Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

by Abby McDonald


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Can a boy-hungry Jersey girl survive the wilds of Canada with her eco-identity intact? A witty 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, plaidwearing 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 outdoorsmen. A dusty survival guide offers Jenna amusing tips on navigating the wilderness — but can she learn to navigate the turns of her heart?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763649944
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.54(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile: HL740L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Abby McDonald, a recent graduate of Oxford University, made her authorial debut with the critically acclaimed novel Sophomore Switch. She lives in London.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Re- use! Re- duce! Re- cycle!"

"Don't get mad; get green!"

"Save a planet, save a tree, in the end it'll save you and me!"

The chants filter through the open windows at the end of final period, drifting on the warm breeze. Ms. Lockhart pauses, walking over to check out the noise, while the restof the class cranks their necks around and strains to get a better look.

I just cram my books into my bag and wait, poised on the edge of my seat.

The second the final bell rings, I spring into action: racing to my locker, I grab some last- minute supplies and dash out of the building. I can see the Green Teens already, marching in a circle on a plot of land at the end of the field, past the graffitied bleachers and batting cages.

The school board is proposing to sell it off to developers; already there are tire tracks cut into the muddy ground and the beginnings of a construction site taking shape. But not for long.

"You didn't wait!" I arrive, breathless, at the edge of the grass. I pause for a moment to kick off my ballet flats - not exactly off- road shoes - and yank on a pair of flower- print plastic boots.

"I know, I know," Olivia apologizes, skidding down the dirt bank. Her own matching boots are already filthy from the mud. She grabs a couple of my bags and eagerly rifles through them. "Did you bring the banners? And sign- up sheets?"

"Check and check!" I pull a Greenpeace shirt over my regular tank top. "And cookies, too."

"Perfect!" She grins. She's braided blue yarn through her hair for the occasion, the same shade as the paint on the signs we were up half the night making. "Then we're all set."

We take our places in the middle of the group, unfurling a ten- foot- long banner and joining in the chant. After six major demonstrations, and our weekly Saturday morning session handing out flyers at the Fairview Mall, Olivia and I are protest experts. We need to be. With the old Green Teen leadership graduating, it's up to us to keep the spirit of environmentalism alive and well at North Ridge High.

"Louder, everyone! We need them to hear us all the way to the parking lot!" Olivia yells through the megaphone we, ahem, "borrowed" from the AV room. Volume and visibility - those are the keys to a good protest, I've learned. And plenty of snacks. One time we tried an all-day sit- in outside City Hall to demand better recycling services, but I forgot to bring provisions; the group lasted exactly two hours before the aroma wafting from a nearby pretzel van became too much to bear. Needless to say, we still have to trek out to Maplewood with our paper and plastics, and I haven't forgotten the Fig Newtons since.

Sure enough, after a few minutes a curious crowd starts to gather, drawn by the shouting and - yes - the lure of those cookies. A group from my study hall looks around with interest, and a handful of cheerleaders even stop to ask what's going on.

"Never underestimate the power of free food." I grin, giving Olivia a high- five with my free hand. "What do you say, time for phase two?"

"Do it." She nods.

Passing my corner of the banner over to an eager freshman recruit, I retrieve the stack of clipboards and begin circulating with sign- up sheets.

"What is it this time?" A guy from my econ class is loitering suspiciously near the crowd. His collar is popped, and he's spent the last semester idly kicking the back of my seat, but every signature counts. "Saving the whales?"

"That was last week." I keep smiling at him: my infallible "you know you want to help me out" grin. "Right now we're trying to stop them from building on the field."

"Are they going to put up a mini- mall?" He looks hopeful. "Man, a Pizza Hut would be awesome. Or a Chili's!"

"No," I answer, thankful. I'm all for a challenge, but convincing a thousand teenagers to pick the joys of nature over double pepperoni with extra cheese? That might be out of my league. I move closer, pen outstretched. "But do you really want to have this field paved over? Bit by bit, we're losing all the natural habitats and green space in the area, and we won't be able to get them back. What about the local ecosystem, and wildlife, and -?"

"Whoa." He backs off, looking alarmed. "Relax, Jenna!"

It's obvious I'm not going to win this one with logic and sense, so I decide to try a new tactic. "It's OK - you don't have to sign now," I coo. "I mean, we've got two whole weeks of classes before summer vacation. We can talk through all the issues together, in tons more detail. I could even ask Mrs. Paluski to pair us up!" I beam as though I'm just thrilled by the thought of describing every detail of our cause. "I'm sure I'll convince you. Eventually."

