Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff

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Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff

Jonathan Trefoil’s boss is unhinged, his relationship baffling, and his apartment just the wrong side of legal. His girlfriend wants to marry someone just like him—only richer and with a different sense of humor. He doesn’t remember life being this confusing, back before everyone expected him to act like a grown-up.

When his brother asks him to look after his dogs, Jonathan’s world view begins to shift. Could a border collie and a cocker spaniel hold the key to life, the universe, and everything? Their sly maneuvering on daily walks and visits to the alluring vet suggest that human emotional intelligence may not be top dog after all.

How to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, $27.99, Paperback
When can I get my hands on it: Now!
What am I in for: Contemporary fiction, NYC setting, dogs, quirks, quirks and more quirks.

This was an odd but good little story, I love quirky characters and I love quirky story lines but I don’t think I can really deal with two of them together.

Jonathan Unleashed is a coming of age story for those just starting out as grown ups. If you feel like you’ve lost your way, this might be a nice story for you to read.

Essentially, Jonathan misses the point a lot. He’s a college graduate struggling to find his way when he heads for New York City, the fabled city of reinvention where anyone can be anything, until they get roped into an online wedding and stuck writing dreary copy for an office supply chain. He is a little on the odd side and he can’t figure out why, he doesn’t have people skills and he doesn’t know what he wants out of life, except that his brothers dogs make him happy and give him purpose and may be conspiring to either kill him or love him, he’s not sure yet.

I actually hated Jonathan’s motives for marrying Julie, even when he could see that he disliked her as much as everyone around him, people who were telling him he was making a mistake. Julie is horrid, she constantly belittles him and puts everything she does ahead of everything concerning Jonathan. She basically wants someone like him but different from him in every way.

Jonathan’s parents made me angry. I don’t know if it is the old Jewish parent stereotype, but they treat him horribly, essentially making him sleep in a shed when he comes to visit them and hanging up mid phone conversation when he calls them, ending discussions with insults and chastisement for trivial ridiculous reasons

Max and Greeley were the stand out characters and I loved them both. I would definitely read a book entirely about max and his escapades, he was a character who could hold my interest for an entire book. Greeley is the Yoda of this story, and it’s his mystical wisdom that is often the key to moving this story long. An aspect I particularly liked was the kiss between Jonathan and Greeley. It was out of the blue, but perfectly placed and I think plays a pivotal part in Jonathan being able to find himself.

The dogs were a fun way to deliver the story, they were the catalysts (dogalysts?) of the plot and I love them both. Puppiiiiiieeeeesssss!

Not what I expected from Rosoff, but not unwelcome in my reading adventures!

Final rating: 3/5

-Sam xxoo

 

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