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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Best Foot Forward - Joan Bauer

I actually listened to this book on my iPod, but the picture of the CD cover was fuzzy. LOVED this, and I'm glad to say it, because I really like Joan Bauer and I'm glad I can recommend yet another of her books, but also because this was a sequel, and sequels sometimes don't live up to the first book, but this one does! This book is a sequel to Rules of the Road which features a young woman named Jenna who takes a job in a shoe store and is mentored by the much older owner of the store, Mrs. Gladstone. In that book, Jenna is Mrs. Gladstone's driver and drives her all around the country.

In this story, Jenna is still Mrs. Gladstone's driver, but it focuses more on the shoe store than on the driving. Jenna's father is an alcoholic, so she's having to deal with that in this novel. It's nicely woven in to this book so as to clearly be an important piece but not so much that it takes over the novel, because it is only one piece of the story. There's another story line about a boy who steals from the store and then is hired to work there, AND Jenna is asked to mentor him. He's so far from her reality in some ways that she has no idea what to do with him, but come to find out, they have a lot more in common than she thought. Jenna's social life is another piece of the story. Her best friend wants her to have more fun, but she's not sure how. The final component is the current takeover of the shoe store which teaches Jenna quite a lot about the business world.

It's a great story with plenty of adolescent angst, but an upbeat tone throughout despite the troubling things. This is how I like to hear about real life, because for the most part, while we all have to deal with troubling situations, there's a lot to be grateful for as well, and a lot to learn from the good and the bad.

Highly recommended. I'm pretty sure I ordered this book, so it should be in pretty soon!

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