Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Review: Reunited

Author: Hilary Weisman Graham
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

For some reason the color yellow just screams “Summer!!” to me so I immediately read the story line to find if this book would be the perfect summer read; I was correct! One of the many things that I love about the book starts on the front cover and that being how different each girl’s personality is. The three girls on the front cover are each dressed very differently and you can tell just by their bags and their shoes the interests that they have. I loved unraveling each girl’s likes and dislikes because sometimes opposites do attract and they make the best friendships. Everybody has to bring something different to the table! I also love how they are hiding behind the map, and the map actually shows the stops they make from their hometown all the way to Texas if you look closely. The cover was a very well thought out and very charming piece of publicity!

What an absolutely cute and heartwarming book!! This story takes us, the readers, on a road trip with three girls who USED to be friends; weird, huh? Alice Miller finds out that her favorite boy band is getting back together for a one time reunion show, so why can’t she and her two ex- best friends? Spontaneously she purchases $200 tickets to the one time concert in hopes that they will attend. Before she knows it Summer and Tiernan are riding alongside her in her newly refurbished van (that’s another story in itself) on a road trip halfway across the country to see a band that they all drooled over when they were thirteen.

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan have each taken different paths throughout the course of their high school years and they have seldom spoken to each other since the Winter Dance in middle school. This story line shocked me a little because I was like how is Hilary going to write this so that this trip halfway across the country is not awkward and unnerving for the girls. She fits their individual stories and their personalities in like small puzzle pieces! Each girl brings something different to the table. One has a sassy side, and one just doesn’t have a filter and will say anything at whim, while the other is Ms. Perfectionist! When all of their various personalities were jumping off of the page at me I was thinking how were you guys ever friends to begin with? The more I got to know them the more that I saw how much they really did appreciate the things that set each of them apart.

You may think it is strange for a friendship to form over a boy band, but theirs literally did. They were obsessed with the music and the boys and knew every song verbatim. This seems like such a minor detail when reading the story of even thinking about this out of context, but that one detail formed a strong bond between girls that brought them together after four years of not speaking to one another; now that’s good writing! This book is made up of so many small details, like the struggle that each girl is fighting within herself. If you like stories where you unravel more than one main character then this story is definitely one for you. Alice, Tiernan, and Summer each have a story within themselves and I believe those are the best kind of books.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed about this book is the fact that it took place the summer after their senior year. They were just graduating from high school when the book began and I believe that this, besides the actual college experience itself, is one of the most crucial that a teen goes through. Sometimes this is the time that you really start to uncover who you are and what makes your clock tick. Each girl took a journey within herself on that road trip and came out with some sort of revelation for a new beginning. They were gone from home for 10 days, but sometimes it only takes a day or two out of your normal schedule to clear your head and start afresh. They learned things about themselves that they might not have known otherwise.

So by the end of the novel the road trip, not the boy band, was the new detail that had bonded these three together once again. The story line sounds so simple at times; a road trip to see a one time reunited boy band. But the things that the girls witness and learn on this trip will change them forever. They went on the road trip with heavy hearts and mind, each of them stressing over one issue or another and they came back swearing to starting clean slates within their friendship and their relationships with others. This book is such an amazing summer read and made me want to take a road trip of my own if only NSYNC were reuniting for a one time concert in Austin, TX!! This book will go on my permanent self!

***Thank you to Hilary and her publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review purposes***

1 comment:

  1. haha I loved Nsync too, I have this one and I hopefully will be reading this one too! Haven't talked to you in a while so hope your summer is going great!