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3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  257 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
When 16-year-old Natalie Kaplan meets a new person, she knows right away what kind of dog they'd be. Natalie herself resembles an Ibizan hound—quiet, playful, loyal, smart, and above all, obedient. Actually, Natalie has been trained so well that sometimes she thinks her mother is secretly controlling her with a dog whistle. (Her mom is a respected veterinarian with a succe ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 8th 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Nov 20, 2008 Annabella rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this book, because I didn't like it too much, plus I really wanted to start reading "New Moon" by Stephanie Meyer. I got about 40% of the way through, then stopped reading. "Stray" is about a girl who is obsessed with dogs, and is very anti-social. She was a lot different than me, and part of the reason I didn't enjoy the book was because I couldn't relate to it at all. While reading, I found that I would skim over an entire page, then go back and have to read it again because I ...more
Goldie Marie
May 10, 2008 Goldie Marie rated it it was ok
The concept of this novel was a nice thought. In the end it was definitley dissapointing, The characters while well concieved and developed. Unfourtanatley the plot began to shrivel around chapter two! i also believed in my ill concieved notion of true life and love that Natalie and Kirby should have ended up togeather!
Jan 20, 2008 Nian rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: if you're really bored
Shelves: 2008
Despite my anticipations when it came to reading this book—as I had been greatly influenced by the previous doggie-related book, Alpha Dog—I am very disappointed about how this book turned out. The storyline relates to Jennifer Ziegler’s book about a mother who wants to control their daughter’s lives and the subject of dogs, but that’s as far as they get.

Natalie Kaplan’s like a dog on a very tight leash and her owner is her mother. To get what she wants, she has to make up lies and hope her mot
Oct 21, 2012 Aspen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2010 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The only reason I gave this four out of five stars is because it's not a book I'd go out and buy.

The best part of this book was the humor--I was constantly laughing. If I feeling a little under it, I would pick this up and feel better in no time. Natalie is a cool girl. A little obtuse at times but otherwise, she's pretty sharp. I love how real it seems: this struggle for her to find out who to trust, who she is, what she has to do and what she shouldn't.

I love the dog references. They're flawle
Aug 05, 2014 Danielle rated it did not like it
This book was so bad I stopped on page 109, I couldn't stand it any longer. At first I thought this book would be about Natalie finding the dog Boggart and them becoming great companions. Instead this book is about Natalie giving away Boggart and liking this guy Carver, who she treats like crap. I really wanted this book to be about Natalie and Boggart, maybe I would have actually finished this terrible book. It probably would have been a better book just because Boggart was a main character. Th ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Safia Abdul for

Sixteen-year-old Natalie Kaplan is better around dogs than people. She can name practically every breed of dog there is, yet can't fit in at a party. Natalie lives with her control-freak mother, her cake-baking grandmother, and four dogs (including Fufu, her cement chinese Foo dog that is supposed to bring her luck).

For Natalie, the summer before her junior year of high school wasn't supposed to be different from any other summer. Natalie planned to h
Natalie, the daughter of a control freak veterinarian mother and an out-of-the-picture dog behaviorist father, also loves dogs and works at her mother's clinic while dreaming of fixing up the room over the garage as her own space. This summer, however, the garage room will be occupied by a friend of the family called Carver who wishes to intern at the clinic. Natalie is peeved until it turns out Carver is a hottie. AND he likes her instead of the witchy neighbor Laney who has no redeemable quali ...more
Jun 04, 2010 Shaya rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: girls who like light romances and dogs
Recommended to Shaya by: Liza
I am a big dog lover and enjoyed the dog references in Stray. Too many purebred references and a deeper relationship with dogs wasn't really explored but I was expecting that.

This is your typical realistic fiction/romance and as a plus the narrator discusses dogs a lot. Teen angst, too good to be true boyfriend, control freak mom, rebellion...

