Jenna continues her winning ways meeting new challenges in her job and her personal life.
I’m a real ace at arguing with myself. Take a subject like Tanner Cobb.
On the one hand, he stole.
On the other, he helped his little brother read and count.
Then again, he stole shoes in front of his little brother.
But, he brought the shoes back and offered to make up for what he’d done.
My mind said, Don’t trust him.
My instincts said, He might not be all bad.
Inconsistencies are a royal pain; the older you get, the more they multiply.
After a life-altering summer on the road, Jenna Boller is dripping with newfound maturity. She has a job she loves at Gladstone Shoes, a best friend who makes her laugh, and a dysfunctional family she’s learning how to handle. Jenna feels ready for anything–until Tanner Cobb, a guy with a past, a police record, and dangerously good looks, walks into her life. And that’s just the beginning.
Jenna likes to be in control, but that’s not easy when she’s suddenly surrounded by crises, including a shoe empire on the verge of crumbling. Tanner’s street smarts seem to be what Jenna needs, but can she trust him when the going gets tough?
Newbery Honor author Joan Bauer has written a sure-footed, funny, and poignant novel about a teenage girl facing the challenges–and betrayals–of the adult business world head-on, a struggle that links her to the resilience of her past and helps her to eagerly plan the course for her future.
Praise for Joan Bauer:
Rules of the Road
“Jubilant, strong, and funny, this is a road trip to remember.”
–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
Hope Was Here
“When it comes to creating strong, independent and funny teenage characters, Bauer is in a class by herself.”
–School Library Journal, starred review
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This is an author who handles complex subjects in a manner that doesn't over abuse feelings. She magically weaves the story line and balances humor and angst with the end result of hope. Jenna Boller is the oldest child. She has a loving younger sister and very stable mother. Sadly though, her father is a knock down drag out alcoholic. Finding a job selling shoes for Gladstone Shoe company enables her to learn valuable lessons. Bauer knows that people come into our lives when we most need them and thus she introduces the fiesty, elderly character of Mrs. Gladstone. When Mrs. Gladstone's near do well son manipulates the board of directors and buys up the leading shares of the company, his mother is no longer in charge. Jenna is mentored by Mrs. Gladstone and grows to understand that dysfunction in families happens to many, not just Jenna. Feeling guilty and taking responsibility for her father's alcoholism is a normal trait of a child of an alcoholic and through her relationship with Mrs. Gladstone Jenna begins to learn of forgiveness, of redemption and of the fact that we are not responsible for others. We are indeed only responsible for our own actions. Highly recommended. The author has first hand experience with the reality of the sad impact that an alcoholic father has on the family dynamic and on the individual level.
I loved "Rules of the Road" and I was immediately struck by how much Jenna had matured in the interim between that book and this book. I love her employee/caretaker relationship with her boss Mrs. Gladstone, her ambivalent relationship with Tanner, and the spark of some romantic interest in Charlie Duran. Her involvement in Al-Anon added an interesting new dimension, and the struggle to save the shoe company (the "good guys" versus the "bad guys") was actually pretty exciting. Overall a good read!
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