Thursday, January 15, 2009

Book ME in: my first review of 2009

When I was just a little girl, I thought I was more of a cat person than a dog person. I’d spend hours while pretending to do my chores, mainly focused on playing with the kitties and searching out new ones in the barn. They’d get so tame, that if you went pick up a bale, they’d scurry on to it to get your attention; or you decided to sit down for a rest, they’d climb right up on to you. I was personally hurt when my brother took to torturing the poor things, swinging them around by their tails and whatnot.

When my sister scoured the want ads and listened to “Swap Shop” on the radio religiously to find a suitable dog for the farm, I wasn’t too interested. When “Katy” arrived on the scene, I was annoyed that I couldn’t run barefoot on the lawn, or lay outside without the slobbering Collie all over me. She was a dumb dog. She stood in the middle of the road and barked at traffic. She climbed up the stairs on to the school bus. She got hit by tractors, the slowest moving vehicles on the planet. I was not her biggest fan.

When a lovable Golden Retriever/Labrador cross took her place; however, I changed my tune. Nelly was (and still is, as far as I know) a beautiful dog. A hot blonde. Gentle, more intelligent, so adorable that everyone in the family began giving her treats for the hell of it. If I decided to lay in the grass, she’d sit beside me with her tail thump-thump-thumping away.

It’s because of Nelly that Marley and Me by John Grogan was such a wonderful reading experience. It was easy to relate to the demeanor of Labs, the way the Grogans fell in love with the little pup, the unconditional love when Marley devoured the house and failed out of dog training. While our experiences with our beloved family pets were quite different, I couldn’t help but love this tale.

Before I start to gush too much, I feel the need to inform everyone that I haven’t seen the movie. A co-worker loaned me the book with her own story about how tears sprung to her eyes at opportune moments, warning me that if I was a crier (which I totally am) I was doomed. I don’t know if it was the fact that I carried this book around everywhere with me on the off chance that I’d get to read a couple pages here and there that prevented me from tearing up at the end of the story or not, but I didn’t cry. However, the fact that I wasn’t moved to tears didn’t ruin my impression of the novel.

Marley and Me is a relatable story about the impact a family pet can have on your life. Certainly, for anyone who had a dog growing up, or has one now, it’s easily to nod your head as you read about the trials and tribulations the Grogans face with Marley. Though we all come from different backgrounds, different family situations, and experiences, Marley and Me is the type of story that brings people together. This is probably why when John Grogan wrote the obituary for his pet in the paper he worked at, he received more calls, e-mails and letters than he had for any other piece of his career.

I spoiled it, but c’mon, you had to know that was coming.

Do yourself a favour, pick up Marley and Me and remember your own favourite childhood pet as the story unfolds.

This was my first book review over at Book Me In. Thanks guys, for letting me join in as a contributor, I look forward to doing a review of each book I read this year. Also, I want a dog now. Please, Boyfriend, please?


Hillary said...

this book killed me (and the movie did too)
I'm a massive crier though, so that might have had something to do with it

Elle Bee said...

I'm a massive crier too, the movie will probably make me bawl my little eyes out. However, the book is also insanely funny. I forgot to mention that.

laurwilk said...

This was a great movie and book!

A quick plug for my hometown here. Any cat lovers should really read the book Dewey! It's the Marley and Me for the cat lover.

Akirah said...

I haven't read the book yet, but I saw the movie. I definitely bawled my eyes out during that movie. I never owned pets as a child (my dad always said that pets are useless because they don't help pay the bills), so I couldn't really relate. But it made me really excited to own a dog someday. My boyfriend and I are already choosing a few breeds that we like.

Kaye Bee said...

Katy was quite stupid eh? I didn't realize it until now... but we live on a road... not a street, get it right. :P

Kyla Bea said...

Oh man - I have a policy about this kind of material: I don't go there.

Animal books and movies are totally out for me, I'm too weepy!

Anonymous said...


And uhm, I need one. ASAP. I keep borrowing my parent's pooch for weekends, which are like, the highlight of my life. But I'd like my own. NOW.

Anonymous said...

I loved your review! I thought it was very well written, and even though I've seen the movie and own the book (but have not yet read it) your review made me want to read it.