May 24, 2012

book review: dog days

In Elsa Watson's Dog Days, a cafe owner best known in her small town as a dog hater has her life turned upside down when she swaps bodies with a canine.

As she prepares for her town's annual canine festival, Jessica Sheldon knows her cafe must do some serious business or risk shutting their doors forever. Unfortunately, her lifelong fear of dogs has dubbed her a dog hater, which makes her canine-crazed townspeople hesitant to give her business. At the same time, she is seriously crushing on Hot Max, the town's adorable and hunky veterinarian. So far, she has managed a bit of small talk when he comes in for his daily cup of java.

When Jessica has a run-in with Zoe, a stray pup abandoned her family, and a jolt of lighting, the two find themselves in swapped bodies. Together, they must successfully complete the dog festival, face issues from their past and see if they can land the guy, too.

Told from the perspective of Jessica and Zoe both pre- and post-body switch, this story was a fun mix of Freaky Friday and Homeward Bound with a healthy dose of romance.

Aside from the general intrigue surrounding the body mix-up, both of the protagonists bring a lot to the table in terms of difficult histories, lonely presents and uncertain futures. Each was also charismatic, likeable and enjoyable to follow.

The supporting characters were also fun. In a town that takes its love of dogs seriously, it is not hard to imagine how kooky they can be. The activities surrounding the festival are fun and keeps the story moving forward at a good pace.

Plus, Hot Max, the vet, is totally crushable, and it was easy to understand how both Jessica and Zoe could fall for him. I would let him rub my belly, if you know what I mean.

A great poolside read for summer, Dog Days is a solid read that will make even non-pet lovers smile.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Check out my interview with author Elsa Watson here.

About the Author
From 1996 to 1998, Elsa Watson served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, where she began writing novels, all in longhand. She now lives in Washington State with her husband, cat, and two dogs. Her short work has appeared in the Writers Journal, Snowy Egret, and Renaissance Magazine. Elsa is proud to live by the motto: any day on which you pet a dog is a good day. 

Contact Elsa
Twitter: @elsa_watson

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