Book Review: “Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley


Warning: This book review contains spoilers.

lily-and-the-octopus-9781501126222_hr-1Every dog owner can agree on one thing- there’s no love that compares to the one between humans and our four-legged canine best friend. Steven Rowley’s debut novel, Lily and the Octopus, explores this relationship, providing an in-depth look at this most treasured dynamic.

The story revolves around Lily, an adorable dachshund, and (her owner) Ted Flask who go through a life-changing experience together. Told through Ted’s perspective, Lily and the Octopus exposes readers to his life as he slowly spirals down to depression and denial after noticing that his beloved dachshund has a tumor.

Throughout the story, readers will see how Ted reacted to the news. The heartbreak, humor, denial, and despite the circumstances- the lengths he goes to fight for his dog. Towards the end of the daring tale, Lily and the Octopus continues to fill the story with imagery and metaphors that immediately sweep you off to sea. 

As I was reading this book, I wanted to soak up each and every word and never have it end. I wanted to read it slowly and enjoy it because you kind of get the sense of what direction the story is headed from the very beginning (and I wasn’t wearing waterproof mascara yet! I can’t cry yet!)

So if you’re a dog lover, this should be on your top must-reads this year. I not only encourage you all to read Lily and the Octopus but to cherish it and give your canine friend a huge hug while you’re at it. Also, keep a box of tissues by your side- they’ll come in handy, trust me. Lily and the Octopus is not only one of my favorite books so far this year, but it’s definitely one I’ll pick up and enjoy again. As both a dog lover and owner, this book really hit straight through my heart.

Moreover, the book is captivating, entertaining, and brings all the feels. Rowley’s way of storytelling makes you feel like you really know the characters, as if Ted’s your neighbor or best friend. You want to do anything for Lily as much as Ted wants to. You’re going through Lily’s uphill battle with her health, every step of the way. You’re fighting the fight as much as Ted and Lily are and that’s what’s great about Rowley’s way of bringing the story together. He makes you feel like you’re really connected to the characters and it only makes you that much more invested in the story. Even if you don’t own a dog or aren’t particularly fond of dogs (yes, I’m looking at you cat people), I still think you’ll enjoy Lily and the Octopus and find it heartwarming through and through.

For more on Steven Rowley and his work, please click here.

Rating: 10/10

Camille lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. You will most likely find her wandering around local bookstores, going to a concert or enjoying the sights of the city by the bay. This Captain America fangirl enjoys attending book events, re-watching her favorite Disney movies and obsessing over the latest entertainment news. You can find her on Twitter @itscamille_ann.