Paul Griffin lives, writes, and trains dogs in New York City. His previous novel, "The Orange Houses," was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults Top Ten, an International Reading Association 2010 Notable Book for a Global Society, a Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best Book of 2009, and an Amelia Bloomer Project Award winner.
"Griffin gracefully answers questions and solves mysteries, leaving us with hope and a smile without making things falsely shiny and bright." The New York Times * "A haunting story of love and heartbreak. Bittersweet, stellar, with genuine dialogue and drama, this book will appeal greatly to teens, especially dog lovers." School Library Journal, starred review * "Unique and genuine. This is romance but also true tragedy. Heart-wrenching." Horn Book, starred review * "Heartbreaking . . . extraordinary . . . vividly depicted through affecting prose and believable dialogue. Remarkable characters abound. Achingly, authentically emotionally resonant, this sad, never-saccharine tale will have absorbed readers reaching for the Kleenex. An outstanding love story." Kirkus, starred review * "Sweet, sensual, utterly engrossing, drawing readers in with engagingly authentic dialogue and fully realized characters." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review "Exquisite, unforgettable, an intense portrait of first love, family ties and the bond between man and dog." The Sunday Herald Sun "Realistic underlined. Will find its way to the 'favorites' shelf right next to S.E. Hinton's classic The Outsiders." VOYA "Authentic, painful, heartfelt. Griffin's gift shines in this moving novel of loss, acceptance, and the possibility of redemption." Publishers Weekly " . . . a strong title in the competitive teen romance genre. With tragic Romeo-and-Juliet elements, this is a fast, paced, refreshingly honest, and surprisingly realistic urban love story." Booklist Official selection Junior Library Guild"
Gr 10 Up-Paul Griffin's novel (Dial, 2011) about two teens who fall in love despite vast differences is brought vividly to life by Mark Zeisler and Annie Henk. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Mack, a high school dropout with a huge heart and a deep connection with dogs, and CeCe, a smart, determined, and complex girl who struggles with self-esteem and her mother's drinking. Mack resists the efforts of CeCe's brother to set him up with her for as long as possible because he doesn't feel entirely worthy of her. The resistance weakens when they work together in the same restaurant and they fall in love. When Mack loses control of his anger after the murder of his beloved dog, his and CeCe's realities are forever changed. Each chapter takes listeners deeper into the dynamics of the characters who are nearly flawlessly portrayed by Zeisler and Henk; there are only very brief moments when it is unclear who is speaking. Raw and realistic, listeners will feel invested in the story. While there is no happily-ever-after for any of the characters, there is a feeling of hope that resonates clearly as each narrator moves through the character's transformation. Highly recommended for the beauty in the story and its performance.-Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.