Thursday, September 8, 2011
Review: Don't Stop Now
Author: Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; (June 7, 2011)
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?
Lillian has just graduated from high school. She'll be attending college in the fall, and she is in love with her best friend, who plans to mooch off his wealthy father and try to get a band together. When her "project", a girl she's spent the last year trying to help, decides to fake her own kidnapping to escape her crappy life, Lil sees an opportunity to have one last hurrah with Josh and see if she get him to admit that they're perfect for each other.
Hmm. Well, I was frankly annoyed by this book. Lillian and Josh are both pretty annoyingly self-absorbed at the start of this book, and I found myself frustrated by their rude and condescending tone towards Penny, who is clearly troubled. In the end, the hipster, too-cool vibe of the book was too much for me.
But there was some growth, on both their parts, before their trip was over. And I'm always pleased by teen books that show that even when you're in love with someone, it isn't always going to be forever. So it wasn't a complete washout. But if you're looking for a road-trip book with a believable romance, do yourself a favor and pick up Amy and Roger's Epic Detour instead.