Title: Don't Stop Now
Author: Julie Halpern
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: Hardcover; 224
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Intended Reading Group:
4 Keys to My Heart
On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?
I'm still giggling, and slightly swooning over Don't Stop Now. For those of you who are looking for that quintessential summer read, something light, fun and fantastic, pick this one up! I think I had more fun reading this than I have any other book in a long time.
First of all, it's the chemistry between the characters. Lillian and Josh are like night and day, but the two of them mesh together perfectly. There's a "not romance" here that just adds to it all, and I liked how the focus was on their relationship with one another and what is was, or was not, to be. See, the two of them have just finished high school and each has a very different idea of what is to come next. Lillian, the one who has had all the summer jobs to save up, is off to college. Josh, who lives off his father's money, is wanting to start a band. Unfortunately his father wants him to get a "real job