Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots



Title: Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots
Author:
Abby McDonald
Genre: YA fiction
Publishing Information: 304 pages; April 13th, 2010 by Candlewick Press
Series: Stand alone

Where I got it:
E-book from the library

One 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, environmentalism

Main character:
4/5
Jenna 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:
3/5
A 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: 4/5
McDonald 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:
4/5
What 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: 4/5
Not 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 novel

Positives:
Fun writing style, plot, main character

Negatives: 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

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