He practically snatches the pen out of my hand to sign.

"Aw, thanks." I grin, taking back the clipboard to check my progress. Fifty- six down, just another thousand to go. . . .

The crowd around us has swelled to about a hundred students by the time I see Principal Turner huffing his way across the field. I intercept him at the edge of the grass with my best innocent look. "Anything I can help you with?"

"Jenna Levison." He eyes the dirt and puddles suspiciously. "To what do we owe this particular show of -"

"Community spirit?" I finish hopefully. "Environmental awareness?"

"Disruption and disobedience." He folds his arms and glares at me. As if they can sense the battle to come, the crowd behind me turns to watch, while the rest of the Green Teens pause their chanting.

I gulp.

No matter how many angry officials I face, I still feel like I'm doing something wrong (OK - something really wrong). But I can't back down.

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Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really got into this book. It was a nice surprise for only getting to see the book from online and buying it on no recommendations. (Which there should be more of.) The twist was really good, and when Olivia does what she does (I can't tell or I'll ruin it for you) I wanted to throw the book across the room, I was so mad. Really a nice, cute read.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Jenna believes in environmental activism. She's unhappy when her summer plans change and her parents go their separate ways for the summer: her mom to Florida and her father off to Europe. She's no longer able to hang out with the other Green Teens and participate in a potential internship. Then Jenna comes up with an alternative: she can stay with her godmother, Fiona, who is newly married and living in Canada. For the first time, Jenna's actually living in the wilderness where the town is one big street and everyone knows everyone else's business. It takes her a while to settle in. Fiona's new stepdaughter isn't making Jenna's life easier. Sharing a room together isn't quite working out. Fiona's updating the home to create a Bed and Breakfast, leaving little time for Jenna. Jenna meets Fiona's friends. She's not sure what to think about them. They laugh at her city ideas, but she has an idea to help create tourism for the area, targeting outdoor adventure lovers. She becomes the guinea pig for rock climbing, kayaking, and downhill mountain biking. She's getting a new perspective on environmental issues while branching out and trying new things. Jenna's having the time of her life, and just might be falling for an outdoorsman. Abby McDonald, author of SOPHOMORE SWITCH, creates a summer romance that's funny, environmentally friendly, and hard to stop reading.
terriko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this one up because I really enjoyed Abby McDonald's Sophomore Switch, and I was not disappointed. Once again, she's managed to make teens with some different depths out of what seem like at first to be stereotypical character sketches, and she's dealt with some interesting issues while still making a fun story out of it all. A great story of fitting in... and changing the world.
acg233 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Title: Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking BootsAuthor: Abby McDonaldGenre: YA fictionPublishing Information: 304 pages; April 13th, 2010 by Candlewick Press Series: Stand aloneWhere I got it: E-book from the libraryOne sentence: When Green Teen activist Jenna travels from New Jersey to Canada for the summer, she learns infinite amounts about wilderness survival, boys and compromise. Themes: Summer, romance, environmentalismMain character: 4/5Jenna was a clever, smart and witty main character who grew into herself as the novel progressed. When it opened, I found her to be passionate and ambitious but rather self-righteous in her cause. Her experiences in Canada really opened her up to the idea of compromise and empathizing with others, which really made her a more enjoyable main character and I loved the moral lesson attached. I also liked how she was willing to stand up for herself- both at the beginning, but especially in a hard scene at the end.Secondary characters: 3/5A couple of the minor characters seemed really one-sided, including Olivia and Fiona. Although Fiona changes toward the end, she seemed really flat to me at the beginning. Ethan was a really interesting character to read- a genuinely nice guy, with a secret. I wasn¿t sure about Reeve at the beginning, but he definitely grew on me. I wish that he had more depth- I felt like I didn¿t really know that much about him.Writing style: 4/5McDonald had a down-to-earth, effortless writing style, chock full of realistic dialogue, clever witticisms and easy action. The first couple chapters were a little heavy on the take-off, but I found that once McDonald settled in, the writing style was easy to read.Plot: 4/5What a cute little plot! I love the idea of incorporating someone who is so sold in their ideals, particularly about something that¿s a little trendy and modern, like the environmentalist movement. While the plot and twists weren¿t extremely original, the way that McDonald executed them made them entertaining and fun. And okay, there were a few twists that I for sure didn¿t see coming!Ending: 4/5Not what I expected. I was a little disappointed in Jenna¿s relationship decision, but everything wrapped up nicely, so I have nothing else to fault. I enjoyed how the point-of-view changed so we can see some of Jenna¿s future.Best scene: Jenna¿s confrontation toward the end of the novelPositives: Fun writing style, plot, main characterNegatives: Sometimes flat secondary characters, some unoriginal aspects, First Line: ¿Re-use! Re-duce! Re-cycle!¿Cover: Cute! It describes the book perfectly and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Verdict: A perfect summer beach read- the exact amount of cute romance, fun adventure and even some edge-of-your-seat moments.Rating: 7.5 / 10
