On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?
Honestly, I think I could read road trip books all day long! They really make me want to grab some of my friends and drive across the country on a whim.
I liked the writing style, it was funny and light. But every once in a while we would be reminded about Penny through alternating chapters from the past where she is very creepy and scarily insecure, leaving me to wonder throughout the book if she was alive. It was also fast paced which is good for a road trip book.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between Lil and Josh, I liked how they interacted and their banter. Which if you are a long time follower of this blog you know I’m a sucker for. Their awkwardness made them more relatable, and made me think about my crushes on guys who only think of me as a friend.
Part of this book that I really liked was the descriptions of all the places they traveled to. I was captivated and felt as if I had been there. Such as The House on the Rock, or Wall Drug. I kind of want to go visit now and see if they look like the pictures in my head. That is one of the best part of reading I think, being able to see places that may not exist, or you’ve never gone to, in detail and yearning to visit. This book definitely made me want to visit all these places.
One of the small things that I didn’t like was that I felt at times that their search for Penny was secondary, and while that was the case for the story, and I know that Lil and her weren't even really friends. I just wish Lil and Josh had focused on that a little more, instead of just flipping back to that whenever it was convenient to the plot.
Besides that I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait for more from Julie!
And don’t forget to check out my This or That interview with Julie!