YA Contemporary, stand-alone
336 pages, hardcover
Available now (June 2012)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster for Young Readers
Review copy purchased
3 Ex-Best Friends
Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends. Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3. But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.
Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.
Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.
But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?
There’s just something about a road-trip book that makes me happy–and want to travel, of course. In fact, I had to resist the impulse to buy myself a 1967 VW Microbus like the girls had and travel the US (I really would like to do something like that someday–but in a bit more comfort than a Microbus).
The three girls, while BFFs and rabid Level3 fangirls all through middle school, had a serious falling out (one they refuse to talk about, allowing the resentment to fester) and parted ways in high school. But their favorite band is getting back together, Alice has both the tickets and the ride that can take them to the concert, and all three are looking to escape before heading off to college in the fall.
But, despite all three choosing to be in the Pea Pod with one another, only Alice is happy with the situation–mostly because she’s somewhat oblivious to the swirling tensions (she’s in what I call her “happy bubble”. I like a good happy bubble.). As they bounce from one weird road situation to another, they begin to reconnect, to remember why they were friends in the first place.
A road trip wouldn’t be a road trip without weirdness. From the hippie-like farm gathering around a large bonfire to the cute-boy encounter over snow cones to the series of mishaps as they near the concert location, REUNITED is a fun ride despite a somewhat predictable plotline with somewhat cliched characters. I found I really didn’t mind the predictability or cliches because the dialogue was sharp, the road trip was quite excellent, and I was more than content to just sit back and enjoy the journey.
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