Where the Road Leads Us – Robin Reul – Sourcebooks Fire – Published 6 April 2021
Jack is on the verge for leaving for college, but before he does, he wants to track down his estranged brother, Alex and find some closure in the wake of their father’s death. Meanwhile, Hallie has just found out some upsetting news about a friend in Oregon, and she has a small window to go see him before it’s too late.
Jack and Hallie are practically strangers. They shared a class together years ago and haven’t seen each other since, though they have more in common than they’d ever imagine. And when fate puts them into the same rideshare to the bus terminal, it kicks off an unconventional and hilarious adventure that may lead them to their own true selves…and maybe to each other.
Should you follow your heart and if so, how do you decide what your heart is telling you? That’s what Jack and Hallie must both answer in this road trip novel about finding forgiveness, finding your voice and finding your path in this world.
I love road trip novels. I love contemporary novels that combine hope for the future with hurts from the past. That’s exactly what you get in Where The Road Leads Us. Jack has a plan for the future – graduate, internship in New York and follow in his father’s footsteps to become a doctor. But when his girlfriend breaks up with him on graduation night and he spends his birthday alone, he decides to follow the clues in a note from his late father to his estranged brother and finally try to reconnect with his brother.
Hallie knows nothing in her future is certain, not going to college and not her health. When she is given one last chance to meet and say goodbye to an online friend, she decides to follow her heart. Even if it means going on a road trip with two guys she might have just met or sort of know from school.
This adventure is a chance for Hallie and Jack to decide what they really want from life. Relationships, family, future study or work and why they are making those decisions. It is an uplifting story but one that contains much hurt, family breakdown and grief. It’s an addictive combination.
It surprised me how funny this book was. From stolen dogs with serious gas to car theft and taking on those thieves to get the car back, this book has adventure and laughs and is a whole heap of fun, while still addressing some serious topics, including addictions, family breakdown, grief and illness.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Themes: Road trip, family breakdown, addiction, grief, romance, assisted suicide, relationships, breakups.
Reading Age Guide: Ages 14 and up
Advisory: References to addiction, overdose and near death. References to assisted suicide. Sexual references – mother is a sex therapist, few sex jokes. References to alcohol consumption and drug use. Coarse language, f*** (13), sh** (30), as***** (4), pi** (5), di** (2), bit** (2),
Published: 6 April 2021 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 304 pages.