But it’s not the same: REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham

Posted 18 June, 2012 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 16 Comments

YA Contemporary, stand-alone
336 pages, hardcover
Available now (June 2012)
Publisher: Simon and Schuster for Young Readers
Review copy purchased
1 Concert
2000 Miles
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?

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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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16 Responses to “But it’s not the same: REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham”

  1. I love books about road tripping (probably because I’ve never road tripped before). Some books that I really enjoyed are:

    Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (my favorite!)
    Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt (second favorite!)
    Take Me There by Carolee Dean

    Just in case you wanted more books to read about Road Trips 🙂

  2. I love the sound of this book and actually. Hilary Graham is awesome, I need to read this book asap!!! And… who doesn’t love road trips:)

  3. It does sound kinda formulaic, but I /love/ the formula. Road trip books are something we dont’ see enough of in YA, and I also love friendship-reconciliation books. Could be a sweet combo! 🙂

  4. I love me a good happy bubble as well, they’re just, well, happy:) I haven’t read too many road trip books, but I’ve enjoyed the few I’ve picked up so I think I would like this one when I’m in the mood for something quick and fun. Thanks for putting it on my radar Mary!

  5. I added this to my WL after reading Heather’s review at Buried in Books. I think I can handle cloches in this one, if the dialogue is great then I’m in!

  6. I don’t think I’ve heard of this book before which is a shame since it definitely sounds like a good read for me; cute contemporary, female friendships, road trips-it all contributes to a great sounding book!

  7. Road trip to a big reunion concert? Count me in! Great review! I agree, there is just something about road trip books that make you happy. Gotta love em! =)

  8. Aaaah I love road trip and weirdness and eccentric characters you meet along the way! I’ve had my eye on this one and it sounds like a lot of fun!!