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Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro

Put together some sweet romance, lots of over the top hilariousness, a dash of evil schoolmates, a pop of teenage angst, a streak of family issues and a whole lot of 'investigative writing' and you will have How to Keep a Boy as a Pet. Where one brave soul decided to embark on a journey of understanding boys and taming them. And as you would expect, the results of all the difficult, complicated experiments are all sorts of fun and interesting.

Title: How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro
Pages: 338
Release Date: July 01 2012
Published by: Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: Publisher (thanks Jen!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


The Official Truth about dating the male human species!

Can taming a gorgeous boy really be as easy as walking a dog?

Circe Shaw is on a mission. She must transform into a fabulously sophisticated journalist and discover the amazing scientific truth about boys. Urgently.

But life is beyond complicated. Circe has to deal with a poisonous rival, her mum’s annoying ‘just friends’ men and her own Dark Past.

Can Circe’s daring investigation really teach her the facts of love?

Will it help her finally get a boyfriend?

Or will it break her heart…?

Can you tame these wild creatures called 'boys'? Let Circe show you how it is done. In a burst of spontaneous thinking brought about by absolute boredom over the fact that nothing interesting is happening to her life, Circe attempted to learn how to keep a boy as a boyfriend, by treating him as a pet. But all is not well in the path to the results as Circe learned a thing or two about how complicated relationships can get, and how it can affect her past and the life she's living.

I have never had this much fun reading a book after Dear Dylan, but now Diane Messidoro's novel has given me quite a few fits of laughter while trying to get a good look at how relationships are when we are in our teens and how thin the line is between love and hate. Is there really a sure fire way to turn boys to pets? Can you really like the unlikable? No matter how much Circe convinces herself that it was all for the sake of her experiment and investigative journalism, she was falling for Rufus. That denial stage was what added to the amusement and upped the cute factor of the story. Circe's initial impression and prejudice of Rufus prevented her of seeing through him a little more closely. Rufus is a temperamental, gloomy kid, but his closed off attitude is where his charm lies. He's the perfect example for the saying 'appearance is NOT everything', because he has so much more to offer the readers in terms of his depth as a character. Brooding, dark, annoying, unpredictable but sensitive and understanding deep inside. Their friendship and eventual romance was off to a rocky start, with not the best of first impressions hanging between them, but I found myself rooting for them both.

Circe had issues she had to cope with aside from being a wallflower, someone who isn't noticeable, someone passive who wouldn't even lift a finger even when she's being bullied. She's naive and she was not even aware that she's letting a bully get under her skin. Her insecurities and the questions she never got to ask her mother about her long missing father along with her low confidence in herself snowballed into something that nearly ruined all of her relationships and the connection she has with the people around her. What I liked about her is that she gave herself a chance to move past all of it while trying to understand what has happened to her life. Circe's blog entries were us when we were young: a little bit confused, a little bit excited and a little bit lost. Understanding love was never easy, and through her hilarious experiments on how to dress, how to behave and what to say to a boy, readers get to see a little bit of what it's like to be a novice in love and what's the best thing to do when we want to impress the opposite sex: being ourselves.

The family dynamics in this book was initially strained and awkward at best, but it's something worth taking a look at. Circe needed that one person who she can talk to, ask for advice, and through some twist of fate, it turned out to be the last person she wanted to ask help from. Savvy Rose was her biggest motivator, and I like reading about her. She's the one person most girls strive to be: fun, confident and living her life the way she wants to. Also, Circe's mom is the epitome of how complicated or simple love can be. It all depends on how you look at it. To be friends and not to be committed? Circe still needed to learn a lot about that four letter word. Her encounters with her mom is what made this book a little bit emotional, and there were bittersweet moments between a mother and a daughter that will tug on a reader's heart.

Believe it or not, I have learned quite a few lessons from this book. What Circe went through applies to most of us and that familiarity in the situations she was in was something each one of us can relate to. Diane Messidoro injected humor in the right moments and told Circe's story in a modern, up to date way which teens today can respond to easily. Imagine how big a part technology played in this story. Everything is online! With a quirky girl for an MC and comical situations transforming her life one blog entry at a time, How to Keep a Boy as a Pet is worth the read. See for yourself if it is indeed possible for a boy to be treated like pets. Maybe you don't need to have a successful journalist as your muse to come up with the perfect investigative story, maybe you just need to open yourself up to opportunities that can change your life and respond to the challenges you face the best way you know how: by being true to yourself.

This book is just fun, fun, fun! Filled with heart warming moments, a romance that is reminiscent of a young love with an engaging, upbeat rib-tickling voice. A fresh, amusing read if you're looking for a novel that is comical, sweet and good.

My rating:

Content (plot, story flow, character):
Hated Portia with a passion, and loved Circe and Rufus with all my heart!

Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!

Book Cover:
Very teen.


  1. The title gets a five-star from me all on its own!! Looks fun. Thanks for bringing it to my attentione.

    1. Hi Linda! I agree, just the title makes you curious.
      You have to read it soon!

  2. WOW I can't believe I've been gone so long that your blog layout has changed! It's stunning! I really love the change, it's fantastic!

    Another thing that's fantastic is this review! I love it, and now I really want to get my hands on this book! It sounds hilarious, fun and a bit emotional which will probably have me in tears because I'm a big wuss! I'll have to add this to my list! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Nomalicious Reads

    1. Hey Kate! How've you been? That just means you have to visit my blog often! :)

      If you cry easily then you'll probably shed a tear or two in some parts of this book, but mostly you'll just laugh out loud! Hope you get to read it soon!

  3. KGDAUSJKDIULA!! I want this book :))

    1. I feel your excitement over the book. Hope you can get your hands on a copy soon!

    2. Hopefully :3
      Thanks Kai :)

    3. You can always buy from Book Depo!~

  4. Funny and heart warming? This sounds like my kind of book!

  5. This one sounds amazing! Can´t wait to read it. Great review!

  6. This looks like a fun read! The title is really intriguing. I would surely add this to my tbr list. Great review! :)


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