Where the Road Leads Us – Robin Reul

Where the Road Leads Us – Robin Reul; Sourcebooks Fire; (9781492635253), 2021

Format: paperback ARC

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? It’s graduation night and Jack’s birthday, but things aren’t turning out like he thought they would. His girlfriend Natasha breaks up with him and he has no one in the audience to see him graduate valedictorian. He decides suddenly to try and reconnect with his brother Alex whom he hasn’t seen in two years, which takes him to the bus station.

Hallie is a cancer survivor who dropped out of school two years ago and got her GED so she could focus on her recovery and help her parents’ struggling restaurant. Hallie is determined to make it to Oregon to see her best friend (virtual only) before he dies so she goes to the bus station.

Hallie and Jack run into each other in the bus station and remember each other from a creative writing class a couple of years ago. Fate and California wildfires end up intervening in their plans and they end up on a road trip with a guy named Oscar with his own wild scheme (breaking up his ex-girlfriend’s wedding). Shenanigans ensue and along the way Hallie and Jack start to fall for each other. 

This is a fun book that will appeal to plenty of teens. The romance is simmering beneath the surface for nearly the entire book, but the ending is a bit unexpected (in a good way!). Both Hallie and Jack have secrets and are holding themselves back from their real dreams; will the road lead them to make changes in their lives?

To whom would you recommend this book? This is a great readalike for students who like road trip romances like An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Anything you didn’t like about it? At times it dragged a little, but overall it was good.

Who should buy this book? All high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Realistic fiction or romance

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Laura Gardner, Dartmouth Middle School, Dartmouth, MA

Date reviewed: March 2, 2021

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