Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Release Date: 6/7/2011
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About the Book: When Lilian receives an early morning phone call from her sort-of friend Penny saying "I did it" and Lil knows that Penny has faked her own kidnapping. Now the police are looking for Penny and asking Lil questions! Lil has an idea that Penny might be in Portland, so she enlists the help of her friend Josh to go on a quest to find Penny and bring her back. Josh isn't just Lil's best friend-he's Lil's long time crush. But Josh doesn't want to "ruin" their amazing friendship. Will a cross-country road trip help Lil figure things out?
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I really think Julie Halpern's books get better with each one she writes-which is saying a lot because I think all of her books are pretty awesome!! I swear Ms. Halpern looked into my road trip dreams and wrote this book. I've always wanted to take a massive road trip stopping at cheesy tourist attractions (we did this when I was a kid and I loved it!) I loved that she used real places for Lil and Josh to visit. Some of them I'd been to or heard about and the descriptions and banter between Lil and Josh made it feel as though I was there with them.
The banter between Lil and Josh is awesome. They are both witty and hilarious and I wanted to hang out with them. This isn't just a road trip book, this is a story about navigating that tricky time between high school and college and facing and uncertain future. How can your past self and future self collide and what will happen to the relationships in your past as you move on and grow up? The emotional ride of growing up and feeling in limbo is captured perfectly.
I really liked that while there is a romance aspect to the storyline, it's not the main focus of the book. This is more about Lil and figuring out how to move on. I also liked that the romance wasn't a fairy tale but instead felt very real-both are questioning what will happen to their friendship not only this summer but once college starts.
We get glimpses of Penny throughout the story and I liked this added element. This wasn't just a story about Lil and Josh, but Penny as well. I would have liked to see more about Penny-why was she so interested in Gavin? I liked the picture we got of Penny-she's such an interesting character and I wanted just a bit more. I also thought things ended a bit too easily for her.
Don't Stop Now is a perfect road trip, summer read. Add it to the top of your "read every summer to get into a summer mood" pile because it's one you'll want to read again!
Book Pairings: Amy and Rogers Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from an ARC sent by the author for review