The summer after high-school graduation, a year after her mother’s tragic death, Anna has no plans – beyond her need to put a lot of miles between herself and the past. With forever friend Kat, a battered copy of Kerouac’s DHARMA BUMS, and a car with a dodgy oil filter, the girls set out on an epic road trip across the USA. Maybe somewhere along the way they’ll prove or disprove the existence of God. Maybe they’ll even get laid . . .
It’s a journey both outward and inward. Through the Badlands and encounters with predatory men and buffalo. A crazy bus ride to Mexico with a bunch of hymn-singing missionaries. Facing death, naked in the forest with an enraged grizzly bear . . . Gradually, Anna realizes that this is a voyage of discovery into her own self, her own silent pain – and into the tangled history that she and Kat share. What is love? What is sexual identity? And how do you find a way forward into a new future – a way to declare openly and without fear all that lies within you?
I fell in love with the cover of this book, which made me want to read it without even reading the summary. When I reread the summary, after I began reading the book, I was rather surprised that I had signed up for this tour. It is not the type of book that I usually enjoy, and it deals with some thing that are a bit outside of my comfort zone. However, I did end up enjoying this book, although I did not love it.
Anna irritated me a lot. I get that her family life absolutely sucked, but I felt like that was not an excuse for her behavior. She was rude, indecisive, and frustrating. That pretty much lasted for the entire book, but, thankfully, I loved Kat. Kat was pretty much the opposite of Anna in every way. She was adventurous, caring, and thoughtful. I felt like Anna abused Kat’s friendship throughout the book, but at the same time, I did enjoy the bond between them.
I generally love books about road trips, but this one did not wow me as much as many do. I liked Kat, and some of the people that Anna and Kat meet were interesting. The journey is just somewhat random, strange. I disliked the author’s tone regarding religion. It did not seem as much a natural part of the story as the author’s own beliefs being impressed upon it.
Overall, I think this may have been worth the read, but I am not sure if I will read the author’s next book. There were elements of the story that I enjoyed, such as Kat! I loved her, cannot say that enough, but there were so many things I disliked. Anna is the perfect example of this, I could not relate to her at all, and she was supposed to be a sympathetic character. I am not sure I would recommend this one, but I am sure that there are some who will find it enjoyable.