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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  415 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
A troubled teen. A rescued Rottweiler. An unlikely friendship.

Jimmer "JD" Dobbs is back in town after spending the summer "upstate." No one believes his story about visiting his aunt, and it's pretty clear that he has something to hide. It's also pretty clear that his mom made a new friend while he was away---a rescued Rottweiler that JD immediately renames Johnny Rotten (
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published February 1st 2013)
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Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Originally posted in Teacher's Choice

I came across this title as I was clicking through NetGalley. The cover had me immediately as I am a HUGE fan of dogs. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. The idea of the main character connected to a rescue dog pulled me in. I put in a request, got my approval, and started reading.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a pretty quick read. It is clear that JD did not stay with his aunt and I felt like his friends, wanting to know how he really spent his summ
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
You know how in YA there are 16-year-old boys and they have really mature voices and really deep story lines? A lot of times they're really good and they are so spot on. But other times you start to wonder what about those 16-year-old boys in the world who are kind of goofy and do really dumb things and yet are lovable and likable despite that?

Rotten is about the somewhat immature but really likable 16-year-old boy who is just kinda goofy.

When Jimmer Dobbs -- JD -- returns home from a "summer
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Emotionally affecting and thematically poignant, Rotten is a great, deliciously readable story. Despite the serious (often heartbreaking) subject matter, the overall tone of the book is light and easy to digest. Meaningful, but not heavy. This heartfelt and insightful tale teaches us about the importance of love, trust and friendship (whether it's between two people or a man and man's best friend), and that everyone deserves a second chance. A really heart-warming, deep and honest story, capable ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
JD, somewhat of a troubled youth, returns home from a summer-long trip to an unexplained location, only to find his mother has rescued a dog. Shortly after returning home, a friendship blossoms between a misunderstood teenage boy and a misunderstood dog. JD's three friends are both desperate to discover JD's summer whereabouts as well as acquaint themselves with the dog, JR (Johnny Rotten). When Mars, one of JD's friends, gets bit by JR, drama ensues with a lawsuit and the strong potential that ...more
Jen Ryland
Rotten is a story that's deceptively simple at first, then sneaks right up on you with a lot of humor and heart. Johnny Rotten is a rescue dog, and he has some issues. But so does JD. The parallels between the two of them are subtly drawn, but central to the story: JD is a kid who needs a second chance, and Johnny Rotten is a dog who needs one too. The two slowly start to bond and then … something bad happens.

I'm not going to tell you what happened or how things end up, just that I really enjoye
Brad Sells
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-own
This review is spoiler free.

Rotten is a wonderful story about bonding love and friendship. This book is outstanding!

I am a huge lover of dogs (I have two myself), so when I found out that this book was about a dog, I was all over this one. I was so happy I read it! The friendship that grows between JD and Johnny Rotten was amazing to read. They truly connected to each other as best friends, and I was rooting for both of them during the entire book. Plus, who doesn't love a story about dogs?

Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One troubled teen and one damaged dog just might be the perfect mix to get them both out of the doghouse.

JD arrives home from being "away" for the summer to discover that his mother has added a monstrous Rottweiler to their family. Johnny Rotten (the dog) was a rescue who is leery of men because he was chained up outside for his entire life. But some how he and JD form a bond until Johnny bites one of JD's friends. But JD can't help but wonder if the bite wasn't provoked. The more he starts to
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Pretty predictable, and it lacks a lot of the emotion it feels like it should have. I feel I need to stop reading books with a dog as the main character because they always turn out super flat. Disappointing.
Kelly Hager
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! I immediately sympathized with JD and obviously with his dog, Johnny Rotten.

It's probably a good thing I read this on my Kindle so that I couldn't skip ahead. As a result, I spent most of the book worried that Johnny would have to be put down (obviously I won't tell you what happens; you'll have to read the book).

It was wonderful seeing a bond develop between JD and Johnny. Obviously, JD didn't have that many relationships he could really count on in his life, and Jo
Brandi Rae
Good for Gordon Korman fans.
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's good.
Liz Friend
The story: this is the story of a boy and his dog. But he's not just any boy, and it's not just any dog. JD has just finished up a stint in Juvie, and his mom hopes a dog will help him move past a really rotten time in his life--because JD's not the only one who's had a rotten time. Johnny Rotten is a shelter dog, abused by his former master, and this seems like a chance for both of them to move on...until the rescued Rottweiler is provoked into biting someone. Now it looks like he's going to be ...more
Ben. R
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review: The life of a beloved dog hanging in the balance, a court case, and conflict between friends make Rotten by Michael Northrop a must read! This book takes in a small town in New England . The protagonist is Jimmer Dobbs (JD), an outgoing, likable character. Johnny Rotten, Jimmer’s dog in the book, is also an important character. The antagonist of the story is Mars, who was once JD’s good friend, but turned against him for money. I bought this book at a book fair. I was intrigued by the bo ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-books
I was really hoping the whole time that the narrator would improve by the end of the story but I was very disappointed. Do teenage boys really talk like this?? Or is the author just imagining that's what they talk like now? Can they really be that awful and obnoxious? Also JD's 'secret' was probably just about the stupidest reveal I've ever read in a book. Add in a sprinkle or two of homophobia and you've got what adds up to a truly terrible book. Spoiler alert: the dog doesn't die so I guess th ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: autographed, x-2014
Saw him at the UConn book fair This is Teen discussion panel. His advice to his teenage age self won me over. Funny guy.

