Saturday, March 14, 2009

Baby, by Joseph Monninger

Baby is at the end of the line. At 15 years old, she's been kicked out of a series of foster homes and she is on her last chance before being sent to Juvie. Yet, this last chance may actually work out! She's been sent to a home in rural New Hampshire and learns to care for a dog sled team (and eventually on how to run the dogs herself). But can she accept good things in her life? Or will she insist on wrecking it all to follow after her boyfriend?

This well-meaning story suffers from two fatal flaws: an unsympathetic heroine and a story that grows increasingly erratic as it progresses. Monninger obvious loves dog sledding (he's written several book on dogs and is a real-life dog sledder) and that is revealed by how well-written those sections are. However, the rest of the book is weak and undeveloped. Everyone seemed overly tolerant of Baby's overly nasty personality and I never saw any real redemption or remorse.

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