book review

The packaging shines, but can the story keep up? A review of Puppy Love by Frauke Scheunemann

Though the cover is adorable and the concept is cute, Puppy love by Frauke Scheunemann suffers from a clunky translation and muddled plot. lo “I lay my head on her lap. Of course I’ll stay with you, Caroline! Even though right now my sensitive dachshund nose is suffering quite a bit from your pungent smell. I hope it goes away.
– Puppy Love, by Frauke Scheunemann

Let’s get this right out of the way: the English cover of Frauke Scheunemann’s Puppy Love is the cutest freaking thing you will ever see. Featuring a tiny puppy staring out with the most soulful “I’m sorry I ate your favourite pair of shoes but you still love me, right?” expression, with a tagline proclaiming “Hercules is a dachshund…,” I could not help but pre-order myself a copy. This, coupled with House of Anansi’s “vote for your favourite puppy” contest on their blog, sealed the deal. Well done, Art and PR departments! Absolutely adorable.

The story is a straightforward chick-lit style romance about a woman named Caroline and her rotten boyfriend Thomas. The hook is that the first person narrative is from her brand new puppy’s perspective. Hercules, nee Carl-Leopold von Escherbach (and damned proud of it), was cast out of his castle because his purebred dachshund mom had a bit of a tumble with an unknown dog and the resulting litter can’t be certified purebred. Hercules has a mighty high opinion of himself, and no amount of threats from the other dogs in the pound, nor human amusement at his haughty demeanour, can bring him down a peg.

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