Written by Nina LaCour
Bev has been Colby’s best friend since they were 11 years old, and he secretly loves her. Bev is a sculptor, and Colby is a sketch artist. All through high school they have been talking about and planning to spend the year after high school traveling in Europe experiencing life and studying art in person, rather than going straight to college. Now it is graduation, and it’s almost time for their adventure to begin, but first is a road trip tour up the coast. Bev is also the lead singer of a gorgeous but less-than-proficient all-girl rock band, and Colby is their roadie. They are doing one final tour up the West Coast from San Francisco to Portland in a borrowed baby blue VW bus. But when Bev reveals early in the trip that she has been accepted to art school and won’t be going to Europe, everything falls apart for Colby. What is he going to do with his life? How is he going to get over this betrayal by Bev? Still, they have a week of travel and adventures and gigs to play together.
This book is phenomenal in all respects. The characters are so life-like and likable; it is a pleasure to take this journey with them, and they stayed with me long after I’d finished the book. These are young people on a real-life adventure, sharing ideas about creating art, living life, and following through with dreams and goals. All the places and people they encounter on the coast from San Francisco to Seattle are vividly evoked. The creative process is demonstrated in a dozen different ways. This was an absolutely enveloping read. I recommend this to older teens who are trying to decide what to do with their lives, and anyone who loves a great road trip story with great characters, California, indie music, street art, sculpture, travel, photography, or anything else remotely artistic. I will be disappointed if this book doesn’t rack up some teen fiction awards in the coming year.
Note: Because of some explicit language and sexuality, I would recommend this book only for mature high school readers and adults.
Review by Joshua Whiting, Granite District Library Media Program
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 10-12, Adult
Written by Nina LaCour
Release Date: February 16, 2012
ISBN: 9780525422198 (hardcover)