Customer Review

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but somewhat of a letdown from its predecessor, May 14, 2012
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This review is from: A Dog's Journey: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
Despite the fact that my tear ducts got quite a workout, I absolutely loved W. Bruce Cameron's A Dog's Journey, the sequel to A Dog's Purpose. The first book was fresh and unique in its way of allowing a dog (well, technically, a series of reincarnated dogs) to tell a heart-warming story of a dog's love and dedication to his humans.

A Dog's Journey attempts to carry on that story; but in adhereing too closely to the format established by the first book, Journey loses it's ability to surprise readers. As the story of the dog progresses, were are again treated to tales of multiple reincarnations. The major difference is that in Purpose, some of those lives didn't involve the boy Ethan. In Journey, all the dog's lives revolve around Clarity, the granddaughter of Ethan's widow, Hannah. After saving Clarity from a fall into the pond, the dog believes Ethan would want him to stick around an protect the girl. If Buddy/Molly/Max/Toby can chose whose dog he'll be in the next life, why didn't he do so in the first book? That struck me as a major inconsistency.

The aspect of Journey that bothered me the most, however, were the irritating characters of Clarity and her mother, Gloria. Geez, if I had been their dog I would have ran off and hoped I had better luck in the reincarnation lottery the next time around. Gloria is an utterly unredeemable narcissist while Clarity, or CJ as she comes to be known, is a troubled teen with an eating disorder who rejects the nice guy who secretly loves her for the abusive, manipulative bad boy. Yes, I know these things happen out in the real world, but the problems of these two characters read more like a script for an after-school special. Perhaps the problem I had with all this dysfunction is that it was presented through a dog's-eye view ... and that dog did not have the benefit of a degree in human psychology. As a result, we got more melodrama than drama and my tear ducts got much less of a workout this time around.

Lest I sound like a complete dog-kicking curmudgeon, I did enjoy the story of Buddy/Molly/Max/Toby's lives with Clarity even if it lacked the power of the first book. I've never cared much for small, yappy dogs, but Max, a mix of Chihuahua and Yorkie, had me cheering for him. His short stature was more than made up for by his outsized attitude and personality. A book that makes me actually care about a dog like Max has a lot going for it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 8, 2013 2:01:45 AM PST
P. Elliott says:
I certainly agree with you about CJ & her mom. They overwhelmed this sequel & made it more of a 'dysfunctional family' story. The beauty and charm of the author's A Dog's Purpose is not here. Of course, this is my personal opinion; it seems many people connected with this book.

Posted on Mar 23, 2013 7:23:06 PM PDT
I found your review to be very well balanced and useful, since I couldnt decide whether
to purchase this book. Thanks.
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