Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review: Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Hi all,

I have never read one of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books before this, and after having read Worthy, I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on. Worthy is such an intriguing, heartfelt story that I am pleased to have had the chance to read it. Here is more about the novel and my review.

(I received a copy of Worthy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Book Description:

They might’ve been a family.

Virginia finally had the chance to explore a relationship with Aaron when he asked her on a date. She had been waiting, hoping that the widower and his young son, Buddy, would welcome her into their lives. But a terrible tragedy strikes on the night of their first kiss, crushing their hopes for a future together.

Nineteen years later, Virginia is engaged, though she has not forgotten Aaron or Buddy. When her dog goes missing and it comes to light that her fiancĂ© set him loose, a distraught Virginia breaks off the engagement and is alone once again. A shy young man has found the missing pet, and although he’s bonded with the animal, he answers his conscience and returns the dog. Before long, Virginia and the young man discover a connection from their pasts that will help them let go of painful memories and change their lives forever.

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My 5 Star Review:

Virginia is on the verge of a new beginning when tragedy strikes and all she’s hoped for is taken from her in one fell swoop. She moves on with her life, but cannot forget the man or the son that could have been hers. Nineteen years later, her dog is missing and she is frantic. She’s engaged, but is learning that her fiancĂ© is not the man she’d hoped he be. When she learns that a shy, young man, who has just lost his grandfather, has her dog, she goes to reclaim him. But the boy has become attached to the dog already, and it becomes complicated. In fact, her whole life soon becomes complicated as she learns of her connection to this boy from long ago.

Worthy is a powerful, emotional, and heartfelt story. Through strong dialogue, we learn so much about each character—their hopes, dreams, flaws, and strengths. I loved the friendship between the outspoken Fern and strong-minded Virginia. The scenes between Jody, the young man, and Virginia are powerful and sometimes intense. You know these characters inside out and feel their struggles and disappointments, as well as their accomplishments. And of course, who wouldn’t love the loyal, sweet-dispositioned dog, Worthy? A wonderful story that will make you think about the characters long after you’ve read the last page.

About the Author:

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 30 published and forthcoming books, including WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHERE WE BELONG, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, SECOND HAND HEART, DON'T LET ME GO, and WHEN YOU WERE OLDER. New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER'S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction.

An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has just released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

She is co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

Her best-known novel, PAY IT FORWARD, was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS' EDITION in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of '14

LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA's Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O'Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

For more information, please visit the author at


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