Author: Abby McDonald
Publication: Candlewick (April 13, 2010)
Product Description: 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?
My Thoughts: 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.
I recommend this book to readers who are interested in the environment, romance, and realistic fiction.
I received the ARC as a part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.
Challenges: 2010 YA Book Challenge