Cecilia Murray has been wishing for a dog for as long as she can remember. And when a cute pug named Potato is brought in to Orphan Paws, the shelter where she volunteers, she knows he is the dog she’s been waiting for. There’s just one problem: Eric Chung — a popular, arrogant boy from school — adopts Potato first. What’s worse, he hopes to train the little tater to become a show-dog superstar. Cecilia knows that Potato is not cut out for a life of sparkly collars and snobby judges, so she sets out to sabotage Eric’s plans.
But the more time Cecilia spends with Potato and Eric, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about dog shows … and a certain cute show-dog trainer. Can Cecilia save Potato — while also listening to her heart?
I’ve read a few WISH books now – I’ve reviewed Cake Pop Crush by Suzanne Nelson and Once Upon a Cruise by Anna Staniszewski, and also read the Wendy Mass’ Willow Falls series. I love them. They’re adorable and light-hearted, but often have a surprising weight to them.
Sit, Stay, Love by J. J. Howard was no exception. Cecilia wants a dog more than anything, and volunteers with a dog shelter trying to prove to her dad that she is responsible enough to care for one. The perfect dog comes into the shelter, only to be adopted by the most popular boy at Cecilia’s school. Cecilia and Eric naturally grow close, but their developing relationship doesn’t overshadow Cecilia’s growing friendship with Eric’s sister Lily. This was something I really appreciated, because often female friendships get lost in fiction when a romantic interest comes along.
On its own, this would be a cliche, but Howard infuses enough elements to make this story feel unique. The book begins with Cecilia’s house catching fire. We also learn that Cecilia’s mom left their family and Cecilia hasn’t seen her in a year. Plus, Cecilia is incredibly shy. The story doesn’t get bogged down by these elements, but they inform who Cecilia is and how she responds to things that happen to her.
A quick, feel good read. If you’re looking for a cute Valentine’s Day read, then Sit, Stay, Love by J. J. Howard is a solid choice.