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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

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May 17 Daily Update
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WTV's Ryan Shapiro, Karina Grokhovskaya, and Sadie Johnson bring you a few last words

Every Book Has a Silver Lining: Joint Custody

In+this+weekly+review%2C+Every+Book+has+a+Silver+Lining%2C+staff+reporter+Christina+Huang+takes+a+look+at+books+to+find+their+silver+lining.
Christina Huang
In this weekly review, Every Book has a Silver Lining, staff reporter Christina Huang takes a look at books to find their silver lining.

The Parent Trap, It Takes Two, and Billboard Dad. Each movie is driven by a child playing matchmaker for their parent(s). Joint Custody, the first book of The Gatz Chronicles, joins this list—but authors Lauren Baratz-Logsted and Jackie Logsted change it up. The narrator, the ‘child,’ trying to get his parents back together, is a Border Collie who had lived with the owner he calls ‘The Man’ for three years, right when his parents’ relationship first began. 

The Man, an introverted writer, and The Woman, an extroverted editor, are a perfectly complementary couple in the eyes of their dog, Gatz. However, when it becomes apparent that compromise isn’t the solution, Gatz’s world comes crashing down as the relationship halts abruptly. In an arrangement of joint custody over their beloved dog, Gatz now lives with The Man for most of the week and holidays, while The Woman gets him on the weekends. But they balance the other perfectly, and Gatz becomes determined to help them see it again as well. 

The idea of Gatz being a dog easily adds an element of interest to the plot. However, it has its downfalls as well. Gatz turns out to be an unreliable and sometimes confusing narrator, partially because of the system of joint custody. Closer to the end of the story, a shocking secret is revealed, one that well exemplifies the gaps written into the story, impossible to decipher with Gatz as a narrator. 

On the other hand, despite Gatz not being human, his comedic acts of perseverance are admirable. Further, the relationship—even through their dog’s eyes—was detailed from start to end, which boosted realism and built the connection to the characters, leaving readers feeling just as disappointed as Gatz to see the relationship end. 

In the end, it might not have played out the way Gatz originally expected it to, but this story with a Hallmark movie feel, delivered more comedy than romance. Gatz may not have been the best narrator, giving the book a more juvenile feel, but ultimately, Joint Custody was an entertaining read for readers looking for just that: a carefree, light story for fans of an adorable narrator with an inspirational amount of loyalty and love. 

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About the Contributor
Christina Huang
Christina Huang, Staff Reporter/Interactive Media Editor
Christina Huang is a sophomore in her first year officially with Wingspan. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the piano and viola, and finding/creating wallpapers for her phone which she will likely never use. She’s looking forward to the opportunity to better her writing and find the good in scorned books this year through her book blog: Every Book Has a Silver Lining. Contact Christina: christina.huang.862@k12.friscoisd.org

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