Age Group: Young Adult
Other Books by This Author: Sophomore Switch, The Popularity Rules
Received From: Publisher/Library Thing Early Reviewers
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 outdoors-men. A dusty survival guide offers Jenna amusing tips on navigating the wilderness — but can she learn to navigate the turns of her heart?
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is one of those books. One that I pick up thinking it will be fluff and a quick mindless read. This is also one of those books that I was really wrong about! I should really stop having these preconceptions but then what fun would it be when a book really surprises me? Because that’s what this book did.
In the blurb up there it says “Can a boy-hungry Jersey girl survive the wilds of Canada” I think that is what threw me off about this book. I was expecting a boy crazy, eco obsessed girl. That wasn’t Jenna at all. She was a bit clueless in the beginning but with Abby McDonald’s incredible character development skills, she was anything but clueless at the end. I loved Jenna! Maybe not at first but it didn’t take me long to warm up to her. Honestly, I loved all the characters. Reeve was appropriately swoon worthy. Fiona was wonderfully bitchy and all the other characters were perfect.
The story had many layers. It was about staying true to yourself and your ideals. It’s about family issues and friendship. There was even some romance through in there for good measure. The writing was fabulous. I’m going to have to get the other books by McDonald asap! I had a lot of fun going on all those wild adventures with Jenna. I recommend this book to everyone and may you be as pleasantly surprised as I was.