review copy :)