If you've just finished a thick, meaningful and important book, and you need something to decompress before you start the next weighty tome, then this might be just the book for you. It is just adorable. A beautiful story about the many lives of a beautiful dog. It strikes the right balance between doggie nature and anthropomorphism in its telling.
I read a review of the movie that waxed lyrically about its shallowness, how it would have been a much better movie with more of a focus on the absurdities of humans and pretty soundly panned it, even to the point where the dog's beloved owner being male was viewed as being some slight on women generally. I haven't seen the movie yet, but going from the book, I think the critic simply missed the point (the kid had to be either a boy or a girl, and the dog returns as a female in its most masculine-like reincarnation - a police dog). The story isn't about any of that. It's not about how silly us humans are, nor does it have anything to say about gender roles etc, etc, etc. It is a story about a puppy dogs first love, true fidelity and the doggie quest for a meaningful life. The quest is simple and touching, but no less valuable for that, in fact, its simplicity makes it more touching.
So if you want a story to just make you smile, and you have ever loved and owned a pet, then this is the book for you.