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Posted January 29, 2013
It's her first year of teaching and things just aren't going wel
It's her first year of teaching and things just aren't going well for Carolyn Jenkins. With a class full of kids who can barely read their own name and a principal who is out to get her, Carolyn is struggling. Also stuck in a relationship that should have ended long ago, Carolyn needs to make some changes. Then she meets a mysterious man and things really start to get crazy. Their relationship is filled with ups and downs, and things between her and her friends are becoming strained as well. Carolyn is finally forced to take a stand and find out what she really wants and who she really is.
I loved Carolyn immediately. She is quirky, spunky and full of energy. She had very quick wit and wasn't afraid to use it. I just know that we would make excellent friends. Carolyn worked very hard and loved her students, even though they didn't seem to care much about her. She teaches in a dangerous area and even her young students are fighting and bringing weapons to school.
As if this is all Carolyn's fault, she is constantly being reprimanded and ridiculed by her boss, the principal, Klein. He seems out to get her. Everything she does is wrong and he makes sure to let her know on a daily basis. My word I just could not stand him. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see him finally get what he had coming. I don't know how Carolyn could handle it, I would have punched him within a day.
Aside from her work life, Carolyn lived with her two fellow teachers Nina and Laura. I liked them for the most part, although I don't think they were as supportive of Carolyn as they could have been. Of course, friends fight and argue and sometimes they say things they shouldn't. This made for some interesting drama and I really enjoyed watching the group's dynamics and how they interacted.
My favorite part of this story was, of course, the romance. When Carolyn meets her mysterious man known to us as "Money", things take a hilarious turn. What I loved about Carolyn most was that she is awkward and it shows the most when around Money. She can't seem to stop saying and doing ridiculous things and this makes for the best scenes.
Basically what I'm saying here is: this book is awesome. It's not just funny, but it also tackles some very important issues including racism, education and stereotypes. I'm being completely honest when I tell you that I couldn't put this book down and I often found the husband staring at me and wondering why I was giggling to myself. The author did an amazing job writing about heavy topics while keeping the story light and realistic.
I can't recommend this book enough. If you are looking for an engaging, clever and witty read, this is definitely it!
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 26, 2013
¿Learning and Love 101¿¿ In this latest work of Ms. Shoop, we
“Learning and Love 101…”
In this latest work of Ms. Shoop, we are introduced to Carolyn Jenkins, who has taken a position at a school on the D.C/Maryland border, which is world’s apart from her teaching experience in Pittsburgh, Pa. She now has a class comprised of half fifth graders and half sixth graders. Just because their age denotes the class to which they are assigned, does not mean they are academically prepared for its challenges. Carolyn’s class is a wild mix of personalities, from the girls who are 11-12--going on 30, and the boys, some of whom want to express their personal philosophies without appearing weak, while some bookish souls relish in turning the classroom quiet into a center of debate with their opinions of life, love and religion. All have one thing in common, they want to break out of their surroundings, packing their hopes and dreams and running away from the area’s defeating decay and the gangs who inhabit it. It is difficult enough to hold their attention and make some progress in learning—but when wild card with a soul, LeAndre Nardo gets in a tussle with a hot-tempered classmate and produces 2 guns, one which fires, hitting Carolyn’s booted foot, all hell breaks loose. Snarky, slimy Principal Klein had not been supportive prior to this incident and now is increasingly nasty, degrading and super critical—blaming and writing Carolyn up for every minor detail, including not turning her classroom lights on in the afternoon when she struggles to inspire and equip her students for their future, especially in their reading and comprehending skills. Depressed and discouraged, Carolyn decided to forego meeting roommates Nina and Laura at “The Green Turtle” and finds herself seated on a stool at a dive bar named “The Tuna”. She accidentally meets a distinguished-looking gentleman who she secretly nicknames “Money”. Something between them clicks, but there is the matter of her supposed boyfriend Alex to contend with. She has been meaning to break up with him as she knows they are not right for each other. Alex is looking for a “Martha Stewart Wannabe” and that is just not her! Will she break up with Alex, with “Money” taking his place? The author has captured the zany characters so you will feel like you know them and will want to slap Klein “Upside his head”, shake some sense into Fionna, make a chain out of snoopy Bobby Jo’s paper clips , will discover some surprises about Nina and Laura and want to take the struggling Carolyn under your wing and give her encouragement and appreciation. You will howl over the “slip” and the green bottle gift as well as grit your teeth over the six sisters named Mary. In the midst of the craziness, Carolyn takes a stand that the stodgy and staid curriculum does not work for all and pursues her own version . We need more Carolyns in this country of ours—individuals who truly care about the students for the individuals they are and what they require to succeed, and less pressure from administrations and unions. The author has based classroom/school parts of this volume on her own teaching experiences. I’m betting you’ll give this book the “Lincoln Thumbs-Up”, so be sure to add it to your TBR list.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 24, 2014
Awesome Romance can be found in Love and Other Subjects by Kathl
Awesome Romance can be found in Love and Other Subjects by Kathleen ShoopWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Love and Other Subjects by Kathleen Shoop begins with Carolyn’s struggles as a teacher. Her boss makes the reader feel that he is somewhat determined to put an end to her career while in the midst of growing classroom violence. Carolyn wishes to see changes and she takes control of what must be done.
