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Book Review: This Is What It Feels Like by Rebecca Barrow

Publisher’s description

this is whatThis tender story of friendship, music, and ferocious love asks: what will you fight for, if not yourself? You Don’t Know Me But I Know You author Rebecca Barrow’s next book is perfect for fans of Katie Cotugno and Emery Lord.

Who cares that the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is fifteen grand? Not Dia, that’s for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn’t got a shot at winning. Because ever since Hanna’s drinking took over her life, Dia and Jules haven’t been in it. And because ever since Hanna left—well, there hasn’t been a band.

It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now—and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship.

But like the lyrics of a song you used to play on repeat, there’s no forgetting a best friend. And for Dia, Jules, and Hanna, this impossible challenge—to ignore the past, in order to jump start the future—will only become possible if they finally make peace with the girls they once were, and the girls they are finally letting themselves be.

 

 

Amanda’s thoughts

I always like a story about complicated friendships. Here, in Barrow’s second book, we get just that; but it’s not just the story of why a friendship broke up, it’s also the story of how a friendship was patched back together.

 

Hanna, Dia, and Jules used to be best friends. Dia and Jules still are. They also used to be in a band together. Super tight, the girls played their mix of punk/grunge/R&B at shows and parties all around town until Hanna’s drinking problem got in the way. The book opens with them having just played a successful show, then jumps to the very end of senior year, 407 days after Hanna got sober. She’s no longer friends with Jules or Dia. The other two girls remain close, supporting each other through a break-up, a baby, and a death. We move around in time, narratively, and see their friendship in the past, see Hanna’s drinking escalate, and see Dia’s relationship with Elliot, the now-dead father of her baby. It’s easy to see how their friendship imploded, but it’s harder to see how the girls can put it back together. Enter the Sun City Originals contest.

 

Dia wants to enter the contest for a chance to win $15,000 and the opening spot for one of their favorite bands. Jules says it wouldn’t be right to enter without Hanna on drums, even though they haven’t even spoken to her in nearly two years. Reluctantly, the girls reform their band, but just their band—not their friendship. But playing together again means spending a lot of time together, and it’s hard to keep those walls up and hang on to those old hurts when they’re around each other so much, and when they’re having so much fun making music again. Dia and Jules realize they don’t even really know Hanna anymore. But can you start over being friends with someone when there’s so much baggage?

 

I loved this book for the painfully honest and authentic look at teenage friendship. The girls are all complex characters dealing with their own things. Dia has a toddler and is trying to protect her heart from falling in love and potentially losing another person. Jules is dating Autumn, a new girl at work who has never been in a relationship and isn’t sure if she’s a lesbian or bi or what. They’ve all just graduated high school and are trying to figure out what the future will bring. They’re not just trying to figure out who they are in relation to each other, but who they are in relation to many other people, and on their own. This story of trust, old wounds, rebuilding, and music is empowering and ultimately a powerful look at support female friendships. A great read.

 

Bonus: The whole time I read this, I was thinking about an amazing local (Minnesota) band that I saw last winter, Bruise Violet. I’m listening to them as I write this review. Check them out!

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss

ISBN-13: 9780062494238
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/06/2018

Book Review: I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

Publisher’s description

funeralHow do you deal with a hole in your life?

Do you turn to poets and pop songs?

Do you dream?

Do you try on love just to see how it fits?

Do you grieve?

If you’re Avery, you do all of these things. And you write it all down in an attempt to understand what’s happened–and is happening–to you.

I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain is an astonishing novel about navigating death and navigating life, at a time when the only map you have is the one you can draw for yourself.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

Things in Avery’s life are not going great. He’s laid up after being injured in a car accident. His mother has (finally) gone to rehab. He’s temporarily living across the street from his home with his grandpa, whom he calls Pal, and his grandpa’s girlfriend, Babs. Things are a little weird with Luca, his neighbor and best friend—they’d made a plan to be each other’s firsts, but this seemingly simple plan is complicated by life and complex feelings. Through all of this, Avery, who writes poetry, is discovering the work of many other poets (Plath, Berryman, Sexton, O’Hara, Ginsberg, Dickinson), thanks to his English teacher, and finding his own voice and ways of processing life.

 

Walton’s novel will challenge readers. It’s a mix of narrative, poems, imagined conversations/dreams, and bits of a eulogy. As we move back and forth in time, readers will see that Avery is speaking at Pal’s funeral, but it takes a while to find out how we got there. Avery’s grief, pain, loss, fears, love, hope, passions, and identity all get expressed and explored through poetry and music. This short book packs a powerful punch as it looks at grief, love, addiction, and hope. 

