Author: Adi Alsaid
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Hardback: 338 pages
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
How did I get this book: Bought
Check out the summary on Goodreads.
What I thought:
I’m going to start this review with what I didn’t like about this book. Mostly because what I didn’t like happened right at the beginning. Leila is on a road trip from Louisiana to Alaska to see the Northern Lights. On her way, she stops by a car shop in Mississippi (I live in MS, so this was cool!) and meets Hudson. I don’t want to give too much away but can you say instalove? Geez. Here’s one of Hudson’s reasons why: “I like her face. I really like her face.” (page 33) Seriously? Ugh. So yeah, that annoyed me because you guys know I hate instalove. Also:
“He only allowed himself a quick glance at her, knowing as soon as he saw her that she was the kind of girl who could make you think your life was not complete unless she was in it.” (PAGE 1)
That was on page one and two. UGH.
On the other hand, here’s a quote I loved:
“Funny, how it took a little bit of pain to remember that certain parts of yourself were alive.” (Page 37)
After Leila leaves MS, she meets Bree. This was probably my favorite section. I should mention that each of the sections are kind of told from the perspectives of the people Leila meets (though they are in third person). Bree lost both of her parents and fought with her sister, so she’s been hitchhiking across the country. This section had emotional depth, which I appreciated, and the friend chemistry between Leila and Bree was pretty on point.
The other two sections we get before we have one set from Leila’s POV were Elliot, a funny guy who’s had his heart broken, and Sonia, a girl still grieving over the loss of her first love who is trying to figure out how to move on. I enjoyed both of these sections; Elliot’s for the humor and for the romance I was rooting for, and Sonia’s for the feels and hijinks. Though it was kind of annoying how Leila was just able to turn up, somehow convince these kids to allow a freaking stranger to help them, and then save the day. Every time practically.
Leila’s a bit of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, though I think that’s partly the point. Leila is kind of kept at a distance from the reader as we only really see her through the eyes of the other people (super attractive, smart, spontaneous, and drive a cherry red car *rolls eyes*). We finally get her real story at the end though.
ROAD TRIP!!! I love travelling and road trips and seeing new places. This book did a wonderful job at describing these places, but not in a touristy way; it did describe some places in it, of course, but it showed how the people there live, what it’s like to live in Vicksburg, MS (which I don’t think is quite as exciting as Hudson does), or what it’s like to camp in Alaska and wait for the Northern Lights. It made my wanderlust flair up for sure.
The bottom line: Even though I didn’t like the instalove and I’m not a huge fan of MPDGs, this book was really entertaining, fun, full of adventures, and quite enjoyable. It made me smile, laugh, and want to road trip RIGHT NOW (thank goodness I’m going on a small one this weekend!).
Rating: 7 – pretty good
Reading next: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith