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Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

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Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#1 by MarisaRose
» 19 Apr 2017, 13:45

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dance on the Head of a Pin" by Joan M. Maredyth.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by MarisaRose
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Joan Maredyth’s Dance on the Head of a Pin is an emotionally charged and relevant tale. Five pit bull pups born in a junkyard are separated from their mother at a young age. The nervous pups quickly find themselves separated from each other as well. Alone, scared and hungry, the fate of each pup is dependent on the treatment they receive from the people they encounter. Tay, a local deputy suffering from depression; Edna, his high school crush; and Mildred White Owl, a retiree new to the community, all play major roles in the survival of the five pups. Rich with imagery of the Arizona desert, Dance on the Head of a Pin attempts to redefine breed stereotypes while also tackling major themes like depression, abuse and child neglect.

The novel has a surprisingly intricate storyline. The book follows the five pups, their mother, Bella, and the various humans who cross paths with the canines. Though the book follows the pups individually (with the exception of one pair that stick together), their stories were easy to follow. Similarly, the human characters were seamlessly introduced and had engaging stories of their own. The multiple canine and human plotlines are masterly interwoven, creating a continuous and unified story. Though the hardships faced by the pups are inspiring, it is the added human element that solidifies the novel’s success.

The author’s prose is bursting with imagery and emotion. The Arizona desert is vividly drawn throughout the narrative. Descriptions of textures, sensations, and aromas further aid the reader in believing the perspective of the pups as such descriptions accurately embodied the acute awareness of a canine. Similarly, through her prose, the author masterfully forces the reader to experience the fear, frustration, disappointment and hope the pups undergo throughout their journey.

Notably, each pup has a clear, distinguishable personality. If you have ever had a canine companion, you will relate to these loyal, brave and loving characters with ease and revel in their differences. Similarly, the human personas are just as interesting and developed as their canine counterparts. The humans involved face obstacles and emotional decisions related to the pups, but themes of abuse, child neglect, depression, familial conflict, and small town politics are all laced into their narratives, adding to their complex and realistic personalities. On the surface, this is a story about five abandoned pit bull pups, but deep down, it is truly a story about life, love and human nature.

This novel successfully brings multiple relevant topics to life in a heartfelt and emotional manner. The canine point of views and the complexity of the human characters make this story hauntingly realistic. If I could rate this book 5 stars I would; since that is not an option, I readily rate Dance on the Head of a Pin 4 out of 4 stars. Anyone with a soft spot for animals or an interest in animal rescue efforts will easily relate to, and enjoy, this work. I do not recommend this book to a younger audience because of the mature nature of some of the topics discussed. Lastly, according to the book’s Amazon page, 10% of proceeds from book sales are donated to dog rescue groups; I commend the author for this generosity!

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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 20 Apr 2017, 13:25

Wow! This is such an interesting topic for a book. I love dogs, and they do each have their own personality. It sounds like the author wrote masterfully to create a beautiful tale. I'm putting this on my to read list!
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#3 by MarisaRose
» 20 Apr 2017, 13:28

kandscreeley wrote:Wow! This is such an interesting topic for a book. I love dogs, and they do each have their own personality. It sounds like the author wrote masterfully to create a beautiful tale. I'm putting this on my to read list!


I'm glad to hear you want to read this! I really really loved reading this book! I hope you like it :)
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#4 by Kitkat3
» 20 Apr 2017, 14:24

:cry: I really hate how pit bulls are judged for their breed. :cry: I'm happy that the author decided to help break the stereotype and show how a dog is influenced by its upbringing. Sounds like a lot of other important issues are discussed as well. I like how you describe it as a story about people and life in general too. It sounds like the author did an excellent job of making the characters realistic. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#5 by MarisaRose
» 20 Apr 2017, 14:33

Kitkat3 wrote::cry: I really hate how pit bulls are judged for their breed. :cry: I'm happy that the author decided to help break the stereotype and show how a dog is influenced by its upbringing. Sounds like a lot of other important issues are discussed as well. I like how you describe it as a story about people and life in general too. It sounds like the author did an excellent job of making the characters realistic. Thanks for the review!


Thank you! When I first read the synopsis for this book I knew I wanted to read it. I am a huge advocate for rescues and I love how the author is able to show that pit bulls are just as loyal and lovable as any other breed. Thanks for reading my review :)
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#6 by Amagine
» 20 Apr 2017, 15:26

I love how the author writes the story from both the human and dog point of view. Also the fact that the book tackles major issues that affect our world today makes it even more interesting.

Great Review! 😀
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#7 by MarisaRose
» 20 Apr 2017, 15:27

Amagine wrote:I love how the author writes the story from both the human and dog point of view. Also the fact that the book tackles major issues that affect our world today makes it even more interesting.

Great Review! 😀


Thank you! This really is one of the best books I have read recently; it's so much more than it appears!
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#8 by Gingerbo0ks
» 20 Apr 2017, 16:18

This is a great review, and it makes the book sound intriguing. I love it when a story is much more than it appears! It has a good message too. I love animals though so I would hope all the pups ended up okay otherwise it'd upset me :(
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#9 by MarisaRose
» 20 Apr 2017, 18:34

Gingerbo0ks wrote:This is a great review, and it makes the book sound intriguing. I love it when a story is much more than it appears! It has a good message too. I love animals though so I would hope all the pups ended up okay otherwise it'd upset me :(


Thank you! I can't give too much away, but the ending is satisfying :)
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#10 by Chrys Brobbey
» 20 Apr 2017, 18:50

Quite an interesting and thorough review. The book seems like a lot going on both in the human and canine worlds, among a lot of character players. It looks to be educative as well, with lessons to impart.
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Re: Official Review: Dance on the Head of a Pin

Post Number:#11 by Autiereads
» 03 May 2017, 01:14

As an owner of a rescue pit, and a former adoption coordinator for a shelter in Arizona, this book sounds like it was written for me! Amazing review, really made me want to read it!!
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