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9780545709569
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 05/29/2018

YA A to Z: Alcoholism, In Real Life and in Real Fiction, by by L.B. Schulman

It’s January, which means we’re discussing the Letter A in YA A to Z. Today we are talking about alcoholism with author L. B. Schulman. You can find out more about YA A to Z here.

yaatoz

When I was 13, my stepfather came home with a dim diagnosis from his doctor.  If he kept drinking, he would die within months. That wasn’t hard to believe, honestly. After all, my stepfather was drinking daily. He was bloated, and his face was a map of busted capillaries. When he passed out on the couch, his chest rose and fell in jerks and then went still until he gasped for air as if he’d just shot to the surface of the ocean.

The day after that diagnosis, he came home drunk. I was sure he would be dead by the next morning. Who gets told something like that and goes on to down another drink? But it turns out that this was a calculated move on my stepdad’s part. It involved buying several six packs of beer and drinking one less each day until he reached the last one. This was his final binging hurrah before he stopped cold turkey. From that day forward, he never touched another drop of alcohol.

stolen secrets

My stepfather didn’t die.  In fact, he lived another twenty years before Alzheimer’s took his life. The day after that last beer, he signed himself up for rehab. Not long after, he joined Alcoholics Anonymous and became the poster child for sobriety. After much reflection, and a systematic climb up AA’s Twelve Steps, he became a sponsor to help others who struggled with the destructive disease. For the next few years until I went to college, I remember him bringing a motley crew of “guests” home for dinner. One actually moved into our house temporarily. I remember seeing all the bottles of booze tucked in our trashcan during her stay.

Infographic: Teen Alcohol Abuse

When I created my protagonist’s mother, Gretchen, I knew that she would share this same disease. Because of the specific story I gave her, I figured she would have a harder time becoming sober. After all, her invented childhood was marred by a dysfunction of epic proportions. The only way out of the rabbit hole was to identify the true cause of her burdened childhood.

Teen Corner (Alateen) | Al-Anon Family Groups

Coping With an Alcoholic Parent – KidsHealth

In the meantime, any random stressor might cause Gretchen to drink again. I knew from firsthand experience that it would be hard for her daughter, Livvy, to trust that sobriety would last. She would always live with one eye open to the possibility that her mother might slip up.

Gretchen is an example of someone who achieves sobriety, then fails, and has the courage to try again. This is a tough addiction to beat, and not everyone is successful the first time. Livvy, like many teens dealing with this situation, grapple with an immense resentment at her own blemished childhood, as well as sympathy for her mother’s unexplained demons.

This is where my own experience stops and fiction takes over. Although alcoholism can begin for many reasons, it didn’t seem too far-fetched that it might be an aftereffect of family trauma. It was a common theme that concentration camp victims, for example, didn’t want to rehash what had happened to them, not even with family. Could repression result in dysfunction that’s handed down to subsequent generations? Seemed viable to me, and I wanted to explore it in this novel.

Learn From Their Mistakes: Drugs and Alcohol in YA Literature

After I wrote Stolen Secrets, I discovered that my instinct was spot on. According to the book, “Familial Responses to Alcohol Problem,” the rate of alcoholism in Jewish families went from very low prior to World War I to average after World War II. Something about the experience of war, whether one if fighting or suffering through it, leads to an increase in escapist activities.

Livvy, my protagonist, finds out that her grandmother has a previously unknown connection to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. The key to her family’s healing appears to be in the revelation of a carefully-guarded truth. (Not trying to be vague here, but no one likes spoilers, right?)

Young Adult Alcoholic – Types of Alcoholics – Alcohol Rehab

In Stolen Secrets, acknowledging the effects of trauma is the non-existent “Thirteenth Step” that Gretchen must go through in order to be healed. The discovery of what truly happened in Bergen Belsen will offer Livvy, her mother, and grandmother a release from the confines of an inauthentic life.

Living with honesty, whether that be from the understanding of why someone drinks on a simpler level to the exploration of a deeper psychological motivation, is always the most healing path. This is one of the major themes of my book, and I truly believe it.

All Alcoholism books – YA Books Central

Writing about Gretchen has helped me to acknowledge the truth of how alcoholism affected my own childhood. Teens that are going through this with a parent may well identify with the emotions I shared with Livvy, ranging from anger to resentment to understanding to, hopefully, the ability to one day forgive.