I did have a few laughs when Miss FBI (Carolyn) meets Mr. Money (Jeep) (as if) Then she shows him her bullet wound to prove that she is working for the FBI. The way she felt for him was really what hooked me into finishing the story.
Carolyn has a great sense of humor, at least, I thought so. Some lines were just superb. I mean, like, when a man lies beside a woman causing her insides to flip out of her body – that has to be some awesome guy. No matter how many kisses do happen, there is no sex. At some point, it kept me thinking even more. Nina and Laura had nice lines in this story. I found that it there is a nice flow in the story with me smiling at many of the scenes. The dialogue is well put together. The ending is great. I recommend this book for the great pleasure in reading something that could be real on this planet but rare when it comes to romance.
Posted January 20, 2014
This book starts off with a bang (for those that have read it al
This book starts off with a bang (for those that have read it already, you know get it, right?) and just keeps getting better. I love that the character, Carolyn, feels so believable. I know that I would feel the same way if I were just starting out as a teacher dealing with some troubled students, a nasty piece of work for a principal. And, oh!, that secretary or receptionist, whatever she is. Now she is a real winner. She made me hate her right from the moment she walked into the room.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Kathleen Shoop is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her characters are all multi-layered and believable, her books always have such heart in them, and her writing just flows along so easily, effortlessly carrying the reader along to the end.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading about the struggle to find your own place in the world. The struggle of trying to define yourself and discover who you want to be. To anyone that loves engaging stories, lovable characters, hilarious happenings, and terrific writing, then this book is for you.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the ebook free for review purposes. Regardless, all opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Posted January 16, 2014
Carolyn Jenkins is a character I can relate to ¿ she leads a rea
Carolyn Jenkins is a character I can relate to … she leads a real life with everyday routine as well as highs and lows. She has her ideals and dreams, yet she has to deal with reality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Personally, I was more drawn into the “Other Subjects” of the storyline than the “Love” portion.
I was interested in her passion of learning how to be effective in this inner city school while coming from a suburban background. I liked how the author addressed the interracial relationships between the roommates and the students. I feel Carolyn showed her true calling as a teacher in finding techniques that fit her student’s needs instead of just following the prescribed one size fits all approach.
I also liked hearing the witty, sometimes hilarious, “dialogue” in her head as she worked through issues and eventually matured in her personal relationships with her roommates, her parents and her boyfriends.
Posted December 28, 2013
I lost sleep over this book ¿ it kept me up at night because I j
I lost sleep over this book – it kept me up at night because I just could not put it down. Well, did not want to put it down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The book reminded me of Dangerous Minds in regards to the “other subjects” and I was just as invested in the “other subjects” as I was the “love” of the story.
I have to admit that “Money” aka “Jeep” aka “Bike” really seemed to good to be true, but I fell in love with him instantly.
I was able to really get into this book and feel the emotions of the main character. I personally struggled with her nonchalance throughout and had a “proud mommy” moment at the end.
I can’t really say this was a romance – it was, but it was so much more than a romance. The romance was definitely secondary to the “other subjects” that really made the book as great as it was.
This is a definite “really liked” book in my opinion.
Posted July 15, 2013
Thank you to BookSparks PR and Kathleen Shoop for sending me thi
Thank you to BookSparks PR and Kathleen Shoop for sending me this novel to share with you. Have you ever wondered about what it is like to teach in a classroom?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Carolyn is starting her first year of teaching in a new school in the D.C. area. She shares her experiences with her good friends Nina and Laura. School is not what Carolyn thought it would be. She has no support from her boss Principal Klein. How will she reach her students? Her love life seems to be going stale with current boyfriend Alex. Carolyn decides to end it and meets this great guy Jeep. What is he all about? Then there are the challenges of reaching her students in her room. Will she survive the year?
I didn’t know if I would like this novel initially. I did come to like it very much! I think for me the connection to education helped me relate to the character of Carolyn. Unless you have worked in education you have no idea what it is like for teachers in the Public School System. I also you don’t usually see this side of education because teaching in the inner city schools is even harder than the nice suburb schools. This is something I could totally relate.
Klein is very believable as the antagonist in the novel. I am sure that the author did a lot of research to see how a principal could become this type of character in this story.
