Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Don't Stop Now

Don’t Stop Now, by Julie Halpern. The GoodRead’s summary:
On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.

Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?
This book is so ridiculously refreshing. I thought I had its number from page one, but I so didn’t. I mean, look at the summary. Doesn’t it just seem like your typical road trip book with two teens, their burgeoning romance, yada, yada, yada? But it all unfolded in a completely different manner than I expected, and Josh and Lil’s relationship certainly did not progress the way I thought it would. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because I don’t want to ruin anything, but seriously, I just wanted to hug this book for being so much more than a YA cliché.

I liked Josh and Lil a lot, but more as characters than I would in real life. Let me explain. They’re both perfectly friendly and likeable people, but they have the kind of really close friendship that would always leave other people on the outside. Like, they’d be those annoying people who are always finishing each other sentences and laughing at inside jokes and talking about things that only really make sense to them, making everyone else essentially as a third wheel. So yeah, that quality about them kinda annoyed me in the book, but since I didn’t actually have to experience it first hand, I could deal.

As usual, this book made me want to take a road trip. I’m not really a spur-of-the-moment road trip type--I’m too much of a planner--but after reading this book, I wanted to do it anyway. Josh and Lil just make it look like so much fun. They don’t even pack anything--just decide they’re going across the country and leave right then, stopping wherever they think looks interesting. It was awesome.

The only thing that really annoyed me about this book is how Lil keeps lying to the police about not knowing anything about her friend’s disappearance. Hasn’t she watched any crime dramas? Doesn’t she know it’s never a good idea to lie to the cops? But maybe that’s just my healthy respect for authority speaking.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. At first I wasn’t sure how I’d like it, because it initially seems like it’s going to end up being a cliché. But it totally isn’t. It ends pretty perfectly and left me with that wonderful feeling of “Yeah, the author got it right.”


  1. Hmmm isn't it a crime to lie to the police? Or mislead them? This sounds like a cute story. I'm all for road trip books. I actually really adore the kinds of relationships where people are so in sync. I think growing up without any of those kinds of friends has fueled my need to read about them!

  2. Ooh this sounds neat! I love books that give a good change of pace from dystopians or paranormals. I haven't read a road trip book I loved yet so this might just be the one! ;) I'll keep an eye out for it!

  3. This is the second really positive review I've read for this book, which makes me curious about it. I know a month or two ago the author created a big dramarama when she commented on an unfavorable review of the book & then it got really ugly. I sort of decided I wouldn't read her books after that, but maybe I should give it a chance.


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