Wednesday 29 July 2015

Recommendations: Road trips!

Summer is the season of the road trip novel and it just so happens that I love road trip novels! Here are some of my favourites:

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson
S&S|7th July 2011

Amy has had a sucky year and her mum deciding that they’re moving from California to the East Coast and Amy has to get the car there doesn’t really improve anything. Especially as she hasn’t driven since her dad died. The son of a family friend, Roger, comes to the rescue, joining Amy on her trip. To her surprise, Roger turns out to be funny, sweet and cute and he’s intent on turning their cross country drive into a full-on road trip.

Morgan Matson’s debut is sweet, fun and emotional and it’s just the perfect summer read. Amy and Roger go on a real emotional journey as well as a physical one and I loved watching them get to know each other, open up and fall in love. All of the little extras – tickets, playlists, photos, receipts, menus – just made it come alive. Wonderful!

From What I Remember, Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas
Electric Monkey|7th January 2012

Kylie is due to give the most important speech of her life at midday today – the Valedictorian speech. But she’s just woken up in Mexico with a killer hangover and next to the hottest boy in school.

This book is one of the most fun I’ve ever had reading. It’s hilarious and heartwarming and has an unexpected depth to it. The characters grow and develop such a lot in such a short amount of time and I fell in love with them. Everyone is complex and layered and there’s just so much more under the surface and it takes this crazy, crazy adventure for everyone to figure that out about each other. Highly, highly recommended.

How to Be Bad, E Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle
Hot Key Books|4th June 2015

Vicks is a wild-child; Jesse has a life-changing secret and Mel is the new girl, desperate for some friends. As different as they may be, they all have one thing in common: they want to escape. So they “borrow” Jesse’s mum’s car and head to Miami for the weekend.

This is an easy, enjoyable read about three very different girls. I remember loving how distinct each point of view felt as each author wrote each girl and you don’t know who wrote which until after the story.

Open Road Summer, Emery Lord
Bloomsbury USA|3rd March 2015

Reagan has just broken up with her boyfriend and she’s nursing a shattered heart. Her best friend, Dee, is a country superstar and recovering from her own break-up. Fortunately, Dee’s huge American tour is about to kick off, offering the girls a summer of bonding. Then Matt Finch joins the tour and his charm could be more than Reagan can resist…

I fell in love with this novel at the beginning of the year. It hit me in a way that a book hadn’t in a long time and I devoured it. It’s both warm and summery and angsty and emotional in the way that the best contemp is and I just, GAH, I LOVED THIS BOOK! Emery Lord became an instant favourite and I devoured her second book, The Start of Me and You, as soon as it came out and her third is already on pre-order.

Pretty Bad Things, CJ Skuse
Chicken House|1st March 2010

Twins Paisley and Bea hit the headlines when they went missing for three days when they were six. They were looking for their dad. But now they’re sixteen and they have a clue; they might finally find him.

CJ writes wonderfully off the wall, funny and charming UKYA. (And she’s an awesome person too, btw). The plot for this one is a little bizarre, but in the best way. There’s a Las Vegas sweet shop crime spree, two very different twins and the constant fear of Paisley and Beau’s world coming crashing down. Such fun!

Paper Towns, John Green
Bloomsbury|19th December 2013

Q has loved Margo Roth Spiegelman for as long as he can remember so when she climbs through him window one night and invites him on a revenge mission, he can’t say no. But she’s not at school the next morning and she still hasn’t showed up after a week. Then Q starts to spot clues and so he goes on a road trip with his two best friends to track her down and learns about him and Margo along the way.

This one really doesn’t need an introduction, but with the adaptation coming out soon I couldn’t leave it off my list! It’s been a really long time since I read this, but I remember it being just as witty and thoughtful as you’d expect from John Green. Now I think I’d definitely see Margo as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but I do like her character and the journey she and Q go on in the novel. Read it before the film!

Two-Way Street, Lauren Barnholdt
Simon Pulse|26th June 2007

Jordan and Courtney are totally in love. They’re going to the same college and they have a cross-country road trip to get there. But then Jordan dumps Courtney for a girl he met on the internet and it’s too late to change plans: the road trip is still on. Courtney is heart-breaking but powering through it. Jordan has a secret about why they really broke up and why they can’t ever get back together.

This is an oldie! Told in dual narrative (my fave), we get two different sides to the same story and a gritty look at a complex, genuine relationship between high school sweethearts. This is one of those books that you can devour in a few short hours whether you’re chilling by the pool or bemoaning the damp English summer. Pure escapist fun.

The Last Summer of Us, Maggie Harcourt
Usborne|1st May 2015

Limpet, Jared and Stefan are embarking on their last road trip together. Everything’s changing and it’s only going to carry on changing – they need to escape for a few days so they climb into Stefan’s clapped-out old car and take to the road.

What’s that? A UKYA road trip novel, you ask? YES. Maggie Harcourt’s debut is set in Wales! There’s such a genuine feel about this novel. They bicker, they tease each other, it doesn’t always go to plan and there are some utterly ridiculous moments that crop up along the way. It’s beautiful, sad and hopeful and I loved it.

So those are my road trip recs! Do you have any you think I’ve missed? Any you recommend?


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