Monday, February 4, 2019

Book Review - To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer + Guest Post

Photo Credit - Amazon

Avery Bloom is bookish twelve years old who lives in New York City. She can be intense and she is afraid of many things, especially the water. Bett Devlin is a fearless twelve-year-old who lives in California. She loves the water, animals and she is outgoing. While the duo has opposite personalities, they do have one thing in common as they are both raised by single, gay dads.

Their dads meet during a business trip and fall in love. Their dads send them to the same sleepaway camp against their will in hopes that they would become friends.  However, the trip leads to unexpected results and the pair find themselves becoming closer. Will the two girls be able to find a way to be together?

When I first read the summary, I wasn't sure what to expect from the novel. I thought it was going to be the stereotypical novel where everyone hates each other and then they become best friends. However, while the book does go a similar route, it has something I didn't expect --- heart and authenticity. I kept rooting for Night Owl and Dogfish. I kept hoping the pair would find their way together when obstacles were keeping them apart. I also enjoyed that communication between the girls was all through emails and letters. I thought it was interesting and refreshing because I felt that characters were more open and honest with each other than they would have been if they were communicating face to face. Overall, the novel was an enjoyable read and can't wait to read more novels from the authors.

 **Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no any extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**   

From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters.
Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.

When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters.

But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?


Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent her childhood living in Holland; Istanbul, Turkey; Washington, D.C.; Berkeley, California; and Eugene, Oregon. After graduating from Wellesley College and spending some time as an advertising copywriter, she began writing family feature films, including Angels in the Outfield and Made in America. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Counting by 7s and Short, among other novels. 

Meg Wolitzer was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in the town of Syosset, on Long Island, and sold her first novel, Sleepwalking, while a senior in college. She is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels for adults, including The InterestingsThe Ten-Year NapThe Wife, and The Female Persuasion; the young adult novel Belzhar; and the middle-grade novel The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.
Author Guest Post - What inspires you to write?  (EAST COAST)


MW:  Inspiration is a tricky thing, and sometimes hard to understand. Don't you think, Holly?

HGS: I'm inspired to write because it's my job. Is that inspiration or the need to pay my bills?

MW:  Yes. It's what we do. I can’t always sit waiting for ideas to slowly roll toward me. I sometimes have to force them a bit, because like you, writing is my full-time job. And we've both had careers as writers since college, which means we've been at it for a long time. Getting paid is certainly motivating. But the deeper answer is that inspiration comes from the world around us—no?  The world we’ve been living in and observing and forming ideas about.

HGS:  A look at the world we see--and an attempt to interpret that and make sense of it. Yes.

MW:  For my part, I ask a lot of questions, both of myself and other people. I'm interested in point of view, and in the differences and similarities in people.

HGS:  Agree. We both, I think, start with character. We absolutely did on this book.

MW: In this book we definitely did. From character came action, and plot. As writers, we often work to put characters in interesting situations, and then watch how they react. We cause trouble.

HGS: I remember reading somewhere that interaction between people in storytelling (and I apologize for not crediting the person who wrote this) is either a fight, a seduction, or a negotiation/transaction.

MW:  That’s really interesting. I believe there is also a way to use interaction to illuminate. Shining a spotlight on one particular corner can ask people to question ideas and behavior.

HGS:  Our book is about two young girls and their gay fathers. We write about the situation in a way that's very modern, I believe. Gay people have families and they are protected by law in this country to marry and pursue their happiness. We don't make a big deal about that. It's just a fact.

MW: Yes. And the reception we’ve gotten solidifies that. It isn’t an “issues” book, and we never wanted it to be. It’s about these two girls’ powerful friendship, and their ideas about family. 

HGS: I'm hopeful when I talk to kids today. And that's part of the reason I write books for young people. The future is theirs.


No comments:

Post a Comment