I hope that teen readers in a similar circumstance will read Stolen Secrets and realize that determination and honesty can save anyone from anything. After all, hope exists as long as a person doesn’t quash it. Alcoholism may be a lifelong disease, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.

Meet Author L. B. Schulman

STOLEN SECRETS is L.B. Schulman’s second young adult novel. Her debut, LEAGUE OF STRAYS, was published in 2012. She grew up in Maryland and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, and a pair of loveable mutts. When she isn’t writing, she’s visiting genealogy sites, trying to find famous people she’s related to. You can visit her online at LBSchulman.com.

Book Review: The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of School Library Journal.

 

Hop on over to the Rafflecopter to enter to win a copy of THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOW. Contest ends January 27th. 

 

the-youHopkins, Ellen. The You I’ve Never Known

ISBN-13: 9781481442909 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books Publication date: 01/24/2017

Gr 9 Up—Ariel and her father, an abusive, homophobic alcoholic, never stay in one place very long. Miraculously, though, they have spent Ariel’s entire junior year in Sonora, CA, and she hopes that, for once, they can stick around. Here, she has finally experienced a bit of stability and made friends. She has also begun to explore her sexuality with both new guy Gabe and Monica, her “queer Mexican American” best friend. Ariel keeps her feelings for Monica from her father, who never lets her forget that her mother left them when Ariel was two to “run off with her lesbian lover.” The teen longs to break free from her father’s control and be herself—whoever that is. Seventeen-year-old Maya, a Texan whose cold and abusive mother is increasingly involved in Scientology, seeks escape, too, and she finds it when she meets Jason, 10 years her senior; gets pregnant; and marries. But Jason has an escape plan of his own, one that will bring Ariel’s and Maya’s stories together in a startling way. Themes of identity, family, and truth are interrogated as readers slowly learn more about Ariel and Maya. Writing in verse (Ariel’s tale) and prose (Maya’s), Hopkins uses skillful pacing and carefully chosen words to conceal the most important truth of the novel. The reveal arrives just as readers may be putting the pieces together themselves. VERDICT A sharp, gripping read sure to please Hopkins’s legions of fans.—Amanda MacGregor

#MHYALit: Where Are the Books on Addiction for Your Mental Health Book List? by author Christa Desir

Today as part of the release day celebration for her third novel, OTHER BROKEN THINGS, author Christa Desir is joining us for #MHYALit to talk about addiction.

addiction6

Whenever I see lists of books about mental illness, I am always baffled by the complete omission of any books on addiction. But recently, a friend told me that she doesn’t consider addiction to be a mental illness since there is a choice in deciding to use, but not in what is going on with your emotions.

Wait…what?

I was completely shocked to hear this. First, drug use disorders and drug dependence are both catalogued in the DSM, which is sort of the preeminent book on all mental health disorders. Second, new research is being done every day to identify the cause of addiction (and why some are more susceptible to it) and many theorize there could be deficiencies in the brain reward systems of the people who are more likely to become addicts. Third, in many cases of addiction, there are numerous other mental health issues in play and it is often difficult to ascertain what is exactly causing different behaviors (for example: depressives who self-medicate with alcohol become more depressed because of the effects of alcohol). And finally, even if there is no absolute consensus on the cause of addiction, there is a tremendous amount of agreement on the distorted cognitive and emotional functioning of addicts.

But our country was founded on principles of strength and self-reliance and discipline, so more often than not, people have little empathy for addicts. I have heard over and over, “Well, they did it to themselves.” As if systems of oppression, marginalization, resource inadequacies, etc. don’t play a tremendous roll in drug/alcohol use. As if people wake up and think, “Today, I’m going to become an addict.”

Earlier this year, I served on a jury trial about a woman who had become addicted to prescription drugs and the doctor who had been treating her with these drugs for thirteen years. The woman OD’d and died. Half of the jurors in the case blamed the woman completely, and did not hold in any way responsible the doctor who had been enabling her habit in spite of his knowledge of her drug-seeking behaviors. I have never gotten such insight into people’s feelings about addicts as I did in that jury deliberation room.

The United States has a drug problem, one that spins out into lots of other areas (unemployment, mass incarceration, etc). Our country is in the midst of a heroin epidemic with its use increasing 63% in the last eleven years, but this isn’t what people want to talk about. Because at the heart of all addiction conversation is usually a finger-pointing blame that an addict “did this to herself.”

Addiction is a complicated thing, and there is no easy answer. But there is no doubt in my mind that if we treated it more as a mental illness, if we looked at addiction as a disease and not as a weakness, we would make more strides toward solving it.

