Sam makes this book for me. Anderson writes a dog voice that sounds almost exactly like my dog, Sylvie. (Yes, she "talks" to my daughters. In fact, she texts them frequently.) Like almost all Anderson titles, there is always one moment where I burst into tears; in this case it was this interchange between Ophelia and Sam: "Why are you following me?" "Because you are broken and lost and I licked you, so now we are friends." The detailed information about Haven, the wish granting process, fairy names, and other specifics (from uniforms to housing to procedures) are so complete that Ophelia and her world come to life brilliantly. The details about Sam and Gabe and Anna are very sweet, but I don't want to give too many of those away.
The world building of Haven and Ophelia's role within it is exquisitely done, but starting the book with Ophelia in the midst of her troubles in Kettering would have interested reluctant readers more quickly. Kasarah is the sort of character that middle grade readers love because she is rude and snarky, just like they like to imagine they could be!
I adore Anderson's work, and this is a good read alike for Gemeinhart's Good Dog in many ways, but also contains enough magical realism to delight fans of Whitesides' The Wishmakers, Kessler's Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins and would be a good next step for readers who enjoyed Mlynowski's Whatever After books or Kinsella's Fairy Mom and Me.