fayeflame on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Boy Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is fun, coming of age, great teen summer read.I really enjoyed this book. I can totally relate to Jenna. I mean i experience most of the things she went through: trying to make it through the summer in a new place, try to make friends with new cute guys,have a grumpy roomie,an absent best friend who's totally wrapped around her BF/new life, and parents who look like there going to divorce(?) So yeah, me and Jenna are like two peas in a pod. But she deals with everything pretty well. The characters are relateable. Addy understands what most teenagers go through*duh cause she was one*. And portrayed it very well through Jenna. This book covers teens like during high school trying to find who they are, what they are doing, and what they are going to do. The guys in the book were guys.Woodsy,put you life in danger, rock climbing,everything is a joke,and cute guys*but that's besides the point* Though Reeve was a little stand off-ish in the beginning but he grew on me. I loved Ethan! he was so nice, and not like the others, seemed genuine towards Jenna.Fiona...she was like some grumpy bear, That survival guide definitely helped Jenna get through Fiona's modes LOL! But she came around.I enjoyed this book,it was a light read. It definitely makes you love everything about the summer time. Hey, it has a little bit of summer romance too!
ericajsc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Contemporary fiction is my favorite subgenre of YA to read, so I was excited to dive into this one. It has all the elements I love: a main character who is well-intentioned but also a little bit annoying, a fish-out-of-water story, a girl surrounded by boys who are friends, and character growth that amounts to more than a girl discovering she is beautiful, after all.Jenna¿s involvement in the Green Teen group at school is mostly comprised of demonstrations against projects that could potentially bring about some type of damage to the environment in some way. Green Teen became her Thing when she gained acceptance by the other members her freshman year of high school, and it was in a Green Teen meeting where she met Olivia, who would become her best friend. But I got the overriding feeling that, though she does care about the environment, she hasn¿t actually done a lot of independent thinking about it. This point not only makes her realistic, as sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds are typically at the beginning of figuring out where they stand on these issues, so they likely haven¿t looked at a lot of issues from many different sides, but it also sets Jenna up to look at the issue from another perspective. When she gets to Stillwater and Susie isn¿t able to buy all the organic foods Jenna generally eats, she realizes for the first time how difficult living out her convictions can be when money is tight. Everything Jenna goes through over the course of the summer informs her view of environmentalism, and the path she ends up on is one I think a lot of people can relate to.Jenna¿s attempts at making friends in Stillwater are initially hindered by her displays of environmentalism, but eventually she gets involved with a project involving three boys in town, Ethan, Grady, and Reeve. Through this project she has the chance to try out a lot of the outdoor activities the Stillwater area has to offer. This was probably my favorite part of the book, as we see Jenna kayak, fish, rock climb, and hike her way into a friendship with these boys. And the boys themselves are interesting characters. Ethan is the first to really show any amount of kindness to Jenna, and his storyline goes in a direction I wasn¿t expecting, but is definitely believable. Grady seemed a little flat to me; he was a necessary character, but his personality was such that I didn¿t understand why he¿d be around so much. Reeve becomes, as one might assume from reading the summary, Jenna¿s love interest, and knowing this going into the book, it does not make sense at all for the first part of the book. But when things change between Reeve and Jenna, they change big time, and McDonald perfectly captures the emotions of a girl hanging out with her crush.There¿s actually a lot packed into this book, but it¿s not arduous. In fact it reads like a light-hearted comedy in the sense that the pacing is swift, but the character growth isn¿t trite. The end reads a little bit oddly, as the book is told in present tense but Jenna talks about future events in the last few pages. This gives information I think readers will want to know, but the way it was done was a little jarring. I think I¿d have preferred it in an Epilogue, but that¿s such a minor complaint (I think it¿s literally less than a paragraph) that I can overlook it.
