Do you like love stories? If you do, you’ll want to read The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary. Because that’s what this is – a love story. It’s about the love within a family, the love of a family for its pets, and the love of Zee and Zoey for each other and for their family (both two and four legged).
Reading The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey is like sitting down with Deb and going through her family album. The photography (which was mostly done by Deb’s fiancé, Dan) is exquisite. I loved the pictures in the book. They really capture the personalities of Zee, Zoey, the kittens, and everyone else in the pictures. The book is printed in full color on high quality paper that definitely does justice to the photography and the beauty of these very special cats.
The book is written in a conversational tone. The beginning jumps around between places, time, pets, and family members, giving us background on the family before getting to the meat of the story. It’s called The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey, but there were times I thought it should have been called The Chronicles of Deb Barnes. The book follows Deb’s life as she changes states, jobs, homes, goes through divorce, finds a new person to share her life, goes through a hurricane, gets laid off, and starts on a new adventure! The one staple through it all are the animals that share Deb’s life. You can tell on every page how much these animals are a part of the family and how much they’re cherished.
When the book reaches the point where Zoey joins the family, the focus changes and the book does become more about living with Zee and Zoey, the bond between them, and how special they are. These two cats bonded with each other in a way seldom seen. To them, life was an adventure and they explored it together. Then the kittens joined the picture and the fun really began. Everything was new to them; every day brought new wonders to experience. I think this quote from the book describes it best – “The only thing I can justly compare it to, is the innocent wonder of a small infant or child – the endearing quality of one who is so mesmerized and smitten with the joy of just being, with no expectations, prejudices, or previous tainted judgment, that they are completely incapable of perceiving life, other than through rose-colored glasses.” (pg. 78.) Their approach to life truly exemplified “a journey of the extraordinarily ordinary”.
The book’s strength is also its weakness. Because of its conversational nature, the beginning does tend to meander and jump back and forth through time. I got somewhat confused trying to keep track of who was who and what time period was being talked about. It took a while to get to the point where Zee and Zoey were the focus of the story. There are also a number of run-on sentences and glaring typos and grammatical errors throughout the book. Most probably wouldn’t notice them, but part of mom’s job is to check reports for this kind of stuff so she notices these things. I enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey despite its faults. If the gorgeous photography and stunning layout aren’t enough to make you want this book, the obvious love exhibited on every page will keep you reading. This book isn’t just for cat lovers. It’s for anyone looking for a story about facing adversity with grace and love. It truly is about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.
You can order The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary directly from the Zee and Zoey website. http://www.zeezoey.com/the-book.php. The website itself is worth the visit. It has the same gorgeous design as the book. It features information about the book, photos and videos, a link to the blog, and other information.
Make sure you come back next week. It’s Candy’s and EK’s gotcha day and I’m doing a commentathon. Mom’s going to give me 50 cents for each comment. Half the green papers I get are going to Duncan’s Place and the other half is going to the Santa Paws Drive. I need to get lots and lots of comments so please spread the word.
Have a great week everyone!
Disclosure – Deb Barnes provided the book to me at no charge for review purposes. The opinions in this post are entirely mine.