Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On the Road To Find Out.

Toor, Rachel.  On the Road To Find Out.  Macmillan/Farrar Strauss 2014  311p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-374-30014-2      hs      Realistic fiction   VG 

When Alice made a New Year’s resolution to take up running, she had no idea that running would become her therapy, escape, and salvation.  Running did not start auspiciously.  Her first run was eight minutes long and ended abruptly when a jogger in a Yale sweatshirt passed her and she was unexpectedly reminded of her failure to gain admittance at the university.

Alice is a privileged teen.  Her folks are rich.  She has a whole floor in her house that belongs to her
. (The suite even offers a jacuzzi!)  At the top of her senior class, Alice believes she is entitled to success, which until now has been heaped upon her, and she doesn’t handle failure well at all. 

Fortunately, Alice has Jenni
, who stands by Alice through all the drama, and holds her ground when necessary.  Alice is lucky to have Jenni, who will undoubtedly be her friend for life. She also has Joan, the owner of the running store where Alice works, and Miles, a homeschooled co-worker who becomes Alice’s boyfriend.  Together they help Alice come to the realization that she is focusing on the wrong things and should focus on what really matters in life. 

Teens will be able to relate to overachieving Alice and will find her tribulations realistic.  Though initially Alice is not very likeable, by the end of the book we develop empathy for her, may even shed some tears for her, and cheer for her when she makes her valedictorian speech.

Summary: Alice comes of age through running and self-reflection, and with a little help from her friends.  

Friendship-Fiction, Success-Fiction             --Hilary Welliver

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