Who Let That Dirty Dog In Here? (Because of Winn-Dixie – A Book Review)

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Published: 2000

Because of Winn-Dixie

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.

During the summer that Opal and her father move to Naomi, Florida, she finds a mutt running around the Winn-Dixie grocery store. Opal saves the dog from the pound and he does so much for her. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal learns ten things about her mother, who walked out when she was three, from her father. Ten things for each year that Opal has been alive. The summer is hot and life changing for everyone that meets Winn-Dixie. Opal certainly isn’t the only one learning a couple things from this fun-loving dog.

(I keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. I’ll warn you if I’m about to get revealing.)

I can remember the amount of times I was the new girl; a few times in elementary school until fifth grade and then when I went off to college. It’s scary and nerve-wracking because you don’t know anybody and everybody stares and whispers and determines whether you’re friend material or not. It is uncomfortable. Opal and Winn-Dixie squash all of that. They inspire me, even to this day, because the pair are bold, kind, and friendly to every person they meet. They have a magic in bringing people together and making them feel special throughout this book.

If you haven’t read the book then you’ve probably seen the 2005 movie of the same name. While most movies don’t seem to do their books enough justice, this one was quite special. AnnaSophia Robb, the same girl who was in the movie adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia, took up the role of Opal. The movie did a wonderful job in recreating the story, capturing the scenery I always imagined as well as what Winn-Dixie looked and acted like.

BoWD - Giphy

There is so much that can be learned from this book. It’s why I recommend it to a lot to those that come in my store searching for that coming-of-age book. Forgiveness, acceptance, and kindness are only a few of the elements. This book really is heartwarming and I’m glad I was able to find my copy and reread it. I’ve had it since the fourth grade and my name and phone number are still on the inside cover, and yes, my handwriting is still really crappy. LOL. I can write, I just can’t write. Not well anyhow and I’ve been trying for years.

I recommend this book to every person no matter how old they you are. It’s truly beautiful and inspirational. I just don’t have anything bad to say about it. This book earned its awards rightfully. I can’t remember the teacher that picked this book out for me, but I’m incredibly grateful.

Quotables:

“Opal, I believe Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear of thunderstorms.” (preacher to Opal, p. 76)

“There goes the preacher’s daughter, visiting the witch.” (Stevie to Dunlap, p. 89)

“It is a sorrow-filled world.” (Miss Franny to Opal, p. 115)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Boondocks by Little Big Town.

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Take The Moments (The Summer I Turned Pretty – A Book Review)

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy
Author: Jenny Han
Published: 2009-2011

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Every summer Belly goes to Cousins where her mom and Susannah, her mom’s best friend, have a beach house. She looks forward to it every summer because it’s like coming home. It’s this year, when Belly is seventeen that everything changes. This is the summer Belly turned pretty, as she puts it, and everybody notices it, especially Susannah’s sons, Jeremiah and Conrad.

The Summer I Turned Pretty - pintrest

Belly’s been in love with Conrad for as long as she can remember. It’s never been anyone else. Right as soon as she starts to believe that he feels the same, heartbreaking news shatters everybody in the house. Nobody will ever be the same and Belly learns that it’s time to grow up no matter how hard it is, but that doesn’t mean you grow out of your first love, does it?

Belly - giphy

This trilogy is one that I read every summer (I have the three-in-one version). It’s young, and innocent and I can almost feel the sand between my toes as my heart swells for the main character. Belly is always growing and you see that in each book. She takes the time to really allow her thoughts and heart to guide her even though she faces tough decisions and a whole lot of heartbreak.

Belly encompasses the growing teenager. She’s caring, loving and passionate about everything as well as whiny, annoying, snooty and wild. But each time I read this book, it’s like all of the small things matter suddenly. The sound of the ocean. The way that Belly looks at the stars. How she seems to stay in a moment for almost an eternity and she relives her memories with such delicacy. And that’s all okay. It should be encouraged actually because life moves really fast.

These coming of age books remind me to hold on to the moments that made my life. All of them. That was a big part throughout the trilogy because life is a series of moments. Sweet and tender and with so much love, I can’t stop coming back to Cousins. I’m hoping one day Jenny Han returns to the beach house.

 

Quotables:

“The moment between us, fragile and tenuous, snapped in hald. It was over. It would do no good to wonder what he was going to say. Moments, when lost, can’t be found again. They’re just gone.” (The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly, p. 153)

“I wondered if this was the was old crushes died, with a whimper, slowly, and then, just like that—gone.” (The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly, p. 200)

“There are moments in your life you wish with all your heart you could take back. Like, just erase from existence. Like, if you could, you’d erase yourself right out of existence too, just to make that moment not exist.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 319)

“I used to look forward to seeing Conrad all year. I used to wish for summer the way kids wished for Christmas. It was all I thought about. Even now, even after everything, he was still all I thought about.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 341)

“How do you regret one of the best nights of your life? You don’t. You remember every word, every look. Even when it hurts, you still remember.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 392)

“When I used to picture forever, it was always with the same boy. In my dreams, my future was set. A sure thing. This wasn’t the way I pictured it…” (A Couple of Years Later, Belly, p.455)

“In my heart, I knew I loved them both, as much as it is possible to love two people as the same time…” (We’ll Always Have Summer, Belly, p. 799)

“When Conrad Fisher told a girl her loved her, he meant it. A girl could believe in that. A girl could maybe even bet her whole life on it.” (We’ll Always Have Summer, Belly, p. 805)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song of the day? Unpredictable by 5 Seconds of Summer. Feels very fitting.