Number of Pages: 56
Publication Date: May 4, 2017
Rating: out of 5
OBC Rating: 3 out of 4 stars
Themes: Abuse, Animal Cruelty, Responsibility
*This was part of the OnlineBookClub.org Book of the Day Program and is reviewed for the Blogger Review Program*
Afraid and sick Ralph is trapped. Chained for unknown reasons. He feels alone. Scared. Hurt. Where is his family? Why haven’t they come for him? And who is this stranger that treats him so poorly?
Will Ralph be able to escape this prison? Will he ever see his loved ones again?
Okay…thoughts – sad, sad, sad. The entire book was just filled with sadness that made my heart ache. Page after page, I kept hoping something positive will come, the misery would go away, and everything will be okay. But, it doesn’t. Even now, as I’m writing, tears want to surface. 😦
The writing was smooth and gripping. It is definitely a book where you can’t help but read and read until you are done. Ralph was developed extremely well, while everyone else took a backseat in this short read. Either way, your emotional strings are tugged throughout in hopes of finding the light at the end of the tunnel.
When Leaves Fall can easily be read in one quick session since the book so short, yet so captivating.
I normally don’t try to include any spoilers in my reviews, but the essence of why this book did not receive a top score contains a spoiler. So, here it is…
Ralph is a dog, not a person, which I actually knew the whole time. This was part of the Book of the Day program at OnlineBookClub and the author stated that she has dedicated this book to her deceased dog, Biscuit.
My issue with the book is the lead-up to the ending. Ralph, unfortunately, in his abused state scared a little boy who tried to approach him. The boy, whose parents are mysteriously not present, claimed the dog was going to bite the boy. Well, when there is fear of an aggressive dog, you can probably tell what the outcome will be.
These are two questions I have about this:
- Why did the outcome turn out the way it did when the boy wasn’t actually bitten and the dog has never showed any signs of aggression before his abuse?
- According to the owner (who wasn’t the abuser), she’s had Ralph since he was a puppy. You would think the neighborhood has seen both of them all the time throughout the years. So, I would think the boy and his family would know that Ralph isn’t aggressive and was clearly being abused. Unless, the author is trying to indicate that this young boy was just wandering the streets on his own, entering seemingly abandoned shacks by himself? If that’s the case, perhaps it’s a bit neglectful of the parents to let their child wander the streets on his own or, the very least, teach him that he shouldn’t approach unfamiliar animals with sticks to poke them with.
Overall, this was very emotional for me because I have a dog and it tears my heart to think of those who abuse animals. Though, if the author wanted to choose the ending that she did, then a stronger case leading to the inevitable ending would have been better.