Friday, August 10, 2007

Beauty Shop for Rent ... Fully Equipped, Inquire Within

Ever since being abandoned on Granny Po’s doorstep with her mother’s infamous words “It’s not forever” ringing in her ears, Abbey Garner has lived and worked with her great-grandmother in her beauty shop, Polly’s Parlor. Almost fifteen, Abbey works hard, has a supportive non-traditional family with Granny Po and the “Gray Widows,” and is well on the way to accomplishing her goal of being a millionaire before she’s thirty-five. Torn between loving her mother and desperately wanting to live her life beyond her mother’s legacy of mistakes, Abbey lives carefully on the fringes with a few good friends, but systematically deprives herself of any possible relationship with a boyfriend, especially with her friend Mitch. Simple and complicated, Abbey is reluctant to take the chance of living life. The arrival of Gena, a friendly young woman with ambitious entrepreneurial plans for turning Polly’s Parlor into a day spa, sets in motion a series of changes in Abbey’s life that include opportunity and choice. Fighting to stay true to herself, Abbey must deal with the tumultuous upheaval caused by her mother’s return and the devastating family secrets she reveals.

With Beauty Shop for Rent, Laura Bowers has painted a rich picture of family relationships. Beautifully writen with a teenager's clear voice, this story will resonate with readers who are struggling with the hurdles of high school, parents, and the changes maturity and independence bring to their lives. Straying from "typical" happily ever after, Abbey's ultimate acceptance of her mother's failings is a much more satisfying and realistic conclusion. Full of beauty shop gossip and everyday life, this is an enjoyable read. Sit down and spend some time at Polly's Parlor, you won't be sorry.

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carlyclaire15 said...

I LOVE this book!! Its absolutly great! I read this over the summer of 07 and I finished it in a week! And thats pretty good considering of how big it is. I can really connect with this has alot of things people in general can relate to (family troubles, boys, homework, life goals, etc.) Its overall rating on is 5 star! And my english/reading teacher wont let me use it as the book for our individual class power points!!!! She says that I should "Think about my audience." So she made me do it on some other dumb book. I need opinions on what people think about this book being appropriate for gender-wise. Like I know girls would like this but what would guys think of it? Not minding it, hating it, or not caring? Thanks! -*Carly

Lynn said...

Hi Carly -

I very much enjoyed reading this book as well. It was a rich tapestry without obvious cliche. In fact, it reminded me in some ways of the movie Steel Magnolias (Julia Roberts, Sally Fields ... "I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 40 years").

But I digress ...

Sorry to hear about the "other dumb book," but this title may not hold a great deal of interest for boys. This is not a reflection on the books popularity, quality, or the enjoyment you found in reading it, but simpley a matter of the female protagonist and large cast of female characters not speaking to boys in particular.

While I hate to label any book gender specific, everyone should read what they want to read, in my opinion this book is geared more for girls/women.