Guys. It finally happened. I didn’t know it was possible but here we are at a solid 4 stars.
There is a YA Contemporary book that I liked. Yep, this one was heartwarmingly good. Very good. I was so invested that I took notes; I used sticky notes; heck, I even saved quotes! I don’t do these often. This book was warm, fuzzy, and it hit me at all the right places. I first heard about this book through the booktube community. The person said this had playlists and scrapbook stuff on top of the road trip adventure and I was sold. Having experienced a cross-country bus ride, I kind of wish I collected stuff from every stop.
The title pretty much sums up what this book is about. It’s about a road trip, that much is obvious. But it’s not simply a road trip across the United States. It became a personal journey, individually for Amy and Roger; and also together. Here, Goodreads said it perfectly:
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
I saw parallels between myself and Amy. I’ve done the cross-country road trip twice about 5 years ago. I wasn’t driving though. Greyhound was my Liberty and the first generation B&N nook was my iPod. I did lose my father some years before. I have a brother who was living far away from me at the time of my trip. I love musical theatre. Sweet tea is the shiznit. I was also transplanted into a new place. I started the road trip in California and did spend a few days in Connecticut. I didn’t have a Roger though. That’s a huge difference.
And like Amy, I also didn’t like other people looking at my playlists. It mostly consists of a bunch of Les Miserables and non-English songs – mostly Korean and Japanese. I don’t know enough people in real life who can tolerate that mix for long stretches of time so I keep them mostly to myself (and at the same time, thinking my mix is better than yours LOL). I tried listening to Roger’s many playlists, my favorite being the 5th one with Starlight by Muse and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. And I appreciate so much the two versions of Heartbeats by The Knife and Jose Gonzalez.
Roger and Amy weren’t exactly friends when their mothers agreed for them to embark on this road trip. It was more of necessity than favors. Amy could not drive and Roger had to go to the East Coast anyway so why not just go together. The road trip idea was Amy’s mom’s way of saving money. The two were somewhat acquainted and Roger seemed like a nice guy. And cute too. Amy’s mom provided the itinerary and funds for the trip. But then, both Amy and Roger have other baggage to deal with and an unplanned adventure sounded like the perfect way to get it out of their system.
“Tomorrow will be better. [If it’s not] Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”
The road trip not only took them to different places but it also led them to new people. They did things that they weren’t able to do with the people they loved before they were taken away. The decision to veer away from the plan was reckless but it was the right choice to make. They did things that they won’t be able to do otherwise. In the process, they were able to find themselves and each other.
Some might have issues with the romance aspect but I personally loved it. It was predictable, as expected in a YA contemporary, but I liked the pace. I was actually kind of surprised it took that long but it wasn’t frustrating or sickly sweet. I knew it was coming but it was still so satisfying.
My issues lie with Amy’s mom. I get that she was furious because Amy and Roger took the longer way to their destination but she didn’t notice it sooner? If the card that Amy uses for their spending is connected to mom’s account… eh, I don’t know. There will always be loopholes. And also, if you think about it, a plane ticket plus freight charges might seem cheaper and more practical than gas money, food, and lodging that is required of a road trip. But hey, clouds vs scenery, can’t argue with that. It’s the experience! Trust me.
There’s a quote from Roger that goes, “The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.” This definitely rings true for me with this book. The one time I willingly decide to read a YA Contemporary, it ends up being added to my Favorites list. Maybe I should look more into this genre? 😉
Rating: 4/5. True fact: they mention a 21 Choices yogurt place in Pasadena. I live five minutes away from that place.