Things have been a little wild in my real life lately, and this book was just the comfort that I needed. Our teenage protagonist Rosie got cheated on by her boyfriend, and while burning a box of their memories in his driveway, she might have accidentally set his car on fire. Oops. And she might have also accidentally followed him and maybe called his phone a few too many times… So Rosie ends up with a temporary restraining order. Her court date is in a few weeks.
This is the over-the-top premise that lands Rosie on a parentally-forced cross-country road trip with her goody-goody neighbor and a couple of his friends. Her parents figure the time away from home (and her ex) will be a good thing to ensure that she obeys the restraining order. I found this a little unbelievable, but whatever.
Ultimately this is a teen road trip novel. It’s pretty good, and made me want to travel to see some of the things that were mentioned. Though not particularly lyrical or floridly written, the plot takes a few non-traditional curves that will keep you entertained. Rosie is stubborn, smart, and likable, and the boys who she’s on the trip with have a bit of dimension too. The story is engrossing and comfortable– but not entirely predictable.
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The author took care of a lot in 310 pages!
Modern-day teenage Mallory feels like her life is falling apart when she dumps her boyfriend after learning that he’s been cheating on her with another girl on the internet. In this same spot of time, she finds a list of goals that her grandmother made as a teenager. The brief list included items such as “run for pep squad secretary,” “find a steady,” and “sew a dress for homecoming.”
Floored by the simplicity of these goals, and assuming that life “back then” must have been much better in its apparent simplicity, Mallory decides that her own life needs some simplifying, and makes the goal to do everything on her grandmother’s list. Oh, and to live as much like her grandmother did in the 1960’s as possible, and avoid using all modern electronics until homecoming, which is a few weeks away.
This book was great! Mallory and the other characters had plenty of dimension, there was a hearty nod to thrift stores and vintage fashion (which I was happy about), and the background family drama/mystery was interesting enough to keep me reading– but not overwhelming enough to cloud the story. It’s definitely a book for teenagers (especially for digital natives who were born in the age of the internet and cell phones), but it’s unique and multidimensional enough to be an entertaining diversion for a YA-loving adult.
Find a copy at your nearest library