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Fridays with Mayra Calvani

Posted on: November 26, 2010

            Beauty Shop for Rent
            By Laura Bowers
            Harcourt Books
            Hardcover, 330 pages
            Young Adult
            12 & up
            Author’s website:

            I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel
            by first-time author Laura Bowers.

            Fourteen-year old Abbey Garner lives with
            her great-grandmother and works part-time
            at her struggling beauty shop. The place
            has been displaying a ”For Rent” sign
            over a year, to no avail. Then one day a
            beautiful and sophisticated young woman
            comes to rent it, bringing with her
            modern ideas to remodel the shop. Soon
            Abbey grows to love and admire her. How
            can she not? She’s everything Abbey’s
            mother is not  successful, independent,
            reliable. Now that the shop has been
            turned into a modern spa, Abbey is able
            to work more toward her big dream: to
            become rich by the time she turns thirty
            five. But then, her mother, who had Abbey
            when she was sixteen and practically
            abandoned her, comes back into the
            picture, turning Abbey’s orderly life
            upside down.

            Don’t be fooled by the fun, whimsical
            aspect of the beauty spa idea; although
            the setting adds a touch of hilarity to
            the story, this is a strong, beautifully
            written and heart-warming tale about a
            young teenager’s search for maternal
            love. It is a coming-of-age novel about
            overcoming disappointment and about
            forgiveness. Abbey is a sensitive,
            thoroughly sympathetic protagonist.
            Beauty Shop for Rent is fine piece of
            work that will appeal to both young
            adults and adults alike.
            Award-winning author Mayra Calvani writes
            fiction and nonfiction for children and
            adults. She’s also a book reviewer for
            The New York Journal of Books. Visit her
            website at


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Irene Roth

Irene S. Roth, Freelance Writer for Teens, Tweens, and Kids

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