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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Call Me Grumpy Beagle

Starry Night - Isabel Gillies

I’ll have you know, I’m a highly educated Beagle.


Smart Beagles wear glasses like me.

Smart Beagles wear glasses like me.


While I might’ve flunked out of obedience school-because seriously, who actually wants to sit when there’s food in front of them-I do know how to read and write (obviously).  And I have made a living out out of simply being cute, I bet you can’t do that.

I will say right now, that if I Patricia Cakes Beagle ever tried to write a book it would be better than Starry Night.


The sad thing is, any author should’ve been able to handle the plot.  It’s simply idiotic girl meets idiotic boy with a half a page devoted to his description-so yeah, obviously they get together.

His beauty, and cool-guy vibe that I had not yet encountered in real life, only in movies, assaulted me.  He was tall, taller than me.  He had once-my-hair-was-normal-boy-length-but-I-let-it-grow-out=lie-two-years-ago long choppy brown hair that fell below his shoulders.  His bangs were studied.  He swept them to the side with his hand, tucking them up and around his ear, which had a perfectly, round, small golden hoop imbedded in it.  When he tilted his head ever so slightly forward, his bangs fell off his ear and covered his enormous root-beer-brown eyes.  His eyes looked Italian, like Michelangelo eyes, big lids, soft.  Can you picture those?  Have you ever seen Michelangelo’s David?  This boy had eyes form the Renaissance, and they were looking right at me (40-41).

By the way, I didn’t know that root beer was soooo appealing.  Personally, I prefer Denta Chews or Bacon.  But beggars can’t be choosers.  And why does everyone like a statue?  Seriously, what’s so sexy about…oh yeah, that Nutcracker book that MJ was trying to get a court order to erase from her brain-forgot about that.


So….the romance sucked….was there something to make this book redeemable.  How about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Our parents called us the Turtles because turtles lay so many eggs at one time (5).

Oh, wait wrong turtles.  But can those turtles please come to this review.  I’m hungry and I want pizza.  But MJ says I can’t have pizza because Thanksgiving was last week and I had too much turkey.



I really don’t know how she expects me to review this book. I NEEED pizza.

Moving on.  So, the Turtles are her friends via that quote.  We don’t know much about them other than the fact one’s dating a thirty year old, I thought one was a boy for the longest time, one is sort of related to her, and…that’s about it.


So, bad characters.  Little to no plot.  Is there anything redeemable about it?


I know, New York.  I love New York.  They have thin crust pizza….oh yeah, pizza.  This Beagle wants some pizza with extra pepperoni.  It’s been too long since my owner now can only eat nasty gluten free pizza (the crust is just lacking).


However, you really didn’t feel the city in the book.  Instead, you hear patronizing rich people talk.

“I get really proud of him at things like this.  He started out as  a school cook.”

“That’s impressive, man.  See-you have to pay your dues.” (90)

Oh yes, you should be proud of yourself for working for that money-rolls eyes at patronizing rich people in book who live off of their trust fund.  In fact, the narrator basically tells us this at one point.

The real reason why we live in a big house and have all those beautiful things is not only because y father has an important job, it’s also because long ago, back in Holland, my great-grandfather made a boatload of money as a banker.  That money is why we can live where we live in New York City, and why most of my family can work in the arts (50)

You know what, they remind me of: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Take this conversation I had at the dog park with one dog named, Sparky.


Rich dogs. Annoying lot they are.


Sparky: Is that a new sweater, Patty?


Patty: Yes.


Sparky: Well, it’s darling.  Where’s it from PetSmart?


Patty: Um, yeah.  That’s where I get all my clothes.


Sparky: Snickers Of course.


Do you see how this is NOT or amusing?  I didn’t wear my dot sweater for months after said incident.  I hope Sparky gets doggy diarrhea from his rich pet food.


Um, where was I in this review.  Oh yes, so NYC location was sort of ruined because of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cast.


In addition to these things, I couldn’t get over the prose. The style is ridiculously on the aggravating side.  A French Bulldog could write more eloquent and we all know how smart they are….

“Reagan is so sophisticated. Her mom has spoken to her like she was a thirty year old since she was three. My parents practically still sing me lullabies.” (12)

In addition to sneer inducing prose, this book committed some major grammar faux pas for a final copy.  Seriously, dialogue for different characters needs to be in different paragraph.  Having it in the same paragraph, makes the book difficult to read and is just annoying.

I remember him saying at dinner, “Nan, love, it’s a wonderful life experience for her. I don’t see how we can stand in her way.”  My mother protested.  “I can stand directly in her way David.  She is only NINE!” (27)

Book, what makes you feel special enough to ignore the rules of grammar. I can’t even do that and I’m like adorable.


Overall Rating:


Um, yeah I’m laughing because I give this book a big paws down.  An F in DNF.



Thanks You,



Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/starry-night-by-isabel-gillies