I’m finally back with a new review. It’s been a long time coming (2 weeks!), and I’m sorry it’s kind of late tonight – I somehow accidentally ended up at the bookstore today after a nice fall-inspired drive I took. I didn’t mean to. I was just going to browse, to feel the presence of all the great books, but then, of course, fate had me leaving with two books. But, that’s not what you’re here for. (Well, I mean you are here for books, but not the books I bought today. You’re here for the book I’m reviewing today.)
So, on with the review.
This is a story about a 17-year-old girl, Leila, who is taking a road trip across the United States in order to eventually make her way to see the Northern Lights. She meets 4 other teens (Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia) on the way who shape and make her adventure. These people not only touch Leila on her journey, but she also leaves her mark on them. As she travels she learns so much and experience so much, but is it enough to bring back the memories of her past. Has this whole road trip just been a huge sham – a waste of time? Take the journey with Leila and see what you find along the way.
I had a really hard time rating this book because I found that some places were 2-2.5 star worthy, some places were 4 star worthy, and many places were 3 star worthy. I settled on 3 stars since it seems to be right in the center of everything that I was feeling.
There were some parts of this book that I really, really loved. I thought Alsaid wrote some crazy awesome scenes, and his writing sometimes comes across as phenomenal. Many scenes and parts of this story resonated with me. But, there were other parts that I thought were excessively far-fetched and completely unbelievable. There were times when I found myself rolling my eyes at a trope or something else that made the story lose a bit of it’s meaning for me. That’s why I couldn’t bring myself to give this book any more than 3 stars.
I will say that it’s not Alsaid’s writing I had the biggest problem with. I thought his writing was decent and, at times, far better than descent. There was no time that I was skimming or jumping over parts. This book was completely readable as well as enjoyable, I just felt like it could have been better.
I think part of the reason I had such big problems with the far-fetched storyline ideas was because I let myself get my hopes up. I’m usually really good at not getting my hopes up, especially when it comes to a popular book. I’m capable of staying away from the hype and keeping myself level headed with low expectations. But, this book had me hoping for a fantastic story, but I just found a pretty okay sometimes maybe great story. I thought the premise of this book was super cool, and the cover was gorgeous. It’s my own fault for my disappointment.
I will say that Alsaid did a superb job of creating multi-dimensional and strong characters. I honestly liked all the characters that he wrote. They were my favorite part of the story. I liked that each character had their own personalities and that they were able to embody their own personalities without blending into each other. I also love that Alsaid makes his female characters dimensional and strong – just the way I like them.
I don’t want you to think that I’ve been bashing this book in hopes that you won’t read it. I’ve simply stated what I liked and disliked about it. Overall, I thought it was a nice story and would most likely read more by Alsaid, if he continues to come out with new stories. I would recommend this book to YA lovers as well as adventure lovers. Also, to those of you who like realistic fiction. This was a pleasant, easy read and a grand adventure to take.
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