June’s #ThreeHallows Book Club Pick
Hot Dog Girl
By Jennifer Dugan
Jennifer Dugan is a writer, geek, and romantic who writes the kinds of stories she wishes she had growing up. In addition to being a young adult novelist, she is also the writer/creator of two indie comics. She lives in New York with her family, dogs, and an evil cat that is no doubt planning to take over the world.
About The Book
Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:
* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.
Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.
The first thing I’ve got to say about this book was that I didn’t really like Eloise. I thought her constant chasing of a boy with a girlfriend annoying, I thought her decisions were bad, and I thought she was naive.
But, the fact that I didn’t like her, was one of the reasons I loved this book. When a character makes bad choices, I want to dislike them. I don’t want a book to force me into automatically liking a protagonist when they make mistakes because ‘they couldn’t help it’ or ‘they have their reasons’, I want to dislike a character for the bad things that they do. And this book gave me that.
Seeley on the other hand, she was magnificent. One of my favourite characters. She’s so vibrant and passionate, and the voice of reason to Eloise’s chaos.
I liked that the characters were all two dimensional, no one was exactly as they seemed on the surface at the start of the novel. When I first started reading I thought it was pretty stereotypical and I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the book. But as it developed it become so much more than that. It taught you that judging someone on first glance is not the right way to go because there’s so much more to a person under the surface.
I didn’t actually realise that this was a LGBT+ novel when I first picked it up, but I am glad it was. And, I understand that some people feel like this book plays to Bi stereotypes, I can see that. There’s a fake F/F romance to try and make a guy jealous, but it’s addressed straight away. We know it’s wrong, and we can’t help but feel really angry towards the instigator.
But as I mentioned earlier, these characters are flawed, and that’s one of the actions that shows that. It is annoying to see the trope used again, but I haven’t ever read a book that deals with that trope quite like this one. Shutting it down and telling us how wrong it is, right from the beginning.
The romance in this book was adorable, and I was really shipping it, although the journey was achingly painful to read. I don’t know what got in to me, maybe I was feeling emotional, but this book got to me. I was sobbing over it, literally, and I don’t even know why. Although I didn’t like Eloise, I still couldn’t help but experience everything with her, and her relationship with her dad and her friends really hit me deep.
Eloise is so passionate about what she cares for she can become really blind to what’s in front of her. And although the story of the park closure was frustrating at first, once we understood why it meant so much to her and the real story unravelled, yep you guessed it, I was sobbing over this book all over again.
This book really got to me in a way a book hasn’t in a while, and I can definitely say it’s the best contemporaries I have read this year so far. It’s so heartfelt, honest and genuine. It tells you that it’s okay not to be okay, and it shows you that making mistakes and dreaming too hard is just a part of living.
I Would Rate Hot Dog Girl…
Thank you for reading, stay tuned for first line’s Friday coming tomorrow!
Question Of The Day
Who’s your favourite LGBT+ book couple?
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