The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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If you have ever had a dog, you will love this book. If you don't have a dog, you will want one before you reach the last page. I enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain from beginning to end. Told from an interesting perspective, it makes you think in a new way. While some parts are sweet and tender, others are deep and dark. You may want to keep a box of tissues nearby.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a wonderfully written book that is fun, thoughtful, and heartbreakingly sad. This story is cleverly narrated by the family dog, Enzo, a loyal Labrador mix. Enzo tells the tale of his life, recounts lessons learned, and shares what he imagines lies ahead for his soul. Enzo has always felt “almost human,” and his greatest desire is to come back in the next life as a human. He longs to express himself through speech and have opposable thumbs. He believes he is ready.

As Enzo reflects on his life, the story is not just his, but his family's too. Denny is Enzo's master. He was single when he came to the puppy farm and chose Enzo. Enzo admires Denny and he lives up to his traditional “man's best friend” role. When Eve came into their lives, Enzo had to share his master, his time, and their home. But he loves how Eve makes Denny happy and silly, and slowly warms up to her and grows to love her as well. Zoe's birth brings a tiny vulnerable soul into the family and Enzo knows he is her protector. He again learns a new kind of love and responsibility. Through all their good and bad times, Enzo is the loyal and trusted four-legged member of the family.

This touching story is hard to put down. I really appreciate that the chapters are short, so I could find a good place to stop when I needed to. I read much of this book with my own dog at my feet, and I gave him a big hug when I finished. I thoroughly enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain and would definitely recommend it for older teens. Certain parts could be a bit too much for younger readers.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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