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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rules of the Road

Joan Bauer

Published: 1998

201 Pages

Rating: B-

The Trip of a Lifetime

Jenna Boller can sell anyone anything. She’s the best employee at her branch of Gladstone’s Shoes. But her family problems are harder to handle, and there are times when Jenna wishes she could just take a break. So when Madeline Gladstone, the elderly president of Gladstone Shoe Stores, hires Jenna as her chauffer for the summer, Jenna leaps right into the driver’s seat. And that begins a cross-country adventure, where she and Mrs. Gladstone learn a lot about the rules of the road…and the rules of life.

(from back of book)

To start off, this is a very short read. I’d say it’s a great book to read in between two larger, more complex books, because it is nice break from everything.

The story is a very cute one I must say. One that I have never read before and one that not many could pull off…but Joan Bauer did. Its not the ordinary love story, or tragic tale of a misfit teen.

Jenna is a teenage girl who “worships” her drivers license, yet she doesn’t have a car to drive. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t trying to get one, she is saving her money for the car of her dreams…a red convertible. She works at the Gladstone Shoe store in her hometown, Chicago. She’s sixteen and the best employee there. She works hard because that’s really the only place she can be at and be completely happy. Her life turned sour when her father started drinking too much and that eventually ended her parents marriage, but that was when she was younger and yet those bad memories still follow her around. Now at sixteen she deals with her fathers sudden visits and drunken phone calls, which are making her go crazy. Luckily for her, there’s a chance to get away…

That summer she becomes Mrs. Gladstone’s driver from Chicago, Illinois to Dallas, Texas. They travel to dozens of places, visiting dozens of Gladstone Shoe Stores. And they encounter many problems along the way. Mrs. Gladstone’s son is threatening to sell the company and there’s a fight to the finish to see who exactly will control Gladstone Shoes in the end.

This is a compelling story of a young woman who is tired of the life she is living and is ready for a change. And ready to stand up to her father’s drinking problem once and for all.

A fast read, that may not look all that interesting, but its better than it seems. Give it a shot.



  1. I really liked this one. OK, so when I first saw it, I was totally turned off by the old cover, but I've read this and the sequel, Best Foot Forward, and really ended up enjoying them!

  2. The old cover was very strange, and I think I wouldnt have read it if that was still the cover. So Best Foot Forward is the sequel? Hmm.. I have that one too. Havent read it yet. Ill give that one a shot soon. ha. Thanks! :) Oh and I am glad you liked it!


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