256 pages; published April 2013
JD is just returning from a summer spent at a location he doesn’t care to talk about. JR – Johnny Rotten – is a Rottweiler rescue adopted by his mother while JD was away. Having been abused and neglected, JR doesn’t trust men. JD isn’t sure he’s such a fan of the dog either – at first – but soon finds they have more in common than he might think.
There’ s a lot of rotten in JD’s life. Just before his junior year, he had to spend the summer away. He’s not doing so well with his friends and his girlfriend because he doesn’t want to talk about it. His mom is tense and acting kind of weird. And now, he has to figure out what to do about the newest member of his household – a rescued Rottweiler with a checkered past and a bad attitude, especially toward men.
JD decides the name the dog Johnny Rotten – like the Sex Pistols lead singer. Just as he realizes he actually likes his new companion, one bad moment redefines many of his relationships and leaves JD fighting for his rotten life.
There is a sweetness to many “boy and his dog” stories that is lacking here, which makes the story more interesting and memorable. Still, it is a great choice for animal lovers.