Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.
Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.
In case you thought the same thing as I did, let me tell you: THIS IS NOT A ROAD TRIP STORY!
The summary of the book you find everywhere (even on the book) is not only misleading but ONE BIG SPOILER! I really hope that if you still need to read this book, you have already forgotten about what’s in it or haven’t read it at all. I’m so angry about that summary, it ruined the whole book for me. I’m SO sure that this book is great, but I expected something else, I expected MORE.
What I liked
- Finn thinking in miles instead of time units. On the one hand you have this typical dorky teenage boy but then there is something like that, with deeper meaning, that makes him unique and interesting.
- The combination of funny and serious matters. Finn and his friends either make you laugh or sit in stunned silence. As much as this is a funny book, with Andrew Smith’s typical humor (sometimes you want to laugh out loud but it also feels kinda inappropriate), it also mentions troubling topics like a certain illness, death and rape.
- The characters in general. If you’ve read any of his books before you know what you’re in for. Being in a teenage boy’s head might not be for everyone but I think it always makes a funny and interesting story, especially with Andrew Smith letting his characters say exactly what people like them would say/think, without any filtering.
What I didn’t like
- The road trip story that wasn’t one. Thank you synopsis for ruining that for me! Don’t expect that to be a huge part of the story and you won’t be as disappointed as I was.
- Finn’s father’s book. The book itself sounded AWESOME. I would totally read it. I wish Andrew Smith had written that one instead of this story. So there is this book they constantly talk about and I will never get to read. SO FRUSTRATING! But what actually bothered me, was that I also had a different idea about the whole “Finn thinks he is a character out of his father’s book” part. On the one hand, this also brings some deeper meaning with it and at the end, Finn learns something valuable from it BUT I thought there would be more to it.
So even if 3 stars seems a little low I still recommend this book! It is my least favorite Andrew Smith book so far but it is still good and I think if you go in blind you will enjoy this a lot more than I did.
For me, it lacked something. It just wanted more, even though I can’t really say what. Maybe I’ll give it a second try someday and see what I think then.