Posted June 10, 2013
after I finished this book I looked at some other reviews (I tr
after I finished this book I looked at some other reviews (I try not to repeat what others have said) and I saw where someone had commented about their nervousness on the opening scene of this book (because of Newton, others), and I have to say I had the same reaction! Fortunately it wasn’t as bad (I wouldn’t have been able to continue reading if it was), but the sad truth is that is a very real danger that teachers face. What I appreciated was that it gave us insight to Carolyn’s personality and her motivation, and luckily for her gave her character some depth that I felt was lacking in other areas. I wasn’t so much a fan of the simple, “only there to be discarded” relationship with Alex, and I sort of felt that her new relationship was more of a sideshow than anything. But I enjoyed the teaching aspect and her struggles to make a change in the world. Another worthy effort from Kathleen. Shoop, and I look forward to more in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2013
Love and Other Subjects by Kathleen Shoop tells of a twenty some
Love and Other Subjects by Kathleen Shoop tells of a twenty something elementary school teacher named Carolyn Jenkins who teaches 5th and 6th grade. There is a certain catchiness to the story that pulls you in right off the bat, and I liked how the narrative seemed genuine and not contrived. However, there were some times when I thought the over use of hyperboles or overwritten sentences pulled me from the storyline. I would have preferred to see less of that [example: ‘made the word gun into 23 southern syllables’; ‘spittle hitched a ride on each syllable LeAndre spoke’] as it felt unbelievable and overdramatic at times and I felt that the real strength of the story was its “realness”. But these glitches are easily overlooked and as a whole the story is quite enjoyable. I actually finished reading it a few weeks prior to writing this review and have thought of it several times since. It is a memorable journey and an interesting one as well. Recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2013
Reviewed by Rebecca McLeod for Readers' Favorite Carolyn Jenkin
Reviewed by Rebecca McLeod for Readers' FavoriteWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Carolyn Jenkins has good intentions but the worst possible luck with her teaching career. She has been saddled with a martinet of a principal who insists on school spirit salutes, a classroom of desperately needy ten and eleven year olds, a boyfriend who is still waiting for her to spontaneously develop homemaker skills, and two roommates who have their lives in enviable order, and now she has been shot in the foot by a student—and blamed for not having the borderline psychotic student “under control”. After the day from hell, she heads out to the bar and meets a mysterious man who somehow makes her feel appreciated in a way that her boyfriend never has. The trials of their relationship and Carolyn’s “baptism by fire” with her pupils depict the difficulties of learning how to connect with others and get the most out of everyday interactions.
I was filled with new admiration for teachers who teach in difficult districts, and I really enjoyed how Carolyn learned to adjust her teaching focus so that she could reach her students. The sheer idiocy of peer-approved lesson plans designed by people who have never taught children is lovingly detailed, along with all of the characterful staff on board at Carolyn’s school. Carolyn is a likeable heroine, but the best writing is by far saved for the children who are depicted in these pages: vulnerable, worldly but startlingly naive, and, in the end, surprisingly sweet.
Posted May 2, 2013
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite "Love an
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' FavoriteWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"Love and other subjects by Kathleen Shoop" takes us into the life of Carolyn Jenkins. Every woman wonders if she chose the right career path and Carolyn Jenkins is no different. In her life she strives for two things: to be the greatest teacher and to find true love. Unfortunately for her she does not seem to be overly good at either one of them. Carolyn is a suburban raised woman who has a compassion for people who do not fit into society. This upbringing never prepared her for the weapon toting struggling students, drug using colleges and a mean principal she would have to deal with at the school. In the love department she has a fresh new relationship with a mystery man that ends up being put out before it could get started by his pack of eccentric sisters. While Carolyn has friends who help her through the hard times she really must in the end decide who she is. She must truly define herself as a person and an individual.
I have to say I really enjoyed this book. Carolyn did take a little bit for me to warm up to as a character. Her heart is in the right place but occasionally she has a funny way of showing it. However, once you adjust to her quirks she really is a good character. Kathleen Shoop has written a good and interesting story that takes us on a path that several of us walk throughout life. Women ask themselves, whether they have I chosen the right career or the right love. It is a relate-able story that brings you easily into it. I would recommend this to any woman reader who wants to feel as though the story could be their own.
Posted May 2, 2013
Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite "Love and
Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' FavoriteWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
"Love and Other subjects" by Kathleen Shoop is not your average romcom. Carolyn Jenkins wants to make a difference. She really wants to give the kids she teaches a head-start in life. She is a driven person, but also rather insecure and over-aware of her own faults. And there are some very difficult characters at school to deal with, not the least of whom is the Principal. Her home life isn’t much easier. She has recently broken up with Alex and isn’t finding her friends Nina and Laura as a great means of comfort at the moment. The fact that she is very socially gauche doesn’t help. Can there really be a man out there who can take her for what she is and love her? The wonderfully named Jeep might fill this role but Carolyn has so many other things to try and cope with. Does she have time to work on a relationship too?
This is a very readable and entertaining story. Carolyn is an idealistic young teacher juggling enthusiasm and self-doubt. Totally human. She’ll do anything for her kids to give them a chance in life but doesn’t look after her own interests at times. She is very well-portrayed and is a totally likeable heroine. The love interest, Jeep, is intriguing. Wealthy, surrounded by off-the-wall sisters (all with Mary as the first half of their name), and stubborn, he is not the easiest of men but he is a genuine enough guy. And he has a brother in law called Ford. There are lots of touches of humor like this that make the story so enchanting. It is earthy too in places, which matches our heroine and adds a certain amount of gritty honesty to the book.