Six books dealing with addiction/recovery:

addictionpic

Ellen Hopkin’s Crank: In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.”

Nic Sheff’s Tweak: Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery.

Amy Reed’s Clean: Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves.

Kelly Fiore’s Thicker Than Water: Cyrus wasn’t always the drug-addled monster he’d become. He was a successful athlete, but when an injury forced him off the soccer field and onto pain medication, his life became a blur of anger, addiction, and violence. All CeCe could do was stand by and watch, until she realized one effective way to take away her brother’s drugs while earning the money she needed for college: selling the pills.

Jacqueline Woodson’s Beneath A Meth Moon: Hurricane Katrina took her mother and granmother. And even though Laurel Daneau has moves on to a new life—one that includes a new best friend, a spot on the cheerleading squad, and dating the co-captain of the football team—she can’t get past the pain of that loss. Then her new boyfriend introduces her to meth, and Laurel is instantly seduced by its spell, the way it erases, even if only temporarily, her memories.

Christa Desir’s Other Broken Things: Nat’s not an alcoholic. She doesn’t have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Meet Christa Desir:

Christa Desir is a YA author and rape victim advocate. Her YA novels, Fault Line and Bleed Like Me, are both honest and gutwrenching explorations of teens grappling with real world issues like rape (Fault Line) and cutting (Bleed Like Me). In January 2016 her next book, Other Broken Things, releases and it explores addiction in the life of a female boxer. I recently read a copy of Other Broken Things on Edelweiss and it has an engagingly authentic teen voice and I liked the way it honestly dealt with and talked about the topic of addiction. Our teen reviewer Lexi says, “I think every teen should read this book. Every kid who feels broken. Every girl who feels like they can’t make it. Every boy who feels like giving up. Every and any person who feels like they are the only ones broken, because they’re not. This book is so painfully honest that it hurts to read at points. But it’s so worth it.”

About Other Broken Things:

Nat’s not an alcoholic. She doesn’t have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He’s also older. A lot older.

Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she’s been desperate to forget.

Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.

Simon Pulse, 2016

See all the #MHYALit Posts Here

Book Review: Other Broken Things by Christa Desir, reviewed by teen reviewer Lexi

When I read OTHER BROKEN THINGS by Christa Desir, I thought it was one of the most authentic teen voices I had read in a while. And now that we a TLT Teen Advisory Board, I thought I would ask one of them to read it and tell me what they thought. Lexi’s review follows the summary.

other brokenSummary:

Nat’s not an alcoholic. She doesn’t have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He’s also older. A lot older.

Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she’s been desperate to forget.

Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.

Lexi’s Review:

“ Life can be crap sometimes and it’s best you know that early. Then you won’t be surprised when things go to hell. If you recognize nothings perfect, you won’t drink to make it go away, because you realize it never goes away. There’s constant suffering.”

This book.

I have never read a book that has ever gotten close to depicting how life can be for a real 17 year old girl.

Until now.

Natalie struggles through her addiction of not only alcohol but her addiction to everything else she does in place of it. She fights and sometimes she doesn’t win but she still gets back up and continues fighting the battle of living.

I admire the author for this. I admire her because out of every book I’ve read, I’ve never felt like the author had actually remembered what it was like to be a teen.

Every generation is different. It just so happens that my generation is known for our substance abuse and promiscuity. Other Broken Things captures this. This book tells a story that feels all too familiar for me. It’s brutally honest and doesn’t hold back or filter the harsh truths about our youth. The author wrote this book telling a fictional story that could so easily be true for many of us.

And this is why it caught me by surprise that I enjoyed it so much. I read to get away from reality. Reading this book made me think about everything that I experience in a single day of high school. Rather than escaping reality, this book threw me head first into my own. Sometimes I feel like adults forget how hard it is for teens. How much we go through. The crap we put up with everyday from our parents, our friends, and from our teachers. I think adults forget that we are still kids trying to find a way out of the madness and instead of helping they ridicule us because back in their day they made it on their own and they came out just fine. But they forget that we aren’t them and we need guidance for our own path.

Natalie’s story is such a perfect description of these feelings. Her pain and wrong turns could have easily been mine or a friends. This realization stuns me. Her whole story seems to be a representation of people I know. Friends who abuse alcohol or other illegal substances to forget about their stress and about how crappy their lives are. Friends who have gotten abortions because they were too young and still kids themselves to try to raise one. Friends who seek out attention from older guys to replace the love their fathers never gave them.

But Natalie’s story also teaches us a lifesaving lesson: if you’re willing to fight for it, you can make it. Life won’t get better unless you work for it. You can’t change unless you want to. Our mistakes don’t define us. But by acknowledging that we make them will help us learn from them as well.

