“Holy cow. What did I just read because I think it changed my life.”
Review by Erin Phillips
In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.
After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?
Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.
He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.
And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.
Release Date: 10/2/2018
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Holy cow. What did I just read because I think it changed my life. From a birds-eye view, this story was instantly relatable for me. The writing was very authentic and genuine, and there were so many questions raised at the beginning that I needed answered as soon as possible! On top of that, the inventory line at the top of each chapter was an incredible storytelling device. And the flashbacks were perfectly paced to slowly reveal the past–especially in relation to Jackson–without dumping too much at once. Over all the story had a fantastic set-up and believable circumstances. Jackson was such a great character. The author did a great job of representing alchohalism from a kid’s perspective, and the kind of guilt that addiction builds within a person, even if on the outside it seems like they don’t notice or don’t care. It was an excellent exploration of a broken relationship between a father and daughter, and even though Jackson isn’t around, a powerful story of healing that relationship. “People claim that guys like the ones I write about in my books don’t really exist. There’s no such man. No one would ever do the kind of things my characters do, go to the kind of lengths they go to. My response to those comments is always the same.” “What’s that?” I prompt. “I tell them that men like that do exist. They’re just rare.” The romance between Nico and Ali was a top-notch second chance lovers story. Their relationship was built on really a solid friendship but with all the butterflies and excitement of love. It was so sweet and fun to get to see them break down each other’s walls and learn to trust, for real this time. Ali was such a great protagonist and while our struggles and hurts are not the same, the way she reacted to pain was me to a tee. And honestly, it was majorly convicting by the end. The way that her character is set up from the very beginning foreshadows the lesson she needs to learn, and I honestly was crying by the end. The themes of not only forgiveness, but also the danger of assumptions and trying to protect yourself by projecting past hurts onto others really hit home for me. This is one I will definitely be rereading again and often. A new favorite hands down.
Action & Gore:
Romance & Spice:
2. Mild content (holding hands and mild kissing).
Cursing & Vulgarity:
3. Infrequent mild cursing (less than 10 h*lls etc. including British words).
Other Trigger Warnings:
Content: walk-on lgbt characters
Our Reviews of Other Books by this author: