A Dog's Purpose Book Review Life With Ktkinnes
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A Dog’s Purpose Book Review

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Well, not going to lie – this book has taken a whole new meaning to me in the last few months, and I’m now considering re-reading A Dog’s Purpose.

Back when Mary and I first went to see Beauty and the Beast in the cinema, we returned to the flat to watch A Dog’s Purpose on the projector. We were aware of the controversy regarding the animal welfare during filming, and so neither of us felt entirely comfortable with paying to see it in the cinema. Thank goodness we didn’t! We paused the film multiple times to let me grab tissues and compose myself again, always picturing Baron each time the dog was talking about his owners. When we reached the end of the film and I realised it was based on a book? Well, I couldn’t get my hands on it quick enough.


Anyone unaware of the plot? As the title suggests, throughout the book and film, we are brought to think about a dog’s purpose. We love our furry friends and their unconditional love, but is that their purpose in life? That’s what our protagonist decides – it’s his duty to make sure his owners are as happy as possible throughout his life. He dedicates his time to pleasing them, loving them, and supporting them in the best way he can, truly being man’s best friend in all senses of the phrase. Each time dies, he reincarnates as a puppy again. There’s a new life to live, a new family or owner to love, and a new name each time.


If my synopsis isn’t enough to persuade you to read the book, here’s the information taken from Amazon!

The phenomenal New York Times Number One bestseller about the unbreakable bond between a dog and their human. Now a major film starring Dennis Quaid.

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures, Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders – will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives, but also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

Now, anyone who knows me will back me up in this. I normally like to read the book then watch the film. When I do it the other way around, I tend to lose interest in the book, or don’t find it as enjoyable as the film. Not this time!

I sat on my sunbed in Turkey, laughing at the funny parts, jiggling my leg in trepidation when something ominous was coming, and yes I openly cried on the beach every time Bailey was dying. The language and power behind the words in this book had me thirsting for more. I couldn’t put the book down!


There was so much more depth to the story, as there always is in a book as opposed to a film. I was even more emotionally involved in Bailey’s journey from pup to dog every time. His internal narrative reminded me so much of what we would say Baron was thinking. In fact, there was so much of Baron reflected in this book. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much.


Mary and I both agreed, this tale of man’s best friend is the perfect story for children. A lot of parents buy a family pet so they can eventually teach their children about death in a calm and controlled way. They treat them as an opportunity to teach us that sometimes the people we love can’t be with us forever. As Bailey leaves one family to join the next, he never forgets his past lives. The time he spent with his previous owners stays with him throughout the novel, and is a lovely sentiment – your dog may no longer be with you but he does remember you, even while he’s with his new family.


That being said, I would probably put this in either the teen or young adult section of a bookshop. Not because it’s too complicated or anything, and trust me when I say that this is a book that people of all ages would enjoy, it’s purely because I believe that’s an age when you would start to appreciate it a little more.


A Dog’s Purpose gets a full 5 out of 5 from me, and I will strongly recommend it to anyone who asks me about it. Just please don’t ask me to actually talk about it. Not if you can’t deal with the tears this book now brings on.


Have you read A Dog’s Purpose? Or did you try it and find you didn’t like it?


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  • abbeylouisarose

    After reading about the animal welfare concerns with the filming of the movie (and seeing some of the videos myself of the poor dogs, which really broke my heart), I also felt bad about supporting this film at the cinema, so I haven’t seen it yet. I would very much like to read the book though, especially after reading this rave review! I’m sure that I would be weeping as well every time the dog had to say goodbye, as I know that feeling of losing a pet all too well!

    Abbey 😘 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk/

  • Jordanne | Thelifeofaglasgowgirl

    I’m just so worried to even contribute any money to this franchise just because of the animal endangerment I saw & read about (I vaguely remember telling you at the time) but I so badly want to just see the movie or read the book just because I’m nosy and want to know the story etc… espesially since you’ve told me all about it.
    I don’t think I’d feel so bad about reading the book as I would watching the movie.

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  • thatmummarocks

    Oh gosh, like I wanna read this but then I don’t wanna cry lol, I deliberately do not watch animal films like Marley and me etc because I just know exactly how it will turn out…I just cannot handle anything about animals lol x

  • ktkinnes

    Hahaha oh same, it’s just so much more painful to watch an animal die I think! But I would definitely say this is one of those books/films I’m glad I broke my rule for xx

  • ktkinnes

    It’s a truly heartwarming film, even if it does shatter your heart into tiny pieces every so often! I’m so sorry to hear about your family dog though 🙁 they’re often more like family than actual family members 🙁 but yes, this film/book leaves you hoping he’ll come back someday xxx

  • ktkinnes

    Oh I know, and that’s why Mary and I decided to watch it on our projector – neither of us wanted to give the movie any money. Remind me and I can lend you the book sometime! xxx

  • ktkinnes

    I really wish that I could remember the name of the site we watched it on, because I completely agree about not giving money to the film company. The stories that came out about the animal welfare really upset me, but then I don’t know what to believe as the handlers and owners came out and denied the allegations. Although I would definitely say add this to your TBR pile!

  • anoceanglimmer

    Is it bad to say that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this movie? It’s not really in my genre of films so that’s probably why I’ve never come across it. After reading this, I’m not 100% sure if it is my type of thing? I might give it ago though! Recently I have been enjoying a lot of things that are a little different to my normal. Thank you for this lovely review! I absoutely adored it.

    Gemma | http://www.anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

  • Marley

    I cried at the movie trailer and spent the next two hours cuddling my dogs, I don’t know if I could make it through the book.


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