I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.House Trained by Jackie Bouchard
Alex Halstad, a childless-by-choice interior designer and dog mom, is a true perfectionist. But her orderly life turns chaotic when the teenage daughter her husband, Barry, never knew he had shows up on their doorstep...with a baby girl of her own in tow. While Alex’s dog enthusiastically welcomes the new arrivals, Alex struggles with the loss of her steady routine. She desperately needs peace and quiet to get her business back on track before Barry finds out she’s spent most of their savings. Meanwhile, the arrival of the girls stirs up old insecurities, and Alex can’t help but worry that Barry’s ex will make an entrance too. With her tidy life a distant memory, will Alex be able to learn from her dog the true meaning of love and acceptance?
From bestselling author Jackie Bouchard comes a humorous and heartwarming look at how life creates opportunities to love in surprising ways.
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I saw a review recently in which the reviewer stated “there are good three star books and bad three star books”.
I really liked that statement and feel it is true for this book. House Trained is one of the good three star books. Alex is a character obsessed with perfection and her dog. Eschewing parenthood she is content with keeping her house perfect and building her design business. Her husband is secondary to her dog as is the rest of her family. The world building and pacing were fine, but the characters just didn’t resonate with me. I found most of them shallow and unrealistic. By the time they were redeemed it was just a little too late for me. But I still enjoyed the book. It was not epic, but it was cute and sometimes you just need a read that doesn’t tax your mind. So after all was said and done House Trained is a sweet book that is not mind-blowing but that is okay.
◊ Favorite lines – “I get confused wondering if I need to be a better person or just a regular dog. Of course, my path to self-improvement probably starts with not blaming others for things that’ve gone wrong in my life.”
¤ Biggest cliché – “Why can’t everyone live up to my standards. I am obviously right.”
Δ What do you feel tips a book from mediocre to good?