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Rules of the Road

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Review of Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer


In between the endless stacks of remarkably similar fantasy novels, cheesy romances, and books about shallow girls who can't get enough of scandal and gossip, there hides a few unique and captivating books. The truth is, it's hard to find a good young adult fiction book lately-which is one of the many reasons I was so taken with Joan Bauer's book, Rules of the Road.

Before you've even realized that you've opened the book, you're flying on through the chapters of Jenna's life. Jenna lives in Chicago, loves to sell shoes, and has just been hired as the driver for the president of Gladstone Shoes. Gladstone's believes in quality, not quantity or numbers. Jenna isn't taking this summer job just for fun or money-in fact; she really just wants to escape her problems back home.

We learn that Jenna's father is an alcoholic, who only comes around every once in awhile. Faith, her sister, can't understand why her dad never cares about her. Her grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's and barely remembers her name. Now Jenna's dad has come back around, and his late night, drunken phone calls are pushing her over the edge. She has to get away from all the madness.

One this trip, Jenna really does indeed learn the Rules of the Road. We are merely her audience, sitting back and admiring her courage, her heart, and her strength. Along the sidelines we cheer her on as she and her fierce employer take on Mrs. Gladstone's son in a fight for quality. The struggles of this teen and the wisdom she learns along the way will leave a profound impact on all who read this book. Immersed in Jenna's life, you will find yourself laughing and fighting back tears as you read this distinctively memorable book.





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