Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dingo


High school senior Miguel’s life is turned upside down when he meets new girl Lainey, whose family has just moved from Australia. With her tumbled red-gold hair, her instant understanding of who he is, and her unusual dog—a real Australian dingo—she’s unforgettable. And, as he quickly learns, she is on the run from an ancient bargain made by her ancestors. There’s no question that Miguel will do whatever he can to help her—but what price will each of them have to pay? - Synopsis from book jacket

This is the first time I'm reading the work of Charles de Lint and am happy to announce that I am not disappointed. Dingo holds my attention from the beginning right up to the end. It speaks to me throughout, like a friend does. I think it's the way the English language is being used in the story.

Seventeen-year-old Miguel Schreiber meets an unusual girl named Lainey, and with her, a large dog named Em. Lainey is pretty with red-gold hair and so is the fur of her dog. Lainey is new in town. One day, the moment she steps into Miguel's father's used comic and records store, Miguel immediately feels connected to her. She likes him too but the dog is not too fond of him. He finds out that Johnny Ward, a well-known school bully is following her and so Lainey ends up in the store in an attempt to avoid him.

Since meeting Lainey, Miguel has been having strange dreams at night. He feels watched by someone or something. Not only that, he also finds paw prints on the window and outside his room. Initially he jumps into conclusion that Lainey was watching him, but he decides to find out from her. It turns out that Lainey has a secret. And she has a twin sister. Em is the twin. Both of them are shape-shifters and they take turns to become girls, and there's a reason for that - to avoid being detected by the enemy. They are the rare few who are pure bred dingoes. Pure-bred blood is needed by the enemy to free himself from imprisonment. However, the enemy does not know that there are two of them (twins).

Whoever that is close to Lainey or Em is in great danger, but Miguel is determined to help her. Johnny the bully is involved in this too. There is a side to Johnny that will surprise the reader. The sisters are tired of running away from their problem and the boys play an instrumental role in the girls' attempt to be free once and for all.

Great plotting, nice twist, and engaging to the end. The elements of hope, friendship, love and family are beautifully woven together. It's all 213 pages of delightful, easy reading.

Note: Dingo is recommended by Melody and I thank her for that.