Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
Copyright 2010, Candlewick Press
HOLY GOOD BOOK, BATMAN.
No seriously. I saw this title on a list on goodreads and made a mental note that should I ever see said book I wanted to pick it up. Considering my area has closed all of the bookstores in about a 20 mile radius of me, I've not seen it! Casually, as I'm walking the aisles of a convention I see it propped up on a table. I stop and squeal, excited to see it after so long! Low and behold not only is it the last copy of the book, but Abby McDonald herself is there to sign it. I could not even attempt to hold back my excitement. By the way, Abby is so incredibly nice, if you see her you should definitely stop and say hi!! So I crawl into bed Saturday night and think happily that I'll read a chapter or two and turn in. At 3 am I turned my lights off and smiled contently after finishing the book.
Jenna is out to save the world, she knows it's a hard sell to most people but Jenna recognizes that even the smallest changes can lead to a big impact! She's a vegetarian, eats only organic foods and recycling is as rudimentary as breathing. Always a good kid, Jenna tries to speak up as respectfully as she can to those around her; her friend Olivia, however, is the one with the balls. The summer before senior year, Jenna and Olivia have all kinds of Green Teens ideas. They can lobby, write to the congressmen/woman and hand out flyers on ways to save the earth. Until Jenna's parents announce their making changes this summer that include Jenna and her mom heading to her grandmothers retirement settlement for the entire summer. Olivia is headed to a collective in upstate New York to further learn ways to meditate, save the earth, you know - be one with it and all that jazz. Jenna's lost as to how she can get out of the trip until Olivia remembers that Jenna's godmother lives in Canada - in the wilderness.
After traveling many many hours by plane, bus, truck and even some walking, Jenna is finally "home." Well, if this were a warzone. Susie, Jenna's godmother, is remodeling their home to make it a Bed and Breakfast; tons of work needs to be done to get it ready on schedule. Oh and she doesn't have the time/funding to make it eco friendly. *gasp*
Run in's with the local boys, Ethan, Grady and Reeve, leave Jenna confused - Ethan is sweet and attentive, Grady barely forms words and Reeve keeps going off on her. It doesn't help that Fiona (Susie's sulking, tantrum throwing step-daughter) is evil in a bottle. Completely alone Jenna does what many of us would do - she turns to books.
When she mistakenly picks up a survival guide to the wilderness she finds that many of the ways to survive the wild can be applied to the people in her life, too bad there's no compass attached to your heart. Jenna's Teen Green dreams get on Reeve's nerves and she can't figure out why, or what to say to him to make it better. She agrees to help the boys on a web project to drum up business for the struggling town which leads her on adventures in hiking, kayaking and even rock climbing! Though she's reluctant to try, she finds herself willing to push her boundaries and live a little with the guys.
Throughout the summer she learns deep secrets, helps mend hearts and puts hers on the line. She also starts to wonder about how hard she's always pushed her Green Teen agenda on people, and why she even joined. Is compromise ok or should you hold true to an ideal, unwilling to bend?
This was an entirely too lovely book. I could not put it down. Page after page I waited for a kiss, for a glance, I waited to see if Jenna would get eaten by a bear or to check in with Olivia's status. The boys are charming and realistic - especially in the fact that they are SO different and yet they are best friends. It doesn't hurt that Ethan and Reeve sound incredibly hot. Especially Reeve. Holy goodness. Thank you, Abby for descriptions of t-shirts and what lies beneath :)
This is my first McDonald novel and I promise, you will be seeing more from her on this blog. Brilliant!