Blog Tour: Rotten by Michael Northrop

There's no Freebie Friday this week, but look for another Clockwork Princess post up soon!

I'm excited to be part of the Rotten Blog Tour, hosted with Books With Bite!

by Michael Northrop
To be published by Scholastic Books
on April 1, 2013

Source: ARC sent by publisher for blog tour.

Connect with author: website : Twitter.

Blurb (from Goodreads:) 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 (yes, after that guy in the Sex Pistols). Both tough but damaged, JD and Johnny slowly learn to trust each other, but their newfound bond is threatened by a treacherous friend and one snap of Johnny's powerful jaws. As the secrets JD has tried so hard to keep under wraps start to unravel, he suddenly has something much bigger to worry about: saving his dog.
My take: When I got the invitation for this blog tour, I said yes right away because a) I loved Trapped by Michael Northrop, which was this awesome Breakfast Club-in-a-blizzard book, b) I love dogs and c) I was in the audience for a panel that Michael Northrop was part of and he was very funny. (However, when I went back to check my notes, all I wrote was: "MN likes the randomness of Twitter." I must have been laughing and didn't write the funny stuff down.)

Rotten did not disappoint. It's a story that's deceptively simple at first, then sneaks right up on you with a lot of humor and heart.  JD is back in town, just kind of hanging out and reconnecting with his friends. He's very cagey about where he's been, and though his friends try to get him to spill all his secrets, he doesn't. There's Janie, a girl whose relationship with JD seems to have taken an awkward turn. And then there's a dog, a Rottweiler. JD's mom, who adopted the dog while JD was away, says that his name is Jon-Jon, but JD renames him Johnny Rotten.
His head is like a black-and-brown cinder block. The top is all black, except for two little brown dots, one over each eye. They sort of make it look like he's thinking bad thoughts. The muzzle is all brown, except for a black stripe on top, which leads down to his black nose and black mouth. His jaws look insanely powerful, like Mom had adopted an alligator.
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.

Me (kicking stuff:)  Now I remember why I swore never to read a dog book after Old Yeller.

Me: (peeking through fingers at Kindle:) If JD had watched the "Fender Benders" episode of the Brady Bunch instead of watching The Dog Whisperer and eating pizza rolls, he would know how to fix this.

I'm not going to tell you what happened or how things end up, just that I really enjoyed this book. Rotten is a book about trust and friendship and second chances. I love a YA book with a guy's POV, and JD's voice is realistic and funny. He's a teenage boy, preoccupied with food, video games, and how not to look like a fool in front of Janie. I also love a book that shows real friendships between guys. JD may feel there's no one he can count on, but he's wrong.

Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour -- there are giveaway posts and some fun guest posts that I'm certain will prove my assertion that Michael Northrop is, indeed, a funny guy.

Then scroll all the way down for my Favorite Dogs of Page and Screen trivia quiz!


March 11: Books With Bite -- Tour Kickoff
March 12: Supernatural Snark -- Interview
March 14: Candace's Book Blog -- Giveaway
March 18: Books and Things -- Review
March 19: Good Choice Reading -- Guest Post
March 20: Book-Lovers' Review -- Guest Post
March 21: Lisa's Gadgets 'N Book World -- Giveaway
March 22: Book Loving Mom -- Review
March 25: Cari's Book Blog -- Giveaway
March 26: Alli's World -- Interview
March 27: Ren's Rambles -- Guest Post
March 28: Fic Talk Blog -- Interview
March 29: The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia -- Review
April 1: Happy Release Day!

Jen's Famous Dogs of Page and Screen Trivia Quiz: How many of these dogs can you name?

1. This dog, described by the main character in a well-known 1847 novel as an "eerie creature to be alone with," inspired the name of a guide dog for a blind character in a 2007 YA fairy tale retelling. Can you name the dog and both of the books?

2. This tiny dog with a fierce name headed to Harvard Law School in a 2009 chick flick. Can you name the dog and the movie?

3.  In a 1981 horror novel, this dog becomes infected with rabies and goes on to terrorize a small New England town. The name of the dog is the name of the book -- can you name him?

4. This popular BBC series featured a subplot in which this British earl's yellow lab is kidnapped by a scheming employee. Can you name her and the show?

5. This Rottweiler, a recurring character on a former HBO series, was often used to help the show's characters pick up women. Can you name the dog and the show?

Here are the answers:

1. Pilot was the name of Mr. Rochester's dog in Jane Eyre, and also the name of Kyle's tutor's dog in Beastly.

2. Bruiser accompanied Elle Woods to Harvard in Legally Blonde.

3. Cujo terrorized the town of Castle Rock, Maine and was named after one of Patty Hearst's kidnappers.

4. Isis was dognapped by Thomas in Season Two of Downton Abbey.

5. Arnold is the name of Turtle's dog in Entourage.


  1. Deceptively simple with heart sounds excellent.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. With your mention of Old Yeller, I'm now terrified that Johnny Rotten bites/attacks someone and has to be put down.

    Dog Trivia: the only one I know is #3 although I know a 2001 chick flick for #2 and I have an idea about the show for #5. Will you be posting the answers this Sunday?

    1. Is that what happened in Old Yeller? I thought he got rabies, but I just remember crying a lot…
      Don't worry, this book is not that tragic!!!

      And yes, I'll post the answers on Sunday!

  3. OMG my stop is next week and I am starting this soon, but now I am afraid. In my StS post I was saying how nothing better happen to the dog or I'm going to lose it. Great review babe!!

    1. I hadn't even thought of that until I started reading *head smack!*

  4. Jen this looks good, but you have me oh so curious about his other book ..with the Breakfast club vibe! So glad you enjoyed this one!

    1. You should check that one out -- I really liked Trapped, too!

  5. oh this looks amusing :D I love that the dog is named Rotten, looks like a funny read.

  6. This sounds really good! I'm personally not a dog person, but this sounds like just my type of book.

    1. I know that -- but I think you'd like this book a lot!

  7. "Breakfast Club-in-a-blizzard book"? How did I not already know about this book?? I'm already sold on Rotten because there's a dog on the cover :-)

    1. Trapped is great -- definitely check it out too.
      And you should read the Supernatural Snark guest post -- there's something about Shelties...

  8. I'm with Karen, I totally want to check out TRAPPED! Hah hah. I like dogs but I'm not a huge dog person per se, so this isn't a book I would have naturally picked up--but your review has me intrigued. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. It's good -- I was all over that when it came out. I'm huge John Hughes fan...

  9. Awesome review, Jen! Pam (Midnyte Reader) lent me Trapped, so I'll be reading that soon. Love the dog quiz (but where's the Cujo love?)! ;)

    1. Let me know how you like Trapped!
      Yep, Cujo is in the quiz...

  10. This isn't something I would normally pick up, but I do love dogs! Though I am totally nervous by what you said about Old Yeller... I don't do well when animals are injured in books and movies. There was a book I read last summer that made me throw it across the room for such a reason. lol

  11. Oh man! I don't know if I could handle it if something happens to the dog. I am a dog lover and those things just break my heart. Our little dog was attacked once and I still get teary about it. Fabulous review! I'll add it to my tbr, but I'll have to read it when I'm feeling super positive. :)

  12. I'm not sure about this cover, but I think this book looks fantastic. Love boy protags!

  13. Aw, this book looks awesome. And a dog called Johnny Rotten from The Sex Pistols? Heck, yeah!! We recently lost out 3 yr old Brittany spaniel, Annie, so I don't think I could handle this book right now. But I will look back into it once some time has passed:)


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will share your thoughts on this post!