|Where the road leads us|
Author: Reul, Robin
Told in separate voices, Jack and Hallie, eighteen-year-olds facing separate crises, discover who they are meant to be while taking a spontaneous road trip together.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2021 Gr 9 Up—It's Jack's last day of high school and his 18th birthday. Still reeling from the death of his father the previous year, struggling with anxiety, and feeling ambivalent about his college plans, Jack has a lot on his plate. When his girlfriend, Natasha, drops a bomb on him days before they are set to begin the next chapter of their lives together, it throws everything into question. Meanwhile, Hallie's cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment have forced her to miss out on much of her high school experience and has put a strain on her family's finances. Although she has been in remission for some time, she has found it difficult to plan for the future or find pleasure in things she used to enjoy. At the start of this novel, her thoughts are consumed by some concerning news she received at her last doctor's appointment. After their paths cross in a serendipitous meeting, Jack and Hallie end up on an unexpected road trip together, both searching for answers. In alternating perspectives, the protagonists feel authentic, as does the connection they form. While the ending wraps up a bit too tidily, readers will be invested in these characters and enjoy watching them become confident in forging their own paths versus doing what is expected of them. Main characters' ethnicity isn't stated. VERDICT A fun and thought-provoking read for mid-size or larger collections.—Kimberly Tolson, Millis P.L., MA - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2021 Jack Freeman wakes up on the day of his eighteenth birthday and high-school graduation with his life set out for him: a summer internship before he starts premed at Columbia University. Everything starts to unravel when he realizes that he has been trying to please everyone except himself. After a chance encounter with former classmate Hallie in a rideshare, he embarks on a journey to find his brother, Alex, in San Francisco. Alex left just before their father died, and Jack hasn’t heard from him since. He travels to San Francisco with Hallie, whose experience with cancer motivated her to go on her own odyssey. Circumstances have her spending the day with Jack in San Francisco, and as they roam the city, they open up to each other and explore the idea of rewriting their futures to suit themselves. Jack and Hallie alternate in the narrative, and each has a distinct voice. Although the details of their lives contrast, these differences later become the seeds that help them pursue their own paths and live in the moment. Reul delivers a road trip with meaning. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.