Friday, April 27, 2018

The Pet War

Pet War. Allan Woodrow. 2013. Scholastic. 272 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: I stood at the bottom of the driveway in my pajamas with a serious case of bed head.

Premise/plot: Otto and Lexi are siblings. Otto wants a dog. Lexi wants a cat. Mom's verdict: whoever can earn (at least) five hundred dollars in one month can choose what pet the family gets. Lexi is twelve; Otto is eleven. Neither has really gone about earning money in a serious way before. Who will win this pet war?!

My thoughts: I liked this one okay. I do not want my time back! And it is always a relief to have a book with a dog on the cover that is SAFE to read. No pets die in this book!!!! 

Otto is the narrator of this one. He really LOVES dogs and hates cat. As a cat lover, I really didn't enjoy all the dog talk and the disparaging talk against cats. Personally, I wouldn't have minded a story from LEXI'S perspective. But my job is to review the book that is--the book I actually read and not the book I might have wanted to read instead.

Otto is an amusing narrator. He pokes a lot of fun at himself. He's not the brightest or best...especially when it comes to math, economics, and soccer. He does have a super-patient best friend, Malcolm. Without Malcolm, I'm guessing Otto would have made no money at all. Otto has plenty of misadventures when his money-making schemes go awry. I could easily see this book being adapted as a children's comedy movie.

Otto has a lot to learn--not just about math. He is more often than not very rude and demanding. He lacks respect and courtesy. It bothered me to see him treat others so thoughtlessly. In particular, I didn't like the way he treated his dad. He only sees his dad some of the time, and when he does see him. He's all give me money, give me money, give me money, I want money. And when his dad asks him to do something he's like HOW MUCH MONEY do I get. If his dad says he's not going to pay him, he doesn't do it. And this attitude isn't just with his dad--or his mom--it's with everyone. Otto's attitude actually reminded me of my least favorite character in the movie Sing--MIKE.

Lexi seemed a lot more likeable. Not perfect. Not nearly as goody-two-shoes as Otto imagines her to be. But authentically nice.

Kids may enjoy this one more than adults.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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