by Adi Alsaid
To be published by Harlequin Teen
on July 29, 2014
Source: Giveaway at BEA
Synopsis from Goodreads: Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most. There's Hudson, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And Bree, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. Elliot believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And Sonia worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love. Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.
My take: I first became aware of this book at BEA -- it's an Alloy Entertainment title and had a big publicity push at BEA, with a car painted like the cover.
|Photo from AlexaLovesBooks.com|
Then, the book is filled with 80s film references, which are ALWAYS fun -- in fact, many of the sections reminded me of a movie -- Hudson's chapter was one part Risky Business
(I mean, didn't Tom Cruise also have some kind of college interview in that movie?)
With a little bit of Something Wild...
Bree's section was one part Desperately Seeking Susan:
In Elliott's section, characters reference both lovelorn Duckie from Pretty in Pink
and Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything....
.... but I wasn't a big fan of Elliott and his love quest. Same with Sonia's part, which had me skimming.
The final section of the book turns back to Leila. As the MPDG (manic pixie dream girl) of the book, she serves as the emotional catalyst for all these other characters. But by the end, she does have a bit of a story of her own, which helped make more sense of what came before.
I must confess that I'm not always a big fan of the multi-narrative structure in books, and I definitely preferred some sections and characters over others. But if you are looking for a YA road trip book that's something different, and don't mind a story with a bunch of detours and a changing cast of characters, you might want to give this a try!