Book Review - Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald

Wednesday April 28, 2010

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
by Abby McDonald
April 13, 2010
Candlewick Press
From GoodReads: Can a boy-hungry Jersey girl survive the wilds of Canada with her eco-identity intact? A witty new YA novel from the author of SOPHOMORE SWITCH.

Jenna may hail from the ’burbs of New Jersey, but Green Teen activism is her life. So when her mom suggests they spend the summer at Grandma’s Florida condo, Jenna pleads instead to visit her hippie godmother, Susie, up in rural Canada. Jenna is psyched at the chance to commune with this nature she’s heard about — and the cute, plaid-wearing boys she’s certain must roam there. 

But after a few run-ins with local wildlife (from a larger-than-life moose to Susie’s sullen Goth stepdaughter to a hot but hostile boy named Reeve), Jenna gets the idea that her long-held ideals, like vegetarianism and conservation, don’t play so well with this population of real outdoorsmen. A dusty survival guide offers Jenna amusing tips on navigating the wilderness — but can she learn to navigate the turns of her heart?

Review: Jenna has big plans for the summer with her "Green Teen" friend Olivia as an intern for Earth Now...that is until her parents tell her the good news...her dad is going overseas for his job and mom is going to stay at grandma's. Not only destroying her summer plans but something tells Jenna that her parents just don't seem as happy as they used to be.

Thankfully Jenna talks her mom into sending her to visit godmother Susie up in Canada where she also meets Susie's new husband Adam and his daughter Fiona ( a very cranky angsty teen who listens to angry music and whose black hair is "dyed with cheap drugstore stuff so that it sucks all light and joy into its vortex of blackness.")

While basking in all the wilderness glory and despite being a little scared to go into the woods by herself, Jenna meets brothers Ethan and Grady and friend Reeve...all friends of Fiona who all grew up together in the very small town of Stillwater.  The boys give Jenna a hard time at first, making her feel like an outsider, a feeling she despises. Giving it her all she gets them to warm up to her, especially after she enlists their help in making a website for her godmothers new B & B.

I really enjoyed this fun. teen chick-lit read with heart. I especially enjoyed watching Jenna mature through out the book as she went from hardcore environmental activist to understanding that things are sometimes a little bit more complicated than they seem. She comes across as a truly genuine honest and loyal person. She also learns some surprising truths about her new friends and falls hard in love for the first time.

A fun, easy read for ages 14 and up (minimal references to sex and a few curse words.)

Visit the author's website to find out about her other books!


Christina T said...

Good review. I really enjoyed this too. I will have to check out her other books.

Robby said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this. :]