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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Wanted by Jo Ho is the first in the Chase Ryder series. Chase Ryder is fourteen and living on the streets when one night as she scrounges for food, she discovers a dog in the same situation. After he brings her food and saves her life, she realizes there's more to this dog, Bandit, than meets the eye. The two quickly bond, and learn to communicate as Chase learns a startling secret about this seemingly ordinary dog. After being attacked and with Bandit wounded, Chase finds the first vet she can, the grieving Jake Sullivan. Sully sees a girl and dog that need his help, but he doesn't expect to see a warning sign for the dog that says he's carrying a virus. When they're attacked and his home is set on fire, Sully knows that he must do all he can to protect Chase and Bandit. Together the three go on the run, and try to piece together where Bandit came from while trying to stay alive.
Jo Ho has an interesting format, using quick chapters, two first person narrators, and even a few third person perspectives. It's reminiscent of film, with the chapters stylized similar to scenes, but with in-depth character emotions. The writing is smart and creative, and somehow Ho depicts the villain in a sympathetic light. The ragtag team members are a perfect fit for each other: Chase has run away from home, Bandit has escaped an animal testing facility, and Sully recently lost his wife. Each of them is lost, and hindered by their pasts, but when they come together they form a bond that allows for them to build a makeshift family. Finding each other is what they needed, not just to save Bandit, but to give each of them a purpose and a second chance. Wanted is a gripping action adventure with friendship, danger, and second chances.