Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 7, 2016)
Reading Sara Rating: 8/10
Reading Sara Review: You know when you meet someone new, and you immediately know that you will be friends? Lily and the Octopus was like that (yes, a book). I know it sounds weird, but trust me, this book will make you laugh out loud and cry in the same chapter. This is one of those debut novels that surprises everyone, for pet lovers and non-pet lovers, you’ll read through this quickly and feel all the same feels you have when you meet someone new and wonderful.
Lily and the Octopus is about a man (Ted) and his beloved dog, Lily. At the beginning of the book, which is fully narrated by Ted, he discovers a mass on Lily’s head and refers to it as “the octopus.” The remainder of the book delves into Ted’s emotional state, his past, and his relationship with Lily – who is his constant companion. Ted is single, living in LA and working as a freelance writer, as well as going on bad dates where he overanalyzes everything. Lucky for the reader, he can communicate with Lily, so we get an incredible glimpse into this full of life dachshund.
It is sad in all of the right ways, not sobbing your heart out sad, but as a reader, you grow with Ted and come to accept the changes that are happening. As a reader, you fight alongside him and yell at the octopus together. Ted is quirky, compulsive, and sad. Every piece of this story felt so well thought out – from his relationship with his therapist to his relationship with loved ones to his scheduled nights with Lily at home.
I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend. It is read by Michael Urie, who does delightful voices and characters. I’m sure that the humor comes through in the book too – but if you are an audiobook listener, then I recommend checking this one out! I look forward to more from Rowley; this was an excellent start! Glad that it was on my Summer Reading Part 2 List and soon to be added to my Monthly Book Recommendations for August!