Blog Tour: Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll

Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
Status: standalone
Links: check out my 4.5 star Unclaimed Baggage review!

Doris--a lone liberal in a conservative small town--has mostly kept to herself since the terrible waterslide incident a few years ago. Nell had to leave behind her best friends, perfect life, and too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Chicago to move to Alabama. Grant was the star quarterback and epitome of "Mr. Popular" whose drinking problem has all but destroyed his life. What do these three have in common? A summer job working in a store called Unclaimed Baggage cataloging and selling other people's lost luggage. Together they find that through friendship, they can unpack some of their own emotional baggage and move on into the future.

My summer jobs:
In my work history, I've had some pretty typical jobs: babysitting in my teens, a stint in retail at the end of high school, and a super ordinary tour as an intern in a corporate office running a thousand copies each day until a vice president got angry that I was using the printer next to his door so his secretary had to tell me use the one across the office. But I've also had some fun ones.

After a year attempting to control a rowdy group of freshmen as an RA in college, I applied for my home county government's summer internship, hoping I'd get a spot with the library. I wound up.... in senior services. Which was AWESOME because senior folks tell great stories and help you learn cool card games like Rook and bridge. In return, I taught them how to play Wii!

Currently, I work at a library where I get to do stuff like paint rocks like the galaxy & other crafts, plan author signings, and help people with their summer reading. Summer is a pu lic library's busiest season because there are always a thousand fun things going on each week and lots of families hanging out so we've always got to bring our A game!

But the coolest (and MOST demanding) summer job I had was when I was working at a children's science discovery center. I had several positions over the years at the center, but in 2014, I was unexpectedly promoted to co-summer camp coordinator. It was basically like being a school principal so there was a lot of admin work to do, but I also got to wander around the various classes and help the kiddos. From go-karts and engineering to space, weather to culinary science, we explored it all, and even though I was basically working 60 hour weeks for a couple months, it was one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever done.

 Learning LEGO boost

 Time for a test drive!

 Creating a water filter

Homemade volcano WITHOUT 
vinegar & baking soda.

 Zap! Playing with the 
Van de Graaf generator.

One week toward the end of summer, one of my instructors unexpectedly quit so I had to look for a last-minute replacement. The best available sub? My former coworker & science expert sister! We couldn't find a last minute sitter for my niece so she spent her time hanging with me that week--literally!

The best review I've ever received: 5 stars!

Science DIY
Now for the fun part: I'm going to share a little science experiment with you. It's really easy, and most of the materials can be found in your own home. Plus, it's a blast... literally!

I'm sure you know about mentos & diet coke, but in case you don't: pouring a tube of mentos in diet coke makes the coke shoot out like a rocket! BUUUUT what you may not know is you can achieve similar results if you use substances like salt, sugar, and borax (which is a cleaning agent found primarily in laundry detergent).

The next time you're at the store, grab a couple extra 2 liters of diet coke, take them outside, and pour of a few tablespoons of each into them (do one substance per bottle) & see what happens!

My advice: pour quickly and stand upwind!

Now it's your turn: tell me about your coolest, best, and/or worst summer jobs!

Purchase Links:

Tour Schedule:
9/16: The Bookish Photog - Instagram & review
9/17: Undeniably {Book} Nerdy - Review
Review combined with quirky summer job nightmares
9/18: Book Briefs - Review
9/19: Mary Had A Little Book Blog - 
Quirky summer jobs & Instagram
9/20: Miss Print - Review
9/20: Bookish Beagle - Review and summer jobs
9/21: Novel Novice - "Over packing tips" + review
9/21: Love Is Not A Triangle - Review

About the Author:
Jen Doll has written for The Atlantic, The Atlantic Wire, Cosmopolitan, The Hairpin, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Toast, Topic, Vice, The Village Voice, and The Week, among others. She grew up in Alabama and lives in Brooklyn and upstate New York.

Author Links:


  1. Summer jobs--yes, some of mine were horrible and I even got fired from one because I called in sick! The manager said she didn't care that I felt horrible and that if I didn't come in, I was terminated. I refused to work that day, so bye-bye job. So wasn't worth the minimum wage anyway as I had to deal with angry customers in a non-air-conditioned building, which made them extra bothered apparently. One summer job was the best--I worked at an automobile manufacturing factory and got to drive a new convertible on work time.

    1. Man, I hate how so many people are pressured to go to work sick! But I love the idea of driving new cars at work. I've never ridden in a convertible!