From the Publisher
""I would love to read more by this author because this book had a hook which grabbed my attention and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book to people who like friendship, romance, and drama. Hopefully there is a sequel!" - Parenthood.com, guest reviewer Julia (12)" - Parenthood.com
""Lauren Brown's The Doggy Divas is a middle grade romp perfect for the impossible-to-buy-for tween in your family. It's a sure thing with an adorable cover that includes glitter!" - Unabashedly Bookish on bn.com, Melissa Walker" - Unabashedly Bookish
""Lauren Brown's The Doggy Divas is a middle grade romp perfect for the impossible-to-buy-for tween in your family. It's a sure thing with an adorable cover that includes glitter!" - Melissa Walker on Unabashadly Bookish, bn.com " - Unabashadly Bookish
""...we suggest curling up with the first book of the hilarious (pet-friendly) series Doggy Divas from author Lauren Brown." - GirlsLife.com" - Girl's Life
""The Doggy Divas: Roxy's Rules was a funny, adorable, and quick read perfect for any tween girl or even younger age teen.
In all, The Doggy Divas: Roxy's Rules is the perfect read for any tween girl you know out or maybe even you if you're a dog lover or a fan of adorable, quick reads. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Ms. Brown has in store for us in the next installment." - Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf" - Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
""I really enjoyed this syrupy sweet little book. The plot focused on the classic "popular girl falls from grace and discovers true friendship with underdogs" storyline that is so common in books of this genre. But plot isn't everything, the writing is much more important, and this book is very well written. It is obvious that the author of this book is very in the know on what technology kids are embracing, namely Twitter and Facebook. The author is also very in tune with tween girls and I felt that the book was quite authentic in the dialogue. She didn't go overboard with the teenspeak, which is good, because when an author does that, they don't make their book sound younger but instead end up aging themselves. There were lots of cute things about the book, but my favorite parts were the "Doggy Confessionals" which were featured at the end of each chapter. The dogs were observant,very insightful and sassy, much more so that their human counterparts. The Doggy Confessionals are definitely what sets The Doggy Divas: Roxy's Rules apart from other books with similar premises. Overall I really enjoyed this book, but as with many of the books written for those of a younger demographic, there were definitely some logic leaps where you have to force yourself not to over think. I don't really mind this, as I believe it to be a perfectly acceptable writing device in a book for a 9 year old girl. I tried not to think too hard on why a dog walker's strike would lead to dogs freely roaming the halls of the local middle school (why not just lock them up in cages and dog runs?), because ultimately, it didn't really matter. The book isn't meant to be a deep character study into the human condition blah blah blah, its just meant to be fluffy fun, and it absolutely is. This book is a great price and a good book for a young girl, I'd say, 2 Borders with a Coupon." - The Book Buff" - The Book Buff
""I found the "Doggy Diva" plot inspirational for other teens who might be thinking of going into business... I believe young readers just experiencing the highs and lows of pre-teen life will easily identify with this book. After all, it's about friendships, misunderstandings, and everything that goes along with being in 7th grade-including Queen Bee drama, and who doesn't love to read about that?" - YA Books Central" - YABooksCentral
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—Roxy is excited about starting seventh grade. She plans to rule Monroe Middle School with her best friend and co-queen bee, Liz Craft. Then, on the first day, Liz finds out that her crush, Matt Billings, kissed Roxy over the summer. Roxy is exiled from the popular clique and forced to befriend two girls whom she had previously bullied. Things begin to turn around for Roxy when a local dog walkers' strike gives her an idea to start her own business, Doggy Divas. With the help of her new friends Kim and Georgia, it becomes a huge success, but everything is threatened when Liz becomes a client and tries to ruin everything. This fluff-filled novel never gets off the ground. The story falls flat with unlikable characters who are never fully developed. Roxy doesn't go through enough of a transformation to be satisfying to readers and the friendship that develops between her and the girls she used to torment feels hasty and insincere. Brown's inclusion of the dogs' perspectives may charm some readers, but will come off as gimmicky to others. The rushed, too-neat ending will not leave kids scrambling for the sequel.—Rachael Myers, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY
Read an Excerpt
Roxy Davis smeared a glob of shimmery gloss on her already naturally pink lips, covered up her sparkly, brown eyes with a pair of oversized sunglasses, and let out a long, deep sigh.
What's taking so long? she wondered as she leaned into the leather seat cushion in the backseat of her dad's silver sports car.
Roxy couldn't imagine being late for the first day of school. She was expected to be on the front steps with the rest of her crew. It would look terrible for the queen bee of the seventh grade to get to school after the first bell rang. Well, co-queen bee.
She was sharing the honor with her best friend, Liz Craft, of course. They were the new princesses of Monroe Middle School, and they had waited all summer to wear their crowns. Liz would be ultra-annoyed if Roxy showed up even one second late. When Roxy's platinum pink BlackBerry started buzzing in her lap, her stomach knotted up like a pretzel. The text was from Liz.
Leaving in a few-what's ur location?
Roxy leaned over to the front seat and started pounding on the horn.
"Dad!" she screamed out the window. "Dad! I'm going to be late!"
Roxy's dad came running out of the house. His tie was hanging loosely around his neck, and he was carrying his suit jacket over his briefcase. He looked disheveled and angry as he got in the driver's seat.
"Roxy, we never leave for school this early," he said breathlessly. "And why are you in the backseat? I'm not your chauffeur."
"C'mon, Dad, this year is way different. That means I absolutely have to be on the front steps at least twenty minutes before the first bell," she tried to explain calmly.
