Oh, the triggering elements in this book are couched well in the story of a girl who is bullied and suffering anxiety due to the trauma of losing her father as a young girl.
Kendall Shepherd is in a rough headspace. Her social anxiety has her so paralyzed that she’s taken solace in the company of the dogs she works to rescue and rehabilitate. Peter, her imaginary friend, also known as her anxiety disorder, is a constant automatic negative thought factory. She must struggle with him through all things great and small. Worse is he really has crushed her confidence to the point where real people’s motivations are suspect at best. Dogs are constant and love unconditionally.
Ryan Kast is the newest member of the Delray Dog Rescue family. He’s trying to get some community service hours for his senior year of high school. He immediately sees something in Kendall that she can’t see in herself and her prickly attitude makes him feel like a tool. He can’t help but have a hit to his own confidence where she’s concerned. Yet, Kendall’s isolation touches him, and he can see more for her than she can see for herself.
Dog Girl looks broadly at the issues of loss, mental health, bullying, and social media. Set on the background similar to the Pitbulls and Parole’s television show, Gabi Justice also throws in the prospect of how same-sex couples have to worry about prejudices affecting their children and former convicts not being offered many options to reform.
This book has a lot within it. I recommend it for dog lovers everywhere, fans of sweet romances, and anyone with a yen for complicated young heroines with room for a lot of growth.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary advance copy of this book.
About Gabi Justice:
Gabi Justice is the author of Dog Girl, her teen and young adult contemporary romance debut set to publish in the fall of 2020. She is the mom to three dogs and one stray cat named Luna Buna. She lives in Florida with her husband and children. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tennis court in the state that she hasn’t visited, having three competitive junior players in the family. She spent most of her adult life writing editorial copy for local magazines after graduating from the University of South Florida. Florida provides the settings for all her coming-of-age stories that highlight bullying, misjudgment, acceptance, and teen anxiety. Her main characters are goal-oriented teenage girls with a drive that can be fierce and dangerous.
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