Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).
Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.
As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.
When I picked this up I thought I was going to be getting a fun, cute, summary contemporary read because I knew it involved a road trip in two best friends. I love the author's first book, so I was expecting that I would love this one too, especially with its subject matter, unfortunately I found myself disappointed with this book.
The writing was definitely the high point of this book. Just like in her last book the author uses a beautiful, rich writing style that kept me reading, despite my lack of interesting that the other aspects of the story. The writing style allowed me to overlook some of the quirks of the story, and at first I felt like the quirks were validated with the writing style, unfortunately as the book went on I no longer felt that.
I really didn't like the characters in the story that much, I felt some things in common with the main character, such as her school situation, but otherwise I felt like there was very little to feel connected to an the story. The main character's best friend has bipolar disorder, which is something that I knew very little about before this book. I'm not sure how accurately the illness was portrayed in this book, so I can't speak to that, but it felt like the best friend one to do nothing more than crazy stunts that were illegal, unsafe, and just plain crazy.
The story went by really fast. In most road trip books I feel like despite their change of scenery they always spend a little bit of time in each location, giving us a chance to feel as if we too are there. In this story felt like they were leaking from place to place from one paragraph to another, and I never really got a feel for where they actually were. I wish that the book had taken some time to let the characters taking their surroundings and breathe, and I know that the speed of the story was supposed to be directed by the main character's best friends bipolar disorder, since she wanted to do all these crazy things, but I felt like in the story as a book it was much too complicated and crazy.
Finally, I really did not like how this book ended. Obviously I can't tell you too much before giving some spoilers, but I felt like it was very convenient and too unrealistic.