Author: Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Read Time: 1 sitting
Tag Words: Road trip, summer, love, abusive relationship, growing up, coming of age, preparing for college
When Penny fakes her own kidnapping Lillian is the one who feels responsible, even if Penny’s boyfriend Gavin is the scum of the Earth and the real reason Penny left.
When the FBI gets involved and contacts Lillian, Lil and Josh, her best friend and should-be boyfriend, take an extended tour of the mid-west on a quest to find a missing Penny.
This road-trip is basically the story of me and my two estranged best friends, if Lillian, Josh & Penny had been southerners. I won’t get into the hows, or why, or whos, just know that this book and I are kindred spirits and I’m glad I read it.
Of course, I loved it, though, at first, I had trouble connecting with Lil and Josh, who are, at times rather crass in their hysterically dry wittiness. I did grow to love them and agreed with almost all of the decisions Halpern made in regards to their relationship. *spoiler ahead* I didn’t quite believe in Halpern’s decision to have Lillian and Josh sleep together. Not enough was done emotionally afterwards to justify making such a choice. It felt like that night could have not happened and the characters could have arrived at the same place having just shared kisses.
All in all the book felt authentic, the characters were real and Halpern added just enough quasi-philosophical elements for my taste to make this the perfect quick summer read, sans fluff.
Notes on the Names:
My burning question: Is Penny short for Penelope? Or is she just a Penny?
Thoughts on the Cover:
I don’t think it really captures the book. I wish the “Don’t Stop Now” had been done in graffiti, pick up the book to see if you agree with me!
Parental Book Review *spoilers*
Kissing and sex, neither is particularly steamy.
Characters also use slurs that I find offensive, including Fag, once and Retard/Retarded 4 times.
Penny’s boyfriend, Gavin was controlling, which is why she faked her own kidnapping.