by A. Destiny and Catherine Hapka
Simon Pulse, 2014. 217 pages. Young adult fiction.
Lauren has always wanted to have a dog and, when her dog-allergic sister moves away to college, she finally takes the dog by the leash and purchases a beautiful Sheltie puppy. But who knew that puppies were so much work? Lauren decides that she needs help and enrolls Muckle in a puppy kindergarten class. But is her crush on cute instructor Adam making it hard for her to teach her puppy some new manners? Or distracting her from noticing how much fellow student Lamar seems to like her?
While the approach to this book is formulaic, the writing is engaging and the characters are fun, especially for avid dog lovers. It also has a great theme, reminding teens (and adults, too) that personal connection is a lot more important in a relationship than appearance. Readers who are looking for a little more depth in the writing may be a little annoyed at the superficial treatment, but this is a great read for someone who is looking for a book that is just good, clean fun.
Be warned: some readers may have to try to tune out a young Donny Osmond singing "Puppy Love" in their heads while reading, as I did.