He and the dog signed the book :)
I've finished the book now. It's realistic fiction and non-adult. Since it's not a favorite genre of mine nor my age group I don't want to judge it to harshly.

I feel like the hero of the story should of gotten more attention. His choice is what made the outcome of the book. The main characters were headed for a certain
Max Rueckert
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-read
I liked the book but in the book the town felt small, I think the author could have added more characters that would have some role in the book or place the characters in a more populated place like a city.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a good book.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vivien Keiling
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alright, so I need to preface this review with the reason I picked this book up in the first place.

There's a Rottweiler on the cover. This made me pick the book up and take a look to see what it was about. The next thing was that it featured a rescued Rottweiler.

Annnnd, sold! To me at least, but that's because I have a rescued Rottie at home and so I felt I had to read this book and see if it did the breed justice.

So, the Gist:
This is somewhat of a coming-of-age story about a 16 year old guy fro
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
After a summer away from his friends and his mom, JD is finally coming home but to a place that is not entirely the same as when he left it. His friends have bounded with different people, his girlfriend is somewhat of a sour note, and his mom adopted this dog that seems to hate all men. Welcome home? I've spent three or four weeks away from home and come home to a completely different place than the one I left behind. My friends are suddenly more busy than when I left, my parents have made plan ...more
Olivia Hennis
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
The plot and characters really sucked me in: after the first 50 pages, I read the rest all in one night. The 1st person narrative from Jimmer is very laid back, realistic. In general, all the characters come across as very much like regular teenagers. Johnny Rotten is a doof, so lovable that you're rooting for everything to work out for him and his boy the whole time. Tight, straightforward plot.

If you were drawn in by the cover, stuck around for the synopsis, and are considering reading it? Do
Alise  (Readers in Wonderland)
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rotten Review
Full formatting of this review at link above.

When I saw this on Netgalley, I knew I had to request it because of my own little Rottweiler sitting right in front of me. I even broke my "no books about animals" rule to read this, and I am glad I did!

JD comes home from his summer stay at his "aunt's house" to a surprise. His mom adopted an abused Rottweiler dog, which JD names Johnny Rotten. Their relationships starts o
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Originally posted on City of Books

Rotten is a book that would appeal to dog lovers everywhere, as well as adolescent readers. It's an interesting story, and I loved the growing affection between JD and Johnny Rotten. There's also a mystery aspect that we don't get to find out much about until later.

JD spent the summer somewhere upstate, no one really knows where. Or what he was doing there. He's actually really mysterious about it all. When he gets back, there are only a few days left for school
Review originally appeared on my blog, Mercurial Musings

In high school, I had a dog named Abi. She was the sweetest, smartest, most well-behaved dog I've ever known. And she was a Rottweiler. Now, I have a rescue dog named Samwise and she is every bit as kind, well-behaved, and gentle as Abi was, though Sam is only half rottie. It's fair to say I have a soft spot for the breed, so when I saw JR's drooly, smiley face on the cover of a book, I knew it was a must read. Thanks to the amazing people
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved that this book is narrated by a boy. And I think that it was a realistic portrayal of a teenage boy (which isn't always the case) as JD is a character that we see his flaws, but we also see the good in him. He may not be so great at communication, but he's not a bad kid. He's made some mistakes though and we know that from the beginning, but we don't know what he did. That's part of the urgency to keep reading, because we know something happened and we want to know more.

Dog books are alw
Amy Fournier
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, blog-tour-2013, own
I admit that I was nervous going into this because I was terrified about what might happen to the dog. This story was very hard to read if you are an animal lover. It was emotional, enraging, and hopeful. This was a book that had me feeling irrationally angry at times, close to tears at others, and smiling at other times. This is about a broken boy and a broken dog and how they save each other. I thought it was wonderful!

JD has been away for the summer and when he comes home his mom has gotten t
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rotten is a heartfelt story about a teens trying to do the right things, and not always succeeding.

JD is returning home at the end of the summer. Presumably, he's been at his aunt's house for the entire summer, with no internet, phones, or any other way to contact the outside world. His friends don't really buy this story, but JD isn't talking. His mother has adopted a rescued dog -- a huge rottweiler, that JD names "Johnny Rotten" (he's a Sex Pistols fan.) Johnny has problems of his own. He doe
Miriam Matthews
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kiwireviews
Rotten, a book named after a Rottweiler named Johnny Rotten, though the Rotten could also refer to the treatment that J.D. (Johnny's owner) gets from someone who he thought was a good friend (a boy of the same age called Mars). Johnny is a rescue dog, gotten by J.D's mother just before his return home, and is at first very mistrustful of males. When provoked he bites Mars and J.D, knowing that there was a reason why, attempts to save Johnny.

The characters are pretty run of the mill. J.D is a sli
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Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of Scholastic's new multi-platform series, TombQuest. His first young adult novel, Gentlemen, earned him a Publishers Weekly Flying Start citation, and his second, Trapped, was an Indie Next List selection. His first middle-grade novel, Plunked, was named one of the best children's books of the year by the New York Public Library and was se ...more
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