My Boyfriends’ Dogs

3 Sep

My Boyfriends' Dogs

Dandi Daley Mackall

Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books

Publication Date: 2010

Hardback: 265 pages

Book Blurb:

Bailey Daley is about to discover that true love and man’s best friend have more in common than she ever dreamed.

Seeking shelter from a rainstorm, Bailey and her three dogs stumble into a St. Louis café that’s just closing down for the night. One look at Bailey—from her wet dogs to her drenched prom dress—and it’s obvious the girl has a story to tell. With the stormy night ahead of her, Bailey unfolds the tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley, the three dogs she’s won, and the three loves she’ll never forget.

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Why I read this book: The title! It grabbed me from the start. One, I love dogs and, two, I was intrigued that each dog came from a different relationship.

Review:

I wouldn’t have categorized this as a Christian book. I was surprised to find it at Christianbooks.com. I’d first found it in the teens’ section at Borders (may it rest in peace). So I guess I was equally surprised to find God mentioned in an off-the-teen-shelf book. To be fair He wasn’t mentioned all that often. It’s made clear that Bailey and her mom believe in God but that doesn’t play a huge factor in the storyline. It’s a very odd balancing act. Some of the moral stances found in religion are present—such as the mom being insistent she waits until marriage to have sex, but reading the Bible, going to church and many of the other day to day aspects of religion are conspicuously absent. As I wasn’t coming into story with the expectation of it being a Christian novel I quite enjoyed it, but I would have been disappointed if I came to it with different expectations.

Setting that aspect aside, I think My Boyfriends’ Dogs has a great premise. A very wet girl in a very wet gown accompanied by three drenched dogs enters a closed café in the middle of the night. As she warms up over a hot cup of coffee, three men listen to her story and we learn just a bit of theirs as well. The café presents a nice frame tale that sets the stage for the stories of Bailey’s three loves lost. As the stories unfolded, I felt like I could’ve been a girlfriend she was spilling her heart out to.

The stories of her three old flames capture cycle of many young relationships. That initial, sweep-you-off-your-feet infatuation, the blindness to their flaws, the eventual eye-opening and the fallout. I could see bits of my past relationships and the relationships of my friends play out in Bailey’s life. After the fall of the first relationship Bailey says “…from that first boyfriend on, in varying degrees we become addicted to boyfriends”. I’m not saying it’s good or healthy or right, but for many girls I think that’s true. I know it was for me and that addiction got me into some really crappy relationships. To hear her say that (and many other things) was a revelation to me. The first step to breaking an addiction is to realize you have one.

This book is great for girls who are (were, in my case) stuck in that cycle like me and Bailey. It’s also a fun read that draws you in with its conversational style and captivating narrative. It’s a book that I will pass on.

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