Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Posted September 1, 2015 in Review / 8 Comments

Review: Joyride by Anna Banks


by Anna Banks
Published by Macmillan, Feiwel and Friends on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Format: eARC

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.

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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.

Not at all what I expected

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!

About Anna Banks

Anna Banks

Grew up in a town called Niceville. No, seriously. I graduated from Niceville High School. So did J Lo's second husband. And the guy that plays Aqua Man on Smallville dated my best friend.

Now I indulge my tendency to lie by writing the lies down and selling them to publishers. Well actually my agent sells it, so she's an accomplice to lies. One of my lies is called OF POSEIDON. The sequel is called OF TRITON. The last and final installment is OF NEPTUNE, and it released May 13, 2014. Be on the lookout for JOYRIDE, my YA Contemporary out June 2, 2015--Bonnie & Clyde meets Latina Pretty in Pink!

And um. I also write adult fiction under pen name Anna Scarlett. One of the adult lies is DEGREES OF WRONG.

That is all.



About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of “happily ever after” books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It’s for her family’s sake. When not reading, she’s homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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8 responses to “Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

    • K

      A lot of times I don’t refresh my memory on the synopsis, I pick up the book, and then I’m wondering around 20% what the book is about so I have to go back and read the synopsis. Some might say that’s NOT a good book… ha!!! It’s happens waaaay too often 🙁

  1. How socially relevant! Trump’s campaign has put this issue back in the forefront so I applaud the author for bringing in the youth group into the “conversation” by making them aware of other issues surrounding them. It might not be about Immigration, but even then, I think the fact that this book was so moving still brings that issue into the spotlight. .
    Braine recently posted…Loved It: A Curious Beginning by @deannaraybourn #historical #mystery @SignetEclipse

    • K

      Ugh, Trump but YAY on talking immigration! There’s no easy fix, that’s for sure but this book sure had a crazy spin I never thought of (and I thought I heard them all!)

    • K

      I love the societal current events in books for teens, especially when they touch on topics some teens couldn’t possibly know anything about!!! Take me for instance – I didn’t know Border Patrol existed until I moved to California. It never affected me in Ohio. 🙂