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Boys, Bears, And A Serious Pair Of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald is pretty much exactly what it appears to be, a cute book about a girl who goes into the wilderness. To be honest, I thought this book did an excellent job of serving it's purpose. It kept me entertained, I awwwwed in the right places, and definitely enjoyed the romance as well as the twists.Jenna, our intrepid main character, hails from New Jersey. She is leader of this group of students called the Green Teens which basically means they are Earth-crunchy. I loved that she was an activist. Let's please have more of this, as yes, teens do have opinions! Anyways, Jenna's family decides to go on vacation for the whole summer to Florida at her Grandmother's place. Jenna is all, oh hell no, and goes to her godmother Susie's place in Stillwater, Canada instead. Her adventures in Stillwater are what really make the book. Here, Jenna is living in pristine nature conditions, and interacts with people who have a somewhat different outlook on life from her.I like that we get to see Jenna's coming of age. We get to see her decisions on ideals and values in relation to reality. She's definitely got a heart of gold, and well it's nice to see one teen who isn't all in your face, I do drugs and rebel. In essence, we really see Jenna mature. Granted, this is in the space of one summer, but I do think certain events and experiences are life-changing. Jenna totally holds her own on the adventures she takes, and to me was a strong character in that she takes no b.s., she was caring, kind, held fast to her ideals, and was pretty much straight-forward with everyone.The teenage characters of Boys, Bears, And A Serious Pair of Hiking Boots are definitely more flushed out than the adult characters. There's Fiona, who is Susie's stepdaughter and going through that bratty rebellious phase. There's Ethan, who holds a secret. Reeve who is hot, but gruff. There's Livvy, who is Jenna's best friend from home -- who is basically present via text messages and phone calls. I definitely appreciated the dynamic cast.I was definitely engrossed by this book and would recommend it if you want something lighter between heavy reads.
efoltz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fast, enjoyable read and a different twist on the young adult romance. Jenna is involved in environmental activism at her school. Suddenly her summer plans change and she is no longer able to hang out with the other Green Teens and participate in a potential internship.Jenna goes to a small town in Canada to live with her newly married godmother. Jenna is struggling making friends in the small town. They come up with an idea to help create tourism for the area by highlighting the outdoor adventure in the area. She becomes new adventurer in all of the outdoor adventures. Jenna finds the experience in Canada belief alternating.
annamariie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots was a seriously cute book! It wasn¿t cute in the way that was fluffy, but it was in the way that was real. Jenna and her friends, and the situation seemed to really root itself in the book in a way that seems totally realistic. I could see the situations happening, and the feelings and actions of Jenna and the people who are surrounding her play out in my mind. The only thing that seemed a little unrealistic is her parents allowing her to travel by herself all the way up to Canada, I know at 16 there is no way my parents would have allowed me to do that. However, beyond that it¿s a cute read with really strong characters, and one hell of a lesson, which is: People change. I loved the evolution of the friendship between Jenna and her best friend, Olivia, and especially between Jenna and her cousin Fiona. Jenna also reminded me a lot of myself, trying to mend burnt bridges with ruthless insistence. Stubbornness can be a good quality to have but it¿s also one that needs to rest sometimes, which I think Jenna sadly learns the hard way. There are twists that I didn¿t expect in the book (or really really REALLY didn¿t expect), as well as ones that you could see from a mile away.All in all Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots was a light, fun, fast read. I had never heard of Abby McDonald before, but now I have and I will certainly have to check out her previous book Sophomore Switch, as well as any other books from here on out.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an enjoyable coming of age story. Jenna grows and changes as she spends the summer with her godmother, godmother's husband and daughter in rural Canada. She goes there partially to escape the tension at home. She fears that her parents are heading to divorce but doesn't want to think about that. In Canada, they are working to fix up an old house to be a bed and breakfast. Jenna makes friends, gradually, with the local teens. She meets Ethan and his brother Grady and their friend Reeve. Fiona is very hostile from the beginning but even she gradually warms to Jenna. Jenna finds an old guide book to Canadian wildlife and wilderness survival and uses the tips to get along with the people she deals with too. I like Jenna's experiments with the great outdoors. Her experiences kayaking, fly fishing, and rock climbing are really funny. She decides to help out her godmother by designing a website and publicizing the activities that can be done without harming the environment. She also gradually begins a romance with Reeve. The reappearance of her best friend and fellow Green Teen at the end of the novel illustrates how much she has changed and grown over the summer.
