Sunday, May 2, 2010

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots review

Jacket description (from ARC):
"Seventeen-year-old Jenna may hail from the 'burbs of New Jersey, but environmental activism is her life. So when the opportunity arises to spend the summer in the wilds of Canada with her hippie godmother, Susie, this Green Teen jumps at the chance to explore this nature she's heard so much about-and the cute, plaid-wearing boys she's certain roam wild and free. But after a few unpleasant run-ins with local wildlife )from a larger-than-life moose to Susie's sullen Goth stepdaughter, Fiona, to a hot but hostile boy named Reeve), Jenna realizes that her long-held ideals, like vegetarianism and conservation, don't play so well with this population of real outdoorsmen.

With the help of a dusty survival guide, Jenna begins to navigate the wilderness, and those who call it home-but can she learn to navigate the surprising turns of her heart?"

This is the second book I've read by author Abby McDonald, the first being Sophomore Swap, and the second I was completely pleased with. Like Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, and Meg Cabot, McDonald has turned into one of those authors that just get teen girls. She understands how to write about them, their dialogue, their thought processes, and the situations they put themselves in and then creates these awesome stories that read as if they were from a real, modern day girl's diary.

Jenna is a realistic character, with a unique (for her young age) passion for the environment that I admire and really hope rubs off on other teens. Her obsession with saving the planet is challenged and she becomes a bit lost within herself, which she is slowly able to overcome. There's a bit of romance, some family drama, environmentalism (without being overkill), and just a real "feel good" vibe throughout the whole story.

One thing I really liked about certain parts of the book was the inclusion of quotes at the beginning of chapters from the mountain-man survival guide Jenna uses to help her figure out the small town characters and their quirkiness throughout the book. They weren't at the beginning of every chapter, which I think would have been great (though I did have an ARC, maybe they added it in the finished copy), but they definitely made me chuckle each time I found one. Clever addition, for sure.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5
Definitely a chick-lit novel and a really nice one. Great characters, good plot. Hand it to Dessen and Scott fans. Oooh and I loved the title :)

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
Abby McDonald
304 pages
Young Adult
April 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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Sarah said...

I really enjoyed this book. There was just something about the wilds of Canada, the boys, the situation itself. It was all kind of fun. I think this will be an easy sell this summer at my library. Good review!

Peaceful Reader said...

This one sounds great! I'll be excited for its release!