Review: Rules of the Road8:00 AM
Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
Publication date: July 7, 2005
Publisher: Corgi Childrens (this makes me think of corgi pups. aww.)
Meet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone Shoe Store in Chicago. Standing a gawky 5'11" at 16 years old, Jenna is the kind of girl most likely to stand out in the crowd for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn't stop Madeline Gladstone, the president of Gladstone's Shoes 176 outlets in 37 states, from hiring Jenna to drive her cross country in a last ditch effort to stop Elden Gladstone from taking over his mother's company and turning a quality business into a shop-and-schlock empire. Now Jenna Boller shoe salesperson is about to become a shoe-store spy as she joins her crusty old employer for an eye-opening adventure that will teach them both the rules of the road and the rules of life.
So...PROPS TO ME. Rules of the Road is officially the first book I've started and finished in college. Woop woop!
*sigh* I know. It's pitiful. As a dedicated bookworm, I should be doing better. But tell that to my school stressing.
But, the awesome thing is-- I did it! And now I get to talk about it. ;)
You wouldn't expect a book about shoes to be good. At least I wouldn't. This little 201 page paperback impressed me though, especially since I didn't expect to like it at first read (but it was only 5 cents. You know I gotta get some of that).
First of all, Jenna is a teenager. I didn't really get that feel from the blurb. She's an incredibly mature teenager who excels at selling shoes at Gladstone's. She dreams of buying a red sports car. She feels awkward because she's tall and overweight. She has an alcoholic for a dad. A mom who works all hours at the hospital. A sister who doesn't know what's going on. Jenna was SO mature and her inner dialogue was full of dry humor and the facts as she sees them.
She could be any of us, because she's ordinary. But she made herself grow and become more, because she's strong and determined and stubborn.
This book was all about being strong and beautiful in all the uncommon and most ordinary ways (try to figure that one out).
It was about discovering who you are, and liking it.
It was about loving people. And having to let them go.
It was about confronting your fears. I respect that Jenna took a driving job when she wasn't really a good driver. I can't even drive in my small college town at rush hour without feeling a little nervous. >.< And for the cranky owner of the business you work for no less.
It had all the ordinary things you would expect in a book set in the summer time that was about a roadtrip-- restaurants (good and bad), meeting different kinds of people, lots of driving...
But it hit all the hard parts of life too.
It wasn't perfect though. Even though I enjoyed it a lot! It was quite slow and boring at times. There's only so much I can take of talking about shoes you know. And I'm not sure if I liked the random headlines Jenna made up for events that just got thrown in.
Besides that, it was really deep and totally grabbed my heartstrings.
And there were some really good quotes.
Was it my imagination, or did everyone one the road suddenly start driving faster?It was not your imagination, Jenna. In fact, Texas has a much higher speed limit for the interstate than other states.
You never know where the road's going to take you. I think sometimes it's less important that you get to your destination than the sidetrips you take along the way
Now I see that it isn't the problems along the way that make us or break us. It's how we learn to stand and face them that makes the difference.
I recommend this to people who like roadtrip stories, shoes, and watching someone discover themselves. Also, plaid. Green plaid.
Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. All opinions or thoughts expressed are my own.