Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern

Lillian is madly in love with her best friend Josh, but from what she can tell, he doesn't feel the same way. Now that they've graduated from high school and she'll soon be off to college, she fears she's going to lose her chance with him. But then an opportunity arises. Her friend (she uses that term loosely) Penny sends her an ambiguous voicemail at 4:30 in the morning that only says three words: "I did it."

She has no idea what Penny is talking about, but then she suddenly remembers a conversation Penny had with her that she was only half-listening to when she mentioned something about faking her own kidnapping. Then Lil remembers something about Penny wanting to go see a guy in Portland that she met at Disney World. Armed with that scrap of information, Josh and Lil decide to set out on a quest to find Penny and tell no one, even the police and FBI who are looking for Penny, what their plans are.

Driving from Chicago to Portland in a beat-up Eurosport, Josh and Lil stop at every kitschy tourist attraction they come across on their way to find Penny. In the meantime, Lil must conjure up the courage to find out if Josh likes her as "more than a friend."

I was very strategic in reading this book when I did. I chose to read it this past weekend because my husband and I were taking a roadtrip of our own - from Michigan to North Carolina for a family wedding. It was the perfect antidote to the boredom of sitting in a car for ten hours. Lil and Josh were such humorous and endearing characters and their likability comes across right out the gate. Proof, once again, that I am all about character-driven novels more than plot-driven ones. This could have been a 200-page book of just Josh and Lil talking to each other without the roadtrip aspect of it and it still would have been entertaining.

And just like any roadtrip novel, there's some learning and growing involved. I don't want to give out any spoilers, but just know that Lil does more than just spend her time lusting after Josh. She does some growing of her own, as does Josh.

If you love roadtrip novels (and who doesn't?) then pick this one up today. It might even inspire you to hit the open road with your best friend.

Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern
Published: June 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 232
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Audience: Young Adult

1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this one, but kept hearing mixed reviews. Definitely going to pick it up now! Thanks :)