Thursday, April 15, 2010

Boys, Bears, And A Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald [Book Inspection] [YA]

Plot Sketch: Jenna is a pivotal member of the student-run Green Teen organization at her high school in New Jersey. She looks out for nature in any way she can, and even sports an oh so controversial Greenpeace tee. Her best friend, Olivia is also part of the group. When Jenna's parents decide to spend the summer apart, and by apart we mean continents apart, Jenna gets stuck in the middle. Not wanting to spend her summer thinking about the potential consequences of her parents' separation, she begs to be able to visit her godmother, Susie, in Canada. She finally gets her parents' consent and heads off on an adventure in a small town in the Canadian Rockies. She starts off by being picked up hours late and making a horrible first impression with the boys, but sets out on a journey that helps her learn what nature really is all about, and that journey helps her mature enough to deal with things on the homefront.

Verdict: BOYS, BEARS, AND A SERIOUS PAIR OF HIKING BOOTS is a fast read, one that I found quite enjoyable. I have strong opinions about environmentalism and nature, and was worried that politics might creep into the story. I was very happy to see that they didn't, and that the story was more of a coming-of-age tale than anything. There were a few points that I didn't feel were wrapped up nicely (mostly re: Olivia), which I hope means we'll hear more about Jenna in another book. If not, then I'm a little disappointed, but not overly so. I'm still thinking about the characters in this story, even after reading three books since I've put this one down. I think the characters were done beautifully, but as I said before would have liked to have seen some more finality in some of the plot pieces. Overall though, I would recommend this to you. This is a nice break from paranormal lit, especially since there are several romantically squee-worthy passages. I especially adored the passages where she used the wilderness survival guide as a guide to life, they were great!

The Gauntlet:

Location: Stillwater, British Columbia(I think), Canada
Main Character: Jenna. I like Jenna. I relate to Jenna on more than one level and think that Abby McDonald did a great job of creating a real, likable character in her when she could have so easily come across as flaky or superficial.
Favorite Character: Honestly? Reeve. There's still so much mystery about that boy. I wanna know more please. PLEASE?
Time to Finish: Took me a few hours, great read!
Got Stuck On: Didn't get stuck.
Would Change: See Favorite Character: section...
Favorite Line: I can't repeat it, it's a total spoiler... but if you've read it already and still wanna know, email me!
Good for Monster? Nope. Definitely on the chicklit side.
People Who Will Like This: fans of The Nature Conservancy, hikers, people who eat Kashi, those who know what I'm talking about when I say, "I'm just gonna grab my Chacos."
People Who Won't Like This: die hard environmentalists, CEOs, people who eat ribeyes for breakfast, people who only have Prada in their closets.
Chapters: 36. Good lengths. I wouldn't change them.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Publish Date: April 13, 2010
ISBN-10: 0763643823

Author's Website:

Acquire It:
Book Depository
Changing Hands


Beth F said...

This is new to me but sounds like something this old camper might like.

elizabeth said...

I've had my eye on this book. Hope to read it one day. Thanks for the review :)

Samantha said...

Oooo, consider it added to my buy list! This is totally a book I would read. :)

GABY said...

I have been wondering if I would like this book...Thanks for the review. I think I'll read it.

Robby said...

I must read this book. I must! :]

Kirsten said...

it looks like a great book :)

bookaholic said...

It sounds like a great glad you reviewed it :)