Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: Don't Stop Now

Don't Stop NowDon't Stop Now
Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Pages: 224

On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?

Let me start by saying, I love books about road trips. It makes me want to go on one so much! Of course when I heard about Don't Stop Now, I was instantly intrigued. Road trip, cute boy, a little bit of mystery, sounds right up my alley.

Now, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. It was enjoyable but nothing quite... remarkable. It was a fun, quick novel. But I wouldn't put it up on my favorites shelf. 

Let my start by saying that I found the premise a bit...out there. I mean, a girl who fakes a kidnapping? And then Lillian just jumps right up to go find her, and they aren't even that good of friends. Her parents were okay with it. She didn't get in trouble. There was someone there to pay for it all without any problems. Really? But, although I couldn't really take it seriously, it just added to the quirkiness of the novel. It was certainly fun and light.

I liked the character okay. Lillian, the main character, was overall not quite selfless, but a good person. I liked watching her on her journey. And Penny. At first I was uncertain about her. There was an overall creepiness about her. But once her story unraveled more, I was more sympathetic to her. I wouldn't go as far as saying I liked her, but it was easier to empathize with her. I'm not going to lie, I didn't love Josh. He was a realistic teenage guy who doesn't know that he's going to do with his life, but he came off kind of jerkish. He was rude and selfish. I just wanted to fall in love with him, but I didn't. 

Although Don't Stop Now is an overall light novel, there were a few serious moments. I think that if we looked more into what happened with Penny, and got more of her story, it would have been better. And it goes into the whole post high school grad, what do I do now question, which I liked. 

Like I said, Don't Stop Now is a quick read. As long as you take it as face value, and don't take it seriously, this is a great novel. Road trips novels are awesome, and I'm glad to see that more are coming. 

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