How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) by Art Corriveau

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Nicky Flynn’s life just got a whole lot harder. His parents are going through a messy divorce, and as a result he’s starting a new life, in a new city, in a new school. Now his mom has brought home Reggie, an eighty-pound German shepherd fresh from the animal shelter, who used to be a seeing-eye dog. At first Nick isn’t sure about this canine intrusion—it’s just another in a series of difficult changes. Soon, however, Nick is on the path to finding out why a seeing-eye dog would be left at an animal shelter, and along the way discovers that Reggie is a true friend that Nick can rely on. But when he tries to reconnect with his dad, Nick puts everything on the line, including the life of his new best friend.

Art Corriveau is a brilliant new voice for middle-grade fiction. How I, Nicky Flynn, Got a Life (and a Dog) is a heartfelt and honest look at the effects of divorce and the wonders of friendship.

Even though this is definitely not my type of read nor in the genre I usually read, I was actually kind of looking forward to reading it because it sound cute and I thought the dog on the cover was adorable. However, How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) proved to be lackluster in some of the most important ways.

How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) is about a kid named Nicky whose parent's have just went through a disasters divorce that has left him basically living in the 'slums' and going to a new school were he's not only one of the smartest kids but the kids call him brownie, as in brownnoser. Plus his fun and full of laughter mother has turned into someone who likes to hit the wine bottle a little too much these days. Let's just say Nicky isn't happy with his new life, though everything changes when he meets Reggie, a former seeing-eye dog and Nicky's new pet. At first Nicky isn't too happy with Reggie because for one, he's huge and gets in the way in their already too small apartment and for two, Nicky isn't all that in to being Reggie's new master, but soon enough, Nicky realizes that Reggie may just be the best thing that's happened to him since the divorce and the only one he can rely on most these days.

Nicky was a character I really hard time connecting with even though I've gone through some of the same things he has (a parent's divorce, a new school and home, etc.). Maybe it was how young he was or his immaturity at times but I just found him to be annoying to the point were I kind of didn't care what happened to him. Perhaps kids more his age will find him to likable and relatable but I just didn't. The character I did like in this, though, was Reggie, the dog. He seemed adorable and great dog side-kick to have on your side. Plus, I thought it was adorable seeing how sweet he was to Nicky.

While the premise seemed promising, the execution wasn't nearly as great as I was expecting. I was bored for the most part and occasionally skipped ahead a few or so pages because of it. I did like the message it was conveying, though, especially since younger kids will be reading it.

Overall, How I, Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) just wasn't the book for me because of several reasons, mostly because of my age.

Grade: C-

Source: Publisher. Thanks, Amulet!


  1. Aw, that's a bummer that you couldn't connect with the character. Nice honest review though :)

  2. Appreciate the honest review though sorry to hear it didn't work for you. Unfortunately, not every book transcends the age of readers but hey, better luck on your next choice!


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