I thought it was quite cliched and I've read many similar stories before. I did like the way the book approached drug and alcohol use, though. It was very
Nov 29, 2010 Becca rated it liked it
This book was very different and unique book. It was a very open and relaxed read. The thing that I loved the most about it was that it talks about real problems and issues teenagers deal with. It wasn't about a magical land or talking animals;it was a book about real teenagers problems. I loved the fresh breath of reality. I would recommend this to any teenager that doesn't mind a little bit of bad language or some unique concepts. However, I would not recommend this to anyone under the age of ...more
Aug 24, 2007 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: good-uns, ya
This was a sweet book. Sweet and calm and surprisingly welcome at the end of the month. I particularly liked that all of the characters, from Nattie's bitterly overprotective mother to her snotty and popular next door neighbor, are portrayed sympathetically. Reminding us that everyone is more than they seem, no matter how unsympathetic they can be at times. The fact is sometimes you find yourself in a bathroom with your arch nemesis, holding her hair back for her as she vomits her guts out. Gold ...more
Natalie H
May 03, 2014 Natalie H rated it really liked it
Stray was a great book telling people to say what they want to say, no matter how hard the situation. It was an amusing story. It made me laugh sometimes, the dog references were hilarious, but it didn't offer much meaning or depth. It was just an average teenage story about an average teenage life. The story line was very typical and really had no surprises. The characters were very well developed, though, and I got a clear sense of what was going on. I could relate to this book, as I think man ...more
Oct 06, 2010 Samiha rated it really liked it
This book is about trust of a girl from her mother an the relation she forms with a boy she has known since she was young and the things the main character Nat is forced to because she doesn't have her mothers trust. A girl whose father had left for another lady. A girl who has to live in the boundaries her mother build and the boundaries she has broken down. She has to bulid it up again for her love her mothers trust and the friendship of Kirby and Nina.
Meghan Frenkel
Oct 28, 2011 Meghan Frenkel rated it it was amazing
The book revolves around a sixteen-year-old named Natalie. Natalie is the daughter of two dog-loving parents, an over-protective, controling veterinarian mother and a distant traveling writing father. Natelie considders herself very unpoopular, especially concering a particualar group of girls. She has two best friends, Kirby, a vintage-loving nerd, and Nina, a confident, social girl who seems to be liked by everyone.
Apr 16, 2014 Jai rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome book.I read the About the Author section and found that this was Stacey Goldblatt's first book and for a first book, it was very good. It was exceptional. It had the mother daughter conversations,looks,and bond. It was also a sweet love story and showed how much effort it takes to earn trust. I read this book in one day and then again the next night. You definitely want to read this book.It is the best.
Leila K.
Dec 07, 2014 Leila K. rated it really liked it
In the book Stray by Stacey Goldblatt, Natalie feels out of place when confronted by the cool girls at her school, but decides to play along. However, along her summer journey, she meets a cute guy who seems to be perfect for her and her dog life. The best part is when she breaks the rules and falls in love, against her mother's words. In this book you will find love so strong that they must rebel, but through it all, they stay together.
Xiu Ling
Jan 20, 2010 Xiu Ling rated it liked it
The main character and I are kind of connected, because we both have parents that always form our way instead of we choosing who we really are; and who we want to be. So when I read this book, it's really like I am reading my own story but with a different story plot. From this book I learned that instead of making up lies so I can do things I want to do, maybe there are better ways out.
Feb 10, 2009 Melinda rated it really liked it
I love the characters in the book. I can really relate to the main character so it made my time reading it more enjoyable. I like the outcome of the book because it was realistic unlike some teen reads. I also love how dogs were tied into this story. It was fun to read, and i would recommend it to any girl who is growing up.
Jul 07, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sara, Sue
Shelves: teen
predictable, no new ground broken, but still an interesting look into a girl's life as she tries to break the barriers that mom erected around her. The gimmick, or hook, is that she works at her mother's vet clinic.

A likeable read.
Jul 02, 2013 Taylor rated it liked it
The reason i gave this book 3 out 5 stars is because, honestly IT WAS KINDA BORING. IT DRAGGED ON. It was funny, sure but that up for lack of plot. This is one of those books where you read it once. Thats it, i honestly wouldn't waste my money on to buy it.
Diana S
Apr 25, 2012 Diana S rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
It was OK. I liked that the start of each chapter. There was a quote from Natalie's Dad's book The Manifesto of Dog. I also thought it was amusing how Natalie would compare people she dealt with to certain dogs breed.(lol)
Apr 17, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing
I actually liked this book. I finished it in 2 days. I pretty much related to it- a lot! I'm obsessed with dogs and pretty much anti-social. This book kept me interested (which is why I finished it in 2 days.) Good book overall!
Cute, clean teen read. Using the metaphore of dog behaviors throughout each chapter, Stray is about coming of age, becoming oneself, finding your own voice as a young woman, Learning about what your own boundaries are and not those of parental demands.
Mar 17, 2008 Cat rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
This book was cute. There are some issues with the themes and the overall message of the book. The overall story was decent.
Jan 20, 2014 Jodie rated it it was ok
This book is about a girl whose mom is a vet who is very overprotective. Natalie eventually fights back against her mom. This book is okay, it isn't that great.
Shazza Maddog
Jun 09, 2015 Shazza Maddog rated it liked it
A coming of age story that doesn't involve dogs very much despite the title and the cover pic. It was kind of cute and kind of annoying.
Jun 25, 2009 Maggie rated it liked it
A very cute book about finding love and becoming yourself. Natalie's jouney is fun and I recommend this book to anyone looking for something to pass the time (and all dog lovers). <3
Jan 20, 2009 Zoe rated it it was amazing
a really good book for girls. it truly explores the idea of feeling forgotten and left behind by a parent, something that too many kids feel. awesome book.
Mar 30, 2008 Karin rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, teen
moderately entertaining novel about dog-obsessed teen girl who experiences first crush and learns to stand up to her (vet) mom over summer break.
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