Friday, July 06, 2012

Review: How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro

Book Description via Goodreads:

ARC, 338 pages
July 2012, Hardie Grant Egmont

The Official Truth about dating the male human species!

Can taming a gorgeous boy really be as easy as walking a dog?

Circe Shaw is on a mission. She must transform into a fabulously sophisticated journalist and discover the amazing scientific truth about boys. Urgently.

But life is beyond complicated. Circe has to deal with a poisonous rival, her mum’s annoying ‘just friends’ men and her own Dark Past.

Can Circe’s daring investigation really teach her the facts of love? 

Will it help her finally get a boyfriend? 

Or will it break her heart…?

Source: Jen & Hardie Grant Egmont (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

How to Keep a Boy as a Pet was the kind of book that lured you in from the beginning. Upon reading Circe’s first blog entry, I was glued to the pages. Fueled by curiosity and desire to find out why she never had a proper boyfriend, she embarked on a scientific research in proving that boys are more or less like pets. If you project the confidence and use the right kind of tone on boys, they will be at ease with you.

Circe was very funny, enthusiastic and inquisitive. It was easy for me to connect to her because she was down to earth, flawed and imperfect. She felt real to me. She was the kind of teenage girl who had family issues, confidence issues and even boy issues. Who wouldn’t get that?

Broad-backed and fit with piercing eyes, Rufus was attractive. He was deemed the perfect pet boy target by Savvy Rose, Circe’s one and only blog reader, and Tash, her best friend. But he was the Rudest, Meanest, Most Despicable Boy Circe has ever met so ‘taming’ him was bound to be difficult. It didn’t start well but with enough patience, practice and advice from Savvy Rose, Circe got result. Eventually, Rufus stopped barking and hissing at her. He became gentle with her and even started to like her. At first, I didn’t like Rufus at all. He was far too snappy, rude and sarcastic for my liking but after I saw his gentle side, I changed my mind about him. He was actually nice when he fought off his sarcastic side.

I liked how the plot developed. In the beginning, the mood was light. But as the story progressed, I got to know more about the characters and more about Rufus and Circe’s issues. Gradually, it started to get more emotional and heavier as both Rufus and Circe kick started their relationship while dealing with their own family problems. I liked how the author showed the fragility of Circe’s relationship with her mum, as well as the ghost of her long-lost dad. The only thing that was lacking for me was that Rufus didn’t get to explain his side of the story. It has been a mystery throughout the novel and even though I got to know the basics of what his problem was, I think it would have been better if he was given a chance to talk about it near the end. Ahem, the reader (me) would also love to hear from him.

Packed with humor, sweet and hot kisses, and disastrous situations, How to Keep a Boy as a Pet is the perfect balanced read for YA contemporary readers. I couldn’t stop smiling at Circe’s funny and quirky point of view. I couldn’t stop laughing, too. Romantic, entertaining and unputdownable. Highly recommended!



  1. This sounds great and slightly hilarious! I love that the book gradually develops from a lighter story into something heavier.

    Thanks for the review. (:

  2. I've just started it...we can all relate to Circe in many the writer's sense of humour and sarcasm...looking forward to the end!