Getting the Boot by Peggy Guthart Strauss
Paperback, 198 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Speak
Published May 5th 2005 by Speak
read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, to-be-reviewed, young-adult
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Getting to Italy wasn't easy...
Will staying be even harder?
Studying abroad isn't all like Kelly though it would be. Instead of shopping for fine Italian leather and living in an elegant apartment with a view of the Colosseum, she is stuck in a stuffy dorm room with three other girls, and is sharing one shower with the entire floor! This is not the bella Roma that she'd dreamed of. But there is one part of Italy that Kelly doesn't mind-Joe, a really cute guy who's in study-aboard program too. Joe's into staying up late and partying hard, two things that Kelly used to love doing. Bad habits are hard to break, and she soon finds herself on thin ice with the program coordinators. If Kelly's not careful, she just might get the boot....
Buy this book:
As I was going on holiday to Rome, I decided that I had to find a book that was set in my holiday destination to read whilst I was there. Let me tell you, it was surprisingly difficult to find a book that was set in Rome, especially a young adult one! After asking around fellow bloggers a few times, only one young adult book set in the centre of the city came to light. Though I'd read no reviews of it or any other work by the author, I still decided to order Getting the Boot by Peggy Guthart Strauss to pack in my hand luggage.
As I've just mentioned, I have had no experience with this author or with the Students Across the Seven Seas stories, but from the blurb, this story sounded fun, light and most ideally, it was in the exact setting I wanted. The book is only 198 pages and a very simple, easy story to follow so I finished it quite some time before the end of my 3 hour flight. Despite the shortness of the novel, it didn't feel remarkably lacking and it had some fantastic Italian, specific-to-Rome references.
This story is mainly about an american student, Kelly, who takes a trip to Rome as part of a International Summer School Program. Kelly is your classic cliché popular, somewhat selfish high schooler and initially she doesn't care about getting educated in Italy - she's more interested in the fashion, the famous sights and most of all, the Italian guys. During her stay in Rome, Kelly slowly realises that there's more to life than appearances and she does develop some sort of respect and responsibility. Yeah - it's not exactly a new, intellectual or surprising concept, but it's a light read with a couple of 'issues' discussed along the way. I particularly enjoyed the bonds that Kelly made with an artistic girl in her dorm and also with her female teacher. Due to the length of the book, we don't go into huge depth, but what we were given was decent. I was, however, left disappointed with the romance aspect of this book - it was dull and the 'twist' was very predictable.
Though slightly younger teens and young-adults may enjoy these books more than maturer readers, I would recommend this to anyone who simply wants a speedy summer read - something extremely easy, relaxing and with a few nice references to Rome without going into cultural or emotional issues too heavily. It is definitely not the best piece of literature around, but it did its job well. I will definitely be looking into the other books in this series as I think they'll be great for a quick, fun read when I want one and they should hopefully give me little glimpses of different cities in our very large world.