"One doesn't expect humor to evolve from such a serious theme; but, it does. One doesn't expect Strays to use the intersection of two fearful personalities to explore positive change and courage - yet, it does. And any who anticipate Strays to be a dog story alone may be disappointed only because it's so much more; it focuses equally on pet and person, and the situations that get them into trouble.
Young adults who want a story of more than an animal rescue or a sixteen-year-old's angst will find Strays a compelling saga."
- D. Donovan, Senior Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
"...a source of comfort for angry teens."
- Kirkus Reviews
"...an engaging book about a journey of self-discovery that should inspire readers of all ages"
"Strays is a quietly moving story about starting over, and the powerful bond that can form between animals and humans. Caloyeras’ prose is instantly captivating, and readers will feel for Iris’s agony and her pain. Iris is a multi-faceted character — as are the others we are introduced to throughout the story. These fully-realized individuals — both people and dogs — who populate the story are what really bring Strays to life."
- Novel Novice (read the full review here)
"Strays is so much more than a story about a young, angry girl who learns to trust others and accept their help. It’s about grief, compassion, understanding and forgiveness....Strays touched my heart and I would be willing to bet it will do the same for most people who read it."
- Susan Barton, eBook Review Gal (read the full review here)
"... the reader can see the human-animal bond grow and enjoy Iris’s growth and turning points as well…a well-written story and a very enjoyable read."
- Dianne Rich, Seattle pi (read the full review here)
"This is a sweet story about a girl and a dog and how hard it is to let go of the past in order to get on with the future. It’s a story about trust, redemption and acceptance [...] Readers young and old will appreciate this one.
- Book Chatter (read the full review here)
"...the author did a great job capturing the human animal bond and this would be a great book to share with the young adults in your life."
- Preston Speaks (read the full review here)
"Over the course of the book, Iris comes to terms with her mother’s death, learns how to reconnect with her father (thanks to court-appointed therapy), realizes that the quiet troublemaking boy in her new high school isn’t as much of a loser as her friends made him out to be and learns that facing your problems head-on is always better than ignoring them. I really enjoyed reading Straysand look forward to more novels by Jennifer Caloyeras."
- Leigh-Ann Brodber at The Young Folks (read the full review here)
"I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Caloyeras captures the angst and discomfort of teenage years, especially for kids who have had a rough childhood. And she weaves into the story some very real dogs, each of whom has come from a punishing life. They are all strays of sorts. And there is hope for all of them."
- Robin Lamont at The Hen House (read the full review here)
"Strays is a coming of age story that is as original as it is revealing with a heroine who is highly relatable. Author Jennifer Caloyeras' depiction of a young girl's struggles to find a way to move beyond her angst is a refreshingly honest tale which will appeal to readers of all ages. Caloyeras' comfortable writing style makes reading this book feel a bit like curling up with a fuzzy blanket. - This book is highly recommended and has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval."
- Literary Classics (read the full review here)
Blog Visits, Interviews and Other Press:
October 27, 2016 Book Riot top 10 books for dog lovers
July 25th, 2016 Life Mastery Radio radio interview
December 15, 2015 Snowflakes Arise article / Q & A
October 29th, 2015 The Los Angeles Times article
October 27, 2015 Lit Lovers reading guide
September 21, 2015 The Children's Book Review interview
August 17, 2015 Writers & Other Animals guest post
July 30, 2015 Ashland Creek Press guest post
July 12, 2015 The Young Folks interview
July 12, 2015 Writers & Other Animals interview
June 17, 2015 The Book Rat guest post
June 12, 2015 The Brentwood News article
June 8, 2015 YA Promo Central interview
June 2, 2015 The Penman Review interview
June 1, 2015 The Los Feliz Ledger article
May 27, 2015 Dear Teen me guest post
May 21, 2015 Novel Novice Q & A
May 20, 2015 Novel Novice guest post (classroom material)
May 19, 2015 Novel Novice guest post
May 15, 2015 Life with Dogs Q & A
May 14, 2015 Coffee With A Canine interview
May 13, 2015 Q & A with Ashland Creek Press interview
Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Strays
Silver medal winner for young adult category.
Pat Santi Memorial Friends of Rescue Award, nominee, February 2016, Strays
Dog Writers Association of America, New York
Writer-in-Residence, January 2016 - March 2016
The Annenberg Community Beach House, Santa Monica, California
Literary Classics International Book Awards, 2015, Strays
Strays: Gold Award for young adult novel dealing with health / self-esteem
Strays: Silver Award for young adult novel
Creative Capacity Fund¹s Quick Grant Recipient, 2010, Strays
Center for Cultural Innovation, San Francisco
Cal State Los Angeles Representative
WAGS / UMO Distinguished Master¹s Thesis Award, 2004
Longlisted, May, 2016 Gertrude Stein Award for Short Fiction
Finalist, May, 2016
Cogswell Writing Competition (Judge Alan Handler a.k.a. Lemony Snickett)
Shortlisted, February 2016
Santa Fe Writer's Project, Santa Fe, New Mexico
New Stories from the Midwest, Anthology
Booth Story Prize, judge: Roxanne Gay
The San Francisco Book Awards, Best Unpublished Short Fiction Collection
Hollywood Book festival, Best Young Adult Novel
Honorable Mention, 2010
New Millennium Eriting Competition
Narrative Magazine Writing Competition
Honorable Mention, 2008
"The Sound of an Infinite Gesture"
New Millennium Writing Competition
"The Sound of an Infinite Gesture"
Glimmer Train Press Short Story Award For New Writers