Hello all! Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday so far, or at least the best Wednesday you can be having given the trials, tribulations, and cicumstances of life. Anyway, this isn’t the time or place for that kind of talk. This is the time and place for book talk! I put off writing this review for a majority of the day for 2 reasons. 1: I was watching Planet Earth on Netflix refusing to get out of bed and face the world this morning. And, 2: It pains me to write this review because it’s not going to be a happy one.
I checked this book out at the Library a few weeks back (thank god I didn’t buy it) since it had been on my to-read for so long. I was so excited because, like I said, I’ve been wanting to read it for such a long time. I was like, a story about a patron saint of lost dogs…dogs…rescuing lost dogs. Needless to say, I had to read this story. Unfortunately, it was not what I was expecting and my hopes came crashing down like a wave fizzling out when it hits the beach.
(click image to be redirected to the book’s Goodreads page)
This is a story about Dr. Cyrus Mills. He was practicing a career as a veterinary pathologist for years up until he lost his license over a technicality and has been suspended from practice until after the court hearing. But, lucky for him, the father he has been estranged from for the last 10 years has just passed away and left him his failing veterinary business, Bedside Manor. Cyrus, reluctantly, travels back to small town Vermont where he grew up in hopes of flipping the business and selling it quickly in order to pay for his lawyer expenses. The Veterinarian who worked alongside his father is going to let Cyrus practice in the clinic without a license so Cyrus can get back on his feet.
Okay, now that I’m done trying to explain the concept of this book (which was actually really hard to do), I have no idea where I want to start with my complaints. I think I’ll start nice and basic with the writing. The writing of this book is so bland and drawn out I was bored from page 1. I kept reading in hopes that it would get better, but it never did. The writing is so bland I almost, and probably should have, put this book down. (But, I was already too far and I wanted to push through so I could write a decent review and count the book as read instead of DNF – I know, lame reasons.)
Trout’s writing is unrealistic and is at the same time lacking and overdosed. What I mean by this is that it lacks in so much – feeling, dynamics, characterization, plot progression, tension – but that there is also way to much. He goes into details about minuscule and unnecessary things that do absolutely nothing for the plot, including bounteous amounts of unnecessary dialogue (on of my favorite things…). All this with it’s lack of tension makes not only the writing fall flat, but also the entire story wilt in general.
The plot of this story takes eons to develop and when what little of it finally does it’s predictable, boring, and lacks good story. I honestly knew what was going to happen in this story right from the very beginning. It’s a fluffy cozy mystery love story, but not a good one. It’s not a nice little story that’s a quick, feel-good read; it’s a boring, mundane, predictable, nothing-knew-here, will-make-you-feel-nothing-but-annoyance story. There’s barely any rising action. There’s barely a climax. And it’s, worst of all, built through repetitive writing.
What I mean by repetitive writing is that Trout doesn’t trust his audience. He feels the need to repeat things over and over and over so that you, as a reader, fully understand the points that he’s trying to make. This takes away from the tension and makes the story even more predicable. The more you ensure something isn’t going to happen, the more you know it’s going to happen by the end. Two of the biggest instances of this is that Cyrus continuously says that he hates his father and their relationship is beyond irreparable and that Cyrus is going to sell the business as soon as he can. You know from the start those are going to reverse. And, of course, they do.
I also find this story (plot) way too unbelievable. Like, is Cyrus actually going to be able to start a practice with a suspended license? Like, is this actually plausible that nobody is going to investigate this and believe this? And, I can’t believe that the lawyers and court that is on his case is going to let this slip through? Also, I hate the fact that the backstory is barely set up. We literally never find out why Cyrus’ license was suspended in the first place. No idea, no clue, not a thing said about it. But of course, by the end, the charges are dropped. Even though we have no idea what the charges even were. Alright, fine, whatever.
Another thing I really, really hated was that Cyrus literally has no idea what he’s doing. He says over and over again that he doesn’t know anything about being a vet. He can’t even diagnose anything without running to Lewis (the guy who’s letting him practice without a license and with literally no knowledge about how to be a vet and help animals), so why is he trying? Why is he helping animals when he could do way more harm than good? This is some scary bullshit in my opinion. Plus, I also find this super unbelievable since working on dead animals for 10 years should at least give you some knowledge about the diseases they might have. I’m baffled by how stupid this whole plot was.
The final instance that really bothered me was that he delivered a woman he barely knows’ baby. Like he delivers her baby in the freaking vet clinic because the closest hospital is too far away to get to. And how it’s described is (because he also helped this woman’s cat deliver a baby just before this happened) that Trout writes (in Cyrus’ thought process/story telling voice) something like, “He delivered the cat’s baby and then he delivered hers.” That’s literally it. What? And then next thing you know everyone knows and he’s famous and going to be interviewed by the news and everything. Like her water broke and he didn’t even know what that meant. So the girl’s all like, “I’m gonna have my baby now.” And Cyrus is all like oh shit. And then he just delivers it. The end. I’m pretty sure Trout knows nothing about how this whole baby delivering almost always having time to get the hospital business works. Like women are usually in labor for hours. You could have gotten her to the hospital bro. Okay, I need to stop. I’m getting worked up.
But one final point. The characters were awful. Like the writing and plot, they fell completely flat. None had personalities or dimension. They were literally so boring I almost fell asleep on multiple occasions. Trout tries to make them diverse, but they are all exactly the same with only stereotypical differences. None of them were individuals. None of them were actually interesting. I couldn’t bring myself to care about a single one. And he tried to make them so “unique” that he just ended up making them utterly ridiculous. Plus, he tried to give some of them accents and failed entirely. Trout should have done his research before trying to write accents. He tries to write a British accent and makes it so grossly stereotypical (not even accurately stereotypical) that I vomited in my mouth a little. Plus, Cyrus has a southern accent, but instead of writing that accent, Trout only constantly reassures us by telling us that Cyrus has a Southern accent. It’s not actually written, just told. But the British accent is (attempted) written. Hello inconsistencies.
Okay, time to wrap this super long review up. Sorry this was so negative and longwinded everyone. I don’t blame you if you didn’t finish. I barely finished the book, so I can’t hold anything against you all. Anyway, the final verdict: I DO NOT recommend this book to anyone. It was boring, unrealistic, and undeveloped. Don’t waste your time reading this one. I almost didn’t finish. I found myself skimming large chunks by the end. And, if you need further proof that this plot is flowery and drawn out, I never missed anything important or anything that I felt was an important point. It was that bad. Trout needs to stick to his work and leave the writing to people who are actually willing to do some fact checking and learn how to write decent accents.
I’m really done now. I have one more review in store for everyone this week! Look for it sometime tomorrow. And, it will be absolutely better than this one. (Not a great book, but one that makes it look like the best book I’ve ever read compared to this one.) So, until tomorrow, have a lovely late afternoon and evening everyone!
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