Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two contemporaries…

Title: A Dog’s Journey
(A Dog’s Purpose #2)
Author: W. Bruce Cameron

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Forge Books
Finished reading: May 6th 2021
Pages: 337

“It cannot be a dog’s purpose to understand what people want because it is impossible.”


I still can’t believe that The Dog’s Purpose was never on my radar until recently… I love books with animals playing an important role in the story, so I’m not sure how this series slipped between the cracks of my TBR mountain to be honest. I finally read the first book earlier this year, and immediately decided to read the other two books as well to complete the trilogy. The Dog’s Promise is a direct sequel of the first book, and continues the life of the dog where it left off in the first book. It can quite easily be read as a stand-alone, as the focus is mostly on new characters as the dog enters new lives. I liked how it still connected to the first book though, as various characters made their appearance again, so I would personally recommend reading them in order. The Dog’s Promise is a story that is basically an emotional rollercoaster, and uplifting and hopeful moments are contrasted with heavy topics and chapters that will most likely make you shed a tear or two. My only complaint would probably be that I really couldn’t stand Gloria, and Clarity could get really annoying as well… I did love Trent and multiple other characters including the star of the show: the dog and its various lives. And the fact that the story is told through the eyes of the dog makes the story highly original! I do prefer the first book, mostly due to my issues with Clarity and Gloria, but as a whole I can still recommend this sequel.

Title: My Dark Vanessa
Author: Kate Elizabeth Russell

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: March 10th 2020
Publisher: William Morrow
Finished reading: May 7th 2021
Pages: 385

“I’m starting to understand that the longer you get away with something, the more reckless you become, until it’s almost as if you want to get caught.”


WARNING: it’s unpopular opinion time again!

Ok… I’m honestly not even sure what to say about this story. I mean, I already knew it was going to be a haunting, disturbing and emotionally difficult story to read. Plenty of people already warned me I should brace myself for a very dark read, and this is probably why it took me longer than expected to actually pick up My Dark Vanessa. And I have to say that while I do think the writing itself is good, I wasn’t all that impressed by the story itself. I felt that the story was overlong and way too repetitive. As a result, I repeatedly lost interest and struggled to stay focused on the story itself… Of course, the cringeworthy topic of seeing a teacher groom and abuse a fifteen-year-old didn’t really help make things easier. I of course already knew what I had signed up for when I started reading My Dark Vanessa, but seeing Vanessa being so blind to what happened to her even after all those years and Strane still having such a prominent role in her thoughts? Highly highly frustrating and it made me feel even more angry towards Strane as well as the school for letting it happen in the first place back then. I struggled to connect to the characters and that was part of the reason this story sadly didn’t work for me. The fact that it was too drawn out didn’t really help either… All in all not the story for me. The promise to myself to never ever read Lolita carries even more weight now!

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