The Right Side, Spencer Quinn: Book Review

the right side spencer quinn book reviewAtria Books / Spencer Quinn
The Right Side Book Cover The Right Side
Spencer Quinn
Adult Fiction

LeAnne Hogan went to Afghanistan as a rising star in the military, and came back a much lesser person, mentally and physically. Now missing an eye and with half her face badly scarred, she can barely remember the disastrous desert operation that almost killed her. She is confused, angry, and suspects the fault is hers, even though nobody will come out and say it.

Shattered by one last blow—the sudden death of her hospital roommate, Marci—LeAnne finds herself on a fateful drive across the country, reflecting on her past and seeing no future. Her native land is now unfamiliar, recast in shadow by her one good eye, her damaged psyche, and her weakened body. Arriving in the rain-soaked small town in Washington state that Marci had called home, she makes a troubling discovery: Marci’s eight-year-old daughter has vanished. When a stray dog—a powerful, dark, unreadable creature, no one’s idea of a pet—seems to adopt LeAnne, a surprising connection is formed and something shifts inside her. As she becomes obsessed with finding Marci’s daughter, LeAnne and her inscrutable canine companion are drawn into danger as dark and menacing as her last Afghan mission. This time she has a strange but loyal fellow traveler protecting her blind side.

This review contains quotes from the book.

*Special thanks to Atria for allowing us to read Spencer Quinn’s The Right Side.

Spencer Quinn has written a moving novel about a girl finding a dog that becomes more than a companion. The dog becomes a lifeline.

LeAnne Hogan went to Afghanistan after joining the military and became the one to watch in her unit because of how talented she was. But then an operation almost kills her, and it changes her mentally and physically. She lost one of her eyes and half of her face has a few scars on it. On top of all that, she cannot remember what exactly happened/went wrong when she was in the desert operation.

“LeAnne tried to remember the last time she’d seen him. In the chow line just before that last mission, a mission he hadn’t been on because of some quirk of scheduling she no longer remembered. But not the point. The point was that at that hour, that night, she’d still looked like her old self. Therefore… therefore he’d seen her since? She had no memory of that.”

— excerpt from Spencer Quinn’s The Right Side

When she was in the hospital, she met a girl named Marci. They became each other confidants while there. Later on, you find out that Marci died from internal complications. After being released from the hospital, LeAnne decides to go to Washington State to see where Marci was from. When LeAnne arrives, she finds out that Marci’s eight-year-old daughter disappeared. LeAnne decides to go on a hunt to find her, and while she does that she comes upon a stray dog. LeAnne becomes very attached to this stray dog and they go on a mission to find Marci’s daughter. LeAnne and the dog go on a dangerous path to uncover the truth about what happened.

My favorite part of the novel was the bond between LeAnne and the dog. I love a good dog and owner story, and man this one gave me all the feels. I could feel the love they had for each other. The dog really helped LeAnne come to terms with losing Marci and her eye. The dog also helped give her the strength she needed to go on a hunt for Marci’s daughter. I recommend this to people who need a book that will make you happy and sad all in one. This book had me on an emotional rollercoaster that I never wanted to get off of.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.