I think every teen should read this book. Every kid who feels broken. Every girl who feels like they can’t make it. Every boy who feels like giving up. Every and any person who feels like they are the only ones broken, because they’re not.

This book is so painfully honest that it hurts to read at points. But it’s so worth it.

Other Broken Things by Christa Desir will be released by Simon Pulse on January 12th, 2016. She will be sharing a post with us about addiction as part of the #MHYALit Discussion on this day.

Book Review: The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg

porcupineThere are some books that you finish and think, well, that’s it—I can’t pick up another book today. Gotta let this one sit. Bill Konigsberg’s The Porcupine of Truth is one of those books. In fact, I suspect I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come. This was the 65th book I read this year, and it stands out as easily being in my top ten so far.

 

Carson and his mom relocate from New York to Billings, Montana for the summer. Carson hasn’t seen his dad for 14 years—not since he was 3—and now his dad, a longtime alcoholic, is dying of cirrhosis of the liver. Caron’s mother, a therapist/school counselor, dumps him at the zoo when they first arrive in town, where he runs into Aisha, an intriguingly funny girl around his own age. It turns out Aisha isn’t just hanging out at the zoo—she’s been sleeping there since her dad kicked her out of their house for being a lesbian. Her dad wanted to send her away to a religious program to “make” her straight, but Aisha would rather live on the streets than suffer through that. Carson and Aisha instantly bond and he invites her to stay with his family. When they start to clean out flood-damaged boxes in the basement storage, they uncover some interesting details about Carson’s father’s family that don’t exactly match up with the story he’s been told. Carson knows his grandpa (also an alcoholic) took off when his dad was just a kid, but doesn’t know much beyond that. He and Aisha start to put some pieces together and decide to embark on a road trip to see if they can uncover the truth… and maybe meet his grandpa.

 

On their road trip they follow in grandpa Russ’s footsteps, tracking down the same people he stayed with as he went west. Throughout Wyoming, Utah, and California, Carson and Aisha have many deep and profound (as well as silly) conversations about family, faith, and choices. Early on Carson notes that he doesn’t believe in God. Aisha isn’t a fan of the things people do in the name of Jesus—she bonds with Carson’s dad over this, too. They decide they believe in plenty of things other than God—waffles, strawberries, and The Porcupine of Truth, their made-up deity. On their journey, they meet and have intense conversations with a spiritual couple, a narrow-minded Christian, a Mormon couple, and a man raised Jewish but who has lots of questions and sees lots of options for faith and belief.

 

Here is the part where I talk about some spoilers, okay? Because this book is so important and I want to tell you why. So if you intend to read it—and you should—and don’t want to know what happens near the end, just stop reading this review now. Know that the book is wonderful—I laughed and cried in equal parts. The writing is brilliant and the story will stick with you.

 

Are you sticking with me? Ready for the spoilers? Okay.

 

When Carson and Aisha get to San Francisco, they track down a man named Turk who may have known Russ. When Carson finds this now elderly man, he is in for a big surprise: Turk was his grandpa’s lover. Another shock? His grandpa died in the early 80s from AIDS. When he finds this out, standing in front of an AIDS quilt, he loses it. Everything that follows is profoundly moving. What was a good book became a great book in the last 100 or so pages. For those of us who were adults or even children in the 80s, we remember seeing the initial stories about AIDS, reading about the panic and fear, understanding that, generally speaking, it was a death sentence. And it never becomes less powerful or upsetting to see a personal story of life in the shadow of AIDS. Many teen readers might not fully understand the history behind AIDS (going back to it being called GRID and understanding how severely it ravaged the gay community) or have seen or read some of the documentaries or stories adults are more familiar with. This look at what it meant to be a gay man at this period of time will be deeply moving for readers of all ages. For Carson, he came to Billings with only a rather icy mother who talked to him like he was one of her patients. Weeks later, his father is back in his life, his mother understands now what he needs from her, and he has a new grandpa (Turk) and sister (Aisha).

 

This story of family—both the one we are born into and the one we can choose to make—is not to be missed. Konigsberg packs so much into this story, and his characters, all damaged and flawed, struggle with HUGE questions. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It left me wanting to know more about all of the characters’ pasts and their futures. Masterfully written and intensely moving, this is a road trip book unlike any other. Be ready to laugh, groan, and cry as you follow Carson and Aisha on their (literal and metaphorical) journey.

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9780545648936

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

Publication date: 5/26/2015