Joyrideby Anna Banks
Published by Macmillan, Feiwel and Friends on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.
All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.
Some of the books I get to review have expiration dates. It’s hard for me to keep track of but I try my darnedest. Joyride was a book I was originally mediocre about but I saw it was going to expire in two days so I started reading it.
Either I didn’t read the synopsis or I read it so long ago that it fell out of my head. I went practically blind into this story and I was richly rewarded with a solid story about two kids from opposite sides of the proverbial tracks. And typically, it’s the down trodden of the two that needs the most help. This story kind of turns that all on it’s ear.
Carly and her brother live alone in the Panhandle of Florida. Their parents were deported back to Mexico but Carly and her brother were both born here in the states and therefore are American citizens. Carly works the graveyard shift at a local convenient store to help pay for her parents and now her twin siblings to cross the border illegally. Carly keeps her head down in school, studies hard, and tries very hard to not be noticed. She’s reminded daily by her brother and her mother of her duty to earn money for the family. No pressure, right?
Arden was the star quarterback of the high school football team until his sister/best friend died. While he never had a good relationship with his Sheriff father, it only gets worse after her death. So Arden likes to stir up trouble (because he can get away with it) and when you add insomnia to the equation, Arden is nothing but bad news for Carly. Or is he?
Its after their encounter at the convenience store that the story becomes absolutely fabulous and unputdownable. It teeters back and forth between the ending resolving to a good or a bad ending for Arden and Carly. And I don’t necessarily mean them together as a couple.
I will say this about the book: if you’re looking for a book about immigration and how it affects a family, this ain’t it. BUT! As someone who has perhaps what I would call “insider” information on illegal immigration crossings, I was blindsided by the angle that was presented in this story. I had never thought of this point of view or of this situation happening in regards to the splitting up of families across borders (I won’t spoil the book by explaining – sorry!) I sincerely hope the way Carly’s parents treated her is NOT common and is completely fabricated for this story. I was livid, to say the least. But it is not the crux of the plot so don’t worry, you’re not spoiled.
And despite the drama filled ending, I really enjoyed reading this book. Some aspects were played up a bit but I found everything to be pretty darn accurate in regards to the illegal immigration. I was satisfied with the ending if that says anything. On top of MY liking it, I think this book would appeal to teens because of the extra drama – it would definitely keep their attention!
Because this book was written with each character’s growth subtle but definitely there, the plot’s steady speed, and the originality of the story, I’m honestly giving this book a 5 star review. PHEW… I’m so glad I didn’t miss reading it!