Adrienne2093 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funniest lines: (I actually laughed out loud when I read them!) "Don't stress--it's just PMS!" Grady says, laying out with his baseball cap covering his eyes. "It's always PMS with these chicks--argh!" He cries out as Fiona upends her soda over his bare chest. He scrambles to his feet, soaked with the sticky liquid. "What the hell?" "Whoops," she answers, dead pan. "Must be that darn time of the month." Review:Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots was a cute, funny, fast-paced novel full of quirky, lovable characters. Jenna, the fun main character, is a environmentalist "Green Teen" who thinks the world needs to go green but starts to realize it may not be as important as she thought once experiencing life in Canada. She goes to live with her godmother in Canada instead of going to Florida with her mother and grandmother, and she discovers a whole new place full of nature and a very small town. Jenna has to deal with the goth girl stepdaughter who hates her new stepmom and especially Jenna who she now has to share a room and a bathroom with. The relationship between Fiona and Jenna was pretty tedious until Jenna calls her out which causes to Fiona to finally change. Fiona was a great character, and she was basically the antagonist until the end when she really changes for the better.My favorite part of the book was the small town Johnson boys who were so fun to read about! At first, they just mess with Jenna and act a little rude, but she starts to become really close with them. A romance starts with one of the boys and a best friend friendship with another. The relationship between Jenna and one of the boys was pretty cute, but he wanted to keep it a secret which never seems to work out...The ending left a lot open to interpretation which was good and bad. I doubt there will be a sequel, but if there would be, I would love to read it! Overall, Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots was a great, fast read which I read in about two sittings. I thought it would just be a fun, quick, fluff read, but it had a lot more substance to it. It has lots of adventure, social issues, friendship even ex-friendship, romance, and just good old mother nature which includes a bear, a moose, and more. I highly recommend reading it, and I can't wait to check out other books by Abby McDonald!
ealaindraoi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fairly lightweight book, with some serious issues underneath. Environmental Activist/Vegan Jenna spends the summer with her godmother Susie in the wilds of Canada and witnesses first hand the clash between being environmentally aware and the necessity of jobs out in the wilderness.However, SO much more could have been done with this, and wasn¿t. I suppose it was a choice to keep it a fish-out-of-water, teen romance with just hints of more serious issues, but personally I wanted to hear more about the clash between local economy and local environment, The other thing that bothered me was when Jenna¿s best friend Olivia shows up towards the end of the book, it¿s obvious Olivia has changed over the summer, but she acts is ways that are way,way out of bounds for any thinking human being.I¿d give this book to a teen that ONLY reads lightweight books, as a way to sneak in some thoughtful discussion in.
Runa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is about self-proclaimed environmentalist, Jenna, who gets thrown into a summer living with her godmother in the middle of the woods. There, she learns a really great lesson about what environmentalism is really all about. The thing I really appreciate about this book (other than the really great timing of reading it, as I'm currently taking a short class about environmental literature) is that it's not overly preachy like it could have been. While some stereotypes are portrayed towards the beginning of the book, about typical, sign-carrying, protest-loving environmentalism, this image really takes a sharp turn by the end of the book, by which point, environmentalism is shown as a lifestyle change, and one that might not be the best to make for everyone (for instance, the negative economic impact of jobs being cut in favor of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is shown, and this largely affects some of the characters' lives). It's a very open-minded book that emphasizes the need for balance. The reader is truly given all sides of the issue, and then told to make a decision. By the end of the novel, the message really is about getting out in nature and just having fun. Environmentalist issues aside, the writing is wonderful, with a very honest, down-to-earth, authentic narrator. I really liked the size of the cast of characters--it wasn't too narrow-focused, but there wasn't a character overload, where it's hard to keep track of who is who. While some of the relationship stuff wasn't as great as I thought it could be, with a severe lack of communication between Jenna and Reeve, as well as unnecessary secrecy, it was still a good read, and I really encourage people to use this book as an introduction to what true environmentalism is all about. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Abby McDonald!Rating: 5/5
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Believe it or not, it was the title of this book that compelled me to buy it! I felt like with a quirky and awkwardly long title like that, the book just HAD to be fun, and it was! Jenna, a "Green Teen" environmentalist ends up in small town Canada with her godmother, Susie, and an antagonistic, chilly goth teen named Fiona, who pretty much seems to hate everything and everyone. While Jenna is eager to make friends, she does a few things that make it hard for her to fit in, including coming on a bit too strong about certain environmental issues. While Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is funny and a fast read, it also deals with some substantial issues without being preachy or phony. Highly recommended as a perfect summer read.
thebookreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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?This book was amazing. It had everything I wanted in a book: weird/awkward tension, adventure, and trees! As well as cute boys, environmental awareness and some home renovation.The writing was outstanding. I felt like I was really up in Canada. The characters were completely believable and even the annoying ones were fun to read about. (Probably because there were no accidentally annoying characters who we're supposed to feel sorry for but really hate.) I have no complaints about any part of the book. I loved the story, how it flowed, all the characters, setting and the style it was written in.Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is a great summer read for fans of Sarah Dessen (basically everyone). I definitely recommend it. It was fun, light, and summery...three things everyone loves!
wsquared on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Levison devotes her free time to environmental activism in her suburban New Jersey hometown and plans to spend the summer interning with a nonprofit and changing the world. But her parents have other ideas. Before she knows it, she's shipped off to a small town in the Canadian Rockies to live with her godmother, Susie, and her sullen stepdaughter, Fiona. Will she learn to fit in and enjoy nature, without the comfort of her eco-friendly ways?Abby McDonald's second novel is nothing groundbreaking, but she has created a strong character in Jenna and it's fun to see her learn, grow, and experience a bit of romance. The secondary players serve as entertaining foils to Jenna and the rustic setting provides for a lot of interesting experiences. Readers looking for a breezy read about friendships, family, and boys will find a lot to like here.
CAS2199 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once I saw the cover of this book, I knew I would enjoy it. I don't think I've read a YA book that has focused this much on nature. I applaud Abby McDonald as it was such a nice change of pace. After reading a few pages, I was instantly fond of the main character, Jenna. In my opinion, compared to many of the other female protagonists out there, Jenna is such a good role model for young women and is extremely easy to relate to. When Jenna arrives in Canada, it's like another world for her. Although she may be an environmental activist at home, this is a whole new experience for her in Canada. She is thrown into a new situation and must adapt. Plus, she initially shares a room with her godmother's spiteful stepdaughter, Fiona, whom at first I'm convinced is Satan's spawn. Jenna must also try and make friends with the locals, which proves to be a daunting task since they view her as a silly city girl. Under all this is the sub plot of her parents and their possible impending divorce. I think that many young adults will really appreciate this book's message, but also enjoy the fun experiences that Jenna is involved in, such as white water rafting, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing and rock climbing. And of course, there are ruggedly handsome Canadian boys.There are a few things that I especially liked about this book. I loved Abby McDonald's references to a book that Jenna finds at a quirky bookstore. It's called the Modern Mountain Man's Survival Guide. Throughout the novel, McDonald references various parts of this Survival Guide, which can be applied to everyday life and not just hunting. This Survival Guide becomes Jenna's bible not only when dealing with wildlife, but also with people. I thought this was a great touch. I also loved the fact that Jenna was a strong female character. It's not often we see this in YA literature. Without giving too much away, Jenna becomes even more admirable when contrasted with her best friend, Olivia. Olivia defines herself by her boyfriend, which unfortunately happens a lot in high school and she essentially takes Jenna's friendship for granted.Finally, this novel covers many life lessons and ultimately leaves Jenna thinking about the path she is on and her own belief system. Many of her beliefs are challenged and she is asked to think from a different point of view. Jenna essentially learns about herself through this experience. I sigh happily, because isn't that what all good young adult novels should do? With that said, I think that this book is the perfect accessory to any beach bag or trip to summer camp. It's the epitome of an enjoyable summer read.
PureImagination on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This 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.
likesbooksrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Green Teen Jenna, faced with spending the summer with her grandmother in Florida, convinces her parents to send her to stay, instead, with her hippie godmother, Susie, in the wilderness in Canada. There she shares a room with Susie's Goth stepdaughter, Fiona, and meets the teens who live in the area who are not like her vegetarian, activist friends at home. With the help of an antiquated outdoor guide, Jenna finds friends and romance, and realizes that her beliefs and relationships are not as simple as she thought. This is a delightful coming of age novel and is highly recommended.
elizardkwik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fairly standard novel about questioning one's place in the world, set in a more unusual location. The content stayed on the light side, despite mentioning some deeper topics. It was an enjoyable read, though it felt like there was something missing and it ended far too abruptly.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book, it was cute and funny