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Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots Hardcover – April 13, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Jenna and the Green Teens are on a mission to save the planet. They are a force in their New Jersey community and a positive voice for activism. They even have some serious plans for the summer, until a series of events results in Jenna spending the summer with her godmother, Susie, and her new husband and hostile stepdaughter in Canada. Shortly after she arrives, she's sorry she came. Susie, renovating her home into a bed-and-breakfast, cannot afford Jenna's conservation suggestions. The local teens, mostly boys, see her as a big city girl with ideas that focus on the planet, but ignore people. In a town hurt by environmental regulations, Jenna begins to realize that there is more than one side to the issue. But instead of forgetting about her concerns altogether, she takes a different approach to help the B and B and the town. She focuses on nature and the beauty around her to draw tourists, and the local teens buy in. While some of the incidents seem a bit far-fetched, the relationships among the characters are authentic. Jenna ceases to be a militant conservationist and becomes an introspective one. She makes the best choices she can for the people around her, the environment, and herself. Her story will have strong appeal for teens who like realistic fiction with great relationships and perhaps a hint of romance.—Melyssa Malinowski, Kenwood High School, Baltimore, MD
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Jenna, an active member of the Green Teen club, spends a summer with her godmother in the woods of Canada. She gets flustered when the outdoorsy folk don’t think much of her eco-posturing, but more importantly, why is the gorgeous rock-climber Reeve such a jerk? A few kisses later the Reeve problem is mostly solved, and Jenna learns to temper her superficial environmentalism with real-world practicality. More for readers who don’t mind the green theme than those actively looking for eco-friendly reads, this book makes good light reading for teens destined for a summer in the woods rather than at the beach. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman
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An outdoorsy contemporary, with a Jersey girl in the summery Canadian wilderness!? I was all for it. And honestly, the title was quite intriguing and made me laugh. I also thought the "Green Teen" spin was kind of a unique story element. All in all, I really enjoyed Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots. It was cute, light, and full of nature.
Jenna is an activist for preserving the environment. I liked reading about a heroine that had such strong values at such a young age. She is driven, and has goals for her future. I identified with her because I also had my future planned out as a teenager. And like her, my goals changed or were added to. I also liked that she was clean cut and had a desire to stay healthy by eating properly and staying away from drugs. AND she chose to go live in the wilderness over spending a summer poolside in Florida! She's just a refreshing character, and stands out from the bulk of YA contemporary heroines.
So, she heads off to Canada to stay with her godmother, Susie, and help her spruce up a quaint little B&B in the woods. I really like her godmother! She kind of reminds me of Meryl Streep's character in Mama Mia! She's laid back, doesn't stress to much, lets thing roll off her, and is a lot of fun to talk to. I also like Susie's husband. He's a bit quiet and removed, but he has a good heart. Then there's Fiona, Susie's stepdaughter, who is pretty much a brat. Every book has to have opposition, and Fiona plays that role on her own. I liked watching her change as Jenna's perkiness and conscience wore off on her. And THEN we have the three, cute wilderness boys. They spend their summer hanging out with Jenna and making a documentary of sorts about all the fun you can have in that area. Their goal is to put it on a website and attract tourists to the B&B, rather than the high-end spa up the mountain. They spend lots of time swimming, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, etc. I loved reading about all the fun they have doing things I'm too chicken to do!
To sum things up, this book is really cute! I enjoyed seeing Jenna change into a more realistic, mature girl. I think everyone has a pivotal moment in their life when they really decide what they believe in. This summer did just that for Jenna. Plus, she made some memories, made some friends, strengthened her family bonds, and even found herself in the middle of some romance. Was the book memorable? Probably not. But I enjoyed my time reading it, and would recommend it as a fun contemporary romance.
With her best friend and family away, she enters to small town Stillwater, Canada. There she meets with her godmother's stepdaughter, Fiona (who's totally not like her at all; she is rude and "emo"), and three amazing guys: Ethan, Reese and Grady. She feels out of place, but tries to be friendly and fit in with the boys and what they do.
I really wanted to read this book and I'm glad I did. It was a very lay back, enjoy the sun, light read. I'm really bad at picturing the scenery when described in a book, but you totally felt in the woods and you could picture the river and all the nature in this book. Maybe a mosquito bite or two, too.
I liked Jenna, the main character. She's not shy and goes and makes friends easily. I really liked that, that she was open to new things and was always ready to help, be productive and be a part of something. She may feel insecure inside but she didn't show it. She was always up beat and cheery and perky. Sometimes she was a little clumsy, though and if she was holding things, they ended up on the floor.
Then there's Fiona, who Jenna tries to befriend from the start and she is not having it. I really liked her, Fiona and her grouchy ways and dark moods. I wanted to read about her thoughts and learn more about why she was that way.
The boys. Oh, the boys. They were such normal, almost realistic, funny guys. Each one has their own personality and move the plot along. Of course, one of them lays eyes on the main character but it wasn't what you would expect for a summer "fling".
I'm not going to lie, there were points in the book that I just wanted to skip and looking at how many pages I had left, but at the same time, it wasn't a terrible read, you know? Specially the last pages! Oh, I was eating them up! So much drama and problem resolving, I was hooked. I laughed and got teary eyed while reading it. I even got surprised, too!
One of the things I didn't like was that the main character would stop mid sentence to give you a shock factor. I mean, I get it but that bothered me. And how the characters would say "OK" instead of "Okay". That's just me but that didn't really take out my feelings for the book.
I liked that the main character found herself and grew up, in that coming of age story kind of way. The story has its shocking moments. There were secrets to be keep, friendships to be made and problems and fears to be faced. If you want something funny, light read, "I'm in the forest! Oh, here's a lake" feeling, pick this book up!
Most recent customer reviews
After finishing a big fantasy book I felt the need to read a cute teensy YA contemporary book...Read more
Jenna is a Green Teen activist from Jersey. She is all about saving the enviroment, but when her family decide that they will be...Getting Over Garrett DelaneyGetting Over Garrett Delaney, it was a really cute story that I enjoyed reading. Really probably a 3.5 star book, but I'm feeling generous.Read more
Author: Abby McDonald
Genre: YA fiction
Publishing Information: 304 pages; April 13th, 2010 by Candlewick...Read more