Strays by Jennifer Caloyeras
Publisher: Ashland Creek Press
Contemporary Young Adult
Santa Cruz, California
Iris Moody is a sixteen-year-old that has trouble controlling her temper. With the death of her mother, a father that is a workaholic, failing English and being dumped by her boyfriend she has a lot in her life to be angry about.
Then a single note that Iris made in her journal is taken as a threat against her English teacher Iris quickly finds herself in a lot of trouble not just with the school authorities but now with the law.
Iris not only has to deal with summer school but she is also dog-phobic and has just been sentenced to community service rehabilitating troubled dogs. Iris doesn’t believe she is anything like Roman who is a pit bull with only three legs. Roman is also struggling to overcome his own dark past. She also doesn’t think she is like the other humans in the program either. Iris soon learns that counting on the help of others may be the only way to save Roman when his life is on the line.
This is an emotionally rich story that will really hit readers hard. The characters are relatable and readers will find themselves connecting with them. The story takes readers on a roller coaster ride that will pull at their heartstrings. It will also have readers hoping everything turns out well for both Iris and Roman. Watching as both Iris and Roman grow and deal with their pasts makes for a very satisfying read. This is definitely a book worth checking out. It will also stay with readers long after the turn of the last page.
I give this one 5 red roses