Sarah's Reviews > Rules of the Road

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
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's review
Jun 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: classroom-library, fiction, young-adult

This is the kind of book about women that the world needs, which is to say it is in no way chick-lit. The protagonist is an ugly-duckling teenager who loves to sell shoes and chaffeurs her 70-something boss around the midwestern and southern US. The majority of the book is spent with this teenage girl, who is anything but frivolous, and a hard-as-nails septuagenarian. There are a couple kind-hearted shoes salesmen and a drunken father, but these are just bit parts. At this book's heart is a story about business and ageism--romance is but briefly mentioned and brushed aside. These women are business-minded and empathetic in a way rarely seen in female characters. Both Jenna and Mrs. Gladstone show that women can be brutal businesswomen without being stone-cold bitches.

Proof that not all books about females are about female concerns. Books about women can be, in fact, books about the world just the same way books about men are. If only more people would write books about women that weren't romances that perpetuate stereotypes.

Updated to add: Passes the Bechdel Test, handily:
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Other Paperback Edition)
June 15, 2010 – Started Reading
June 19, 2010 – Shelved
June 19, 2010 – Shelved as: classroom-library
June 19, 2010 – Shelved as: fiction
June 19, 2010 – Finished Reading
June 23, 2010 – Shelved as: young-adult
October 15, 2010 – Shelved (Other Paperback Edition)

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