Marley and Me by John Grogan Reviewed by Emilee Evans

Marley and Me by John Grogan


John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same again.

Could you imagine having the world’s worst dog? The Grogan family dealt with one a daily basis, their dog Marley is a reckless and loving Labrador retriever. The experiences and memories the Grogan’s and Marley made were wonderfull, Marley taught them so many things they probably never even realized, Marley taught them what really matters in life. I loved Marley and Me by John Grogan I really loved the characters, theme, and the vocabulary.

First, I really enjoyed the heartwarming characters in this novel. The characters are real life relatable people you have the hardworking father John, the loving mother Jenny and three children Patrick, Connor and Colleen and their pet Marley. I enjoyed how he described his family from their personalities to their characteristics, I felt like I got an idea of what they looked liked. I really liked how he said Jenny’s personality changed when she got pregnant with her children and how her appearance changed. Also how he described his children’s appearance as they matured.

Second, I really enjoyed the theme in Marley and me which was to “Never slow down, never look back, live each day with adolescent verve and punk and curiosity and playfulness.” I really enjoyed this message so much; I thought it gave me a new perspective on life. Think the main meaning behind the message was to live life and never look back keep moving forward don’t worry about the consequences are just go on. I think whoever would read this book would enjoy the theme as much as I did.

Lastly, I enjoyed the vocabulary used in Marley and Me; I really liked how Grogan wrote how his kids actually talked. When he quoted his children he wouldn’t use correct grammar and vocabulary because children don’t talk like that. Instead of writing daddy he wrote “waddy” and instead of mommy he wrote “mama” having baby talk in the novel wasn’t just a good choice it was so cute and I could totally image the way the children spoke. Mainly the use of vocabulary in this book made me have more of a connection.

Overall I enjoyed Marley and Me the heartwarming and unforgettable story of a family in the making. I personally would recommend this novel to teenagers I feel like they would understand the concept of the book more than an older generation. They could learn to live life and not worry about the consequences just never look back and keep moving forward. I believe they would really enjoy the characters, theme, and vocabulary.



10 responses

  1. Hello again, Emilee!

    I had fun reading your writing again. You did a great job being descriptive about what you liked about the book. Although I have never read the novel myself, I had a clear image of what you were talking about and what you meant. It made me excited to read it, too! I especially applaud your description on how the author described the characters, changing up their dialogue to fit their age or personality.

    One thing I think you could work on is making sure you are writing complete sentences. I found a lot of fragments in your work this time, especially in your introduction paragraph. I understand that it is easy to rush typing in order to meet due dates or to just get things finished, but always try to give yourself enough time to revise your writing. You will find that you, and others, will be much happier with your writing if you do. It pays off!

    Overall, great job again! Just remember: allow yourself time to edit and revise. Talk to you soon!!

    1. Chloe,
      Thank you for the advice again, I have worked on my sentence structure and my grammar like you said. Next time I will try to make compound sentences instead of small run on sentences. On my next essay I will try not to have as many fragments and instead of having simple sentences I will have try to make them into a compound sentence. And I will revise because I have noticed I make simple mistakes and I loose points for it so I will revise so I can get the best grade possible, I shouldn’t loose points for silly mistakes so revising would wise.
      Thanks again Emilee

      1. Emilee,

        It seems that you have a good understanding of how to fix your writing. This capability to reflect upon your writing is a good step in the writing process, and will ultimately benefit you later on with other book reviews and works. I specifically like how you would revise your run on sentences so that they are compound sentences and how you plan to improve your simple sentences. You show dedication to improvement, a great trait of any writer or student. Good Job!


  2. Emillee, this is a great draft! There are a few things I would work on:

    – You have multiple run on sentences. For instance in your opening paragraph you have, “The characters are real life relatable people you have the hardworking father John, the loving mother Jenny and three children Patrick, Connor and Colleen and their pet Marley.” Remember, every time the reader should take a breathe, you should add a comma or a period. In this case, I would make this two separate sentences. “The characters are real life relatable people. You have the hardworking father John, the loving mother Jenny, and the three children…” Go back and look for other instances where creating separate sentences or adding commas would enhance your writing!

    – There are also a few places where you are missing words, I can tell what words you meant to say though. Try going back and reading your review out loud to catch places where words are missing. An example would be in your second sentence, “The Grogan family dealt with one a daily basis” – I can see that it should say, “one ON a daily basis”

    You did some great work in your paragraphs! I especially enjoyed the paragraph in which you talk about the baby talk. In the paragraph on character personalities, maybe you could add some quotes (to further your audience’s understanding of how well he described them). Also, I would love to hear a personal perspective on how the theme of this book gave you a different outlook on life. Can’t wait to read your next draft!

    1. Kristen,
      I will take your advice and work on my run on sentences. I loose points on my essays for run ons and uncompleted sentences. And I should have reread my essay before posting it because spelling mistakes are simple and very easy to fix. Thank you for saying you liked how I talked about baby talk and next time I will try to include more quotes, also thank you for the advice which I will use in the future.

      1. Emilee,
        You are very welcome! Just remember, writing is a PROCESS. There are no good and bad writers, there are just experienced and non-experienced. Just like sports or musical instruments, practice makes perfect! The more you practice, the better you get. I used to have a habit of missing words or especially writing words twice twice. <—– (like that) The advice I gave you on reading your writing out loud is not one that I just give lightly, I am a senior in college and still use the same process! It may seem silly, but I promise it helps. I know you may have trouble being able to do this in class, but hopefully you have time that you can do this at home. Try it and let me know how it works!
        I'm excited to read your next review,

  3. For starters, I’m glad you enjoyed this book after you didn’t like Bridge to Terabithia. Your hook caught my attention, but no where in the review did you explain why Marley was the world’s worst dog; you mention that Marley taught the family many things, yet there are no examples of what or how the dog affected their lives. I liked the paragraph about the characters because I also love it when authors are very descriptive about how characters look and act. You say that Jenny’s personality changed when she became pregnant, but how? Was she happy or depressed? Elaborating on these things really help a reader (especially one that has never read the book) understand what you liked about the characters. I loved the quote you used to represent the theme of the book, but how did the family live this way, and how did Marley change their perspectives on life? Good job on using specific examples in your vocabulary paragraph; I can definitely see how using the children’s real language gave you a deeper connection with the book since it is more realistic. Be as detailed throughout the review as you were in this paragraph, and you’d have an even better paper. Keep reading, writing, and improving–you’re doing a great job!


  4. Sarah,
    On my next essay I will work my essay around with my hook to make it all come together. What are better hooks you think I should have used instead? On my next essay I will use a better hook and give even more quotes. Thank you for the advice and thank you for saying I’m doing a great job!

    1. Emilee,

      I haven’t read this book, so I’m not sure exactly what the best hook would be. Based on what you talked about in your review, I believe a hook such as “Have you ever had a pet affect your family’s perspective on life?” would really tie your paper together. I’m glad you have a positive attitude on improving; so much of my writing today depends on revision based on feedback from my peers and professors.

      Keep up the good work!

      1. Sarah,
        I think “Have you ever had a pet affect your family’s perspective on life?” would have made a better hook since that’s what I talked about. If you have anymore advice just let me know!
        Thank you

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