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.
Tags: Laura Bowers, Beauty Shop for Rent, YA Novels, Young Adult fiction