"And gross! Only sixth graders sit in the front seat with their daddies!"
Roxy's dad sighed, turned on the radio, and started singing along to a whiny old tune from the '80s. Roxy tried to block the sound out while texting Liz a little white lie.
Roxy closed her eyes and twirled her pin-straight brown hair around her perfectly manicured finger. Hair-twirling was her worst habit, and she only did it when she was stressed. During sixth grade, Roxy and Liz had worked very hard to earn the respect of their classmates-allowing them to rise to the top of the social circle for this year. Roxy wasn't about to ruin that on the first day of school. She tried to relax, but her skinny jeans were too tight. She squirmed and quickly unfastened the top button. Whew. At least she could breathe before school. According to the Fashion Bible-the top-secret notebook Liz and Roxy used to plan their daily outfits down to a nail-polish shade, Roxy was to complement her too-tight jeans with the perfect pair of rocket-red platform boots. The boots already pinched her feet, but Roxy had known she was taking that risk when she'd bought them a half size too small. It wasn't so much a risk as a requirement. Liz had insisted they share shoes so they could have double their wardrobe options.
Roxy didn't mind that Liz had feet a half size smaller than hers. After all, Liz had perfect arches and needed to wear properly fitting shoes at all times. Besides, once an outfit was logged into the Fashion Bible, there was no turning back.
"Holy Mother of..." Roxy's dad yelled as the car came screeching to a halt. It jerked forward so suddenly that Roxy's sunglasses flew off and her BlackBerry vanished underneath the front seat.
"Dad! Come on-I'm late..." Roxy looked out the window-and then blinked and looked again. Was she seeing things? "Dad? What's happening? What's going on?"
Traffic was backed up in every lane of the main intersection-the same intersection that Roxy needed to cross to get to school. All of the town's dog walkers marched in front of the traffic jam-with no regard for the green traffic lights.
They paced back and forth with signs in their hands that read, "DOG WALKERS ON STRIKE!" They chanted in unison slogans like, "Dog Walkers Unite!"
But that wasn't the worst of it. Every dog the walkers were responsible for ran free in the streets. People were abandoning their cars in the middle of the street to search for their lost dogs. Those without dogs had no choice but to leave their cars too. The risk of running over a pooch made driving way too dangerous.
The dogs, however, clearly loved every second of their newfound freedom.
"Dad! How am I going to get to school?" Roxy shrieked while an oversized black poodle started pawing at her through the window. "I should have been there already!" Roxy's dad leaned on the horn to shoo away a Doberman that was using the hood of their car as a tanning bed.
"I hate to tell you, but I think you're going to have to walk the rest of the way, Pumpkin," her dad sighed. "It's only a few more blocks."
"I'm already late!" Roxy's voice went up three octaves. The ears of a few dogs surrounding the car perked up at the shrill noise.
"You're acting rather spoiled, Roxy," Mr. Davis said sternly. "And I don't think you have much choice about walking."
Roxy managed to locate her BlackBerry and texted Liz. This was an absolute catastrophe.
Have u seen loser dog walkers & picket line? Going 2 b late... don't freak!
Hitting "Send," Roxy knew Liz would freak. She slammed the car door shut, muttering a quick good-bye to her dad. Taking slow, tiny steps in her too tight, too tall boots, Roxy began to tiptoe her way through the mess of dogs and people. She didn't want to tumble over-and walking this slowly was the only way to prevent her feet from going numb with pain.
Why did I ever listen to Liz? Of course, she decided to wear flats today! It's going to take me hours at this rate!
"Dog Walkers on Strike!"
"Dog Walkers Unite!"
The chanting was loud and overwhelming. Great, I'm going to go deaf too, Roxy worried as she navigated her way along the messy sidewalks.
She had to watch every step while passing through the dangerous zone of dog-pile land mines. Dogs of every size, color, and breed ran wild through the streets. Chihuahuas and Yorkshire terriers were playing tug-of-war with a water hose. A pack of Dalmatians and Labrador retrievers were going from garden to garden and digging up carefully manicured flower beds. Several fluffy sheepdogs herded small children safely through crosswalks.
Lazy malamutes and Bernese mountain dogs slept on sidewalks, enjoying mid-morning naps. Impressive Great Danes planted themselves in front of shop entrances, not allowing anyone in or out. And spunky greyhounds and border collies swiftly chased cats up trees. Roxy's usually beautiful neighborhood looked like a giant, overrun dog park.
Why isn't Liz texting me back? Roxy started to panic. She was officially late. And since Liz lived around the corner from the school, she didn't have to deal with the chaos. Even though Roxy knew her thoughts made perfect sense, she also knew that Liz would never see it her way. If aliens abducted Roxy this morning, Liz would accuse her of being more loyal to some weird space creatures than to her. Roxy was about to risk spraining her ankle by breaking into a full-on sprint when she felt something pulling at her leg.
"Little Roxie! What are you doing here?" Roxy squealed. Nipping at her feet was Liz's little black-and-tan Yorkie- Poo, which although spelled differently, happened to be named Roxie too. "Did those stupid dog walkers let you loose?"
Roxy picked up little Roxie. The tiny dog was shaking, but she licked Roxy's face and calmed down as soon as she felt safe. Little Roxie had already been a part of Liz's family when the girls became friends in the second grade. At first, Liz had suggested that Roxy should think about changing her name-but instead they called the cute pooch "little" Roxie. (Liz had a knack for noting Roxy's similarities with little Roxie too!)