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Last updateSun, 14 Jan 2018 3pm

Stacy Ataree's Gwen: A Love Story About a Girl, a Boy, and a Pit Bull

by Denise Yeakey

GwenWhat an emotional roller coaster! I cried, I laughed, I got angry. This young adult book keeps you on edge, wondering what is next. There are plot twists throughout, which had me speed reading, eager to find out what happens next. All in all, a great read.

Caitlin, the main human character, is a teenage girl who has been bumped from foster home to foster home. She has a lot in common with Gwen, the pit bull who serendipitously ends up in front of Caitlin's home. They are instantly drawn to one another.

The book is realistic in how others portray pit bulls. The characters are frightened of her, having heard that pit bulls are vicious and are used for fighting. But Gwen shows them how mistaken they are. She is full of love and throughout the story changes the lives of many.

It is not all sunshine and rainbows. Ataree delves into the world of dog fighting. Fair warning: The book contains some descriptive and graphic parts. But what kept me going was the knowledge that this actually happens. Pit bulls all over the place are bred to fight and brutally beaten and mistreated as Gwen was. Reality is not always pretty, but that is what motivates pit bill activists. They want to change the ugly and bring education and understanding to the public. This book is part of that endeavor. It touches on the preconceived notions that all pit bulls are vicious, and informs the reader about the realities that these dogs face.

Stacey Ataree delivers a touching, fast-paced read that leaves you rooting for the protagonist and her friends. Pick it up and enjoy.

Have you read Gwen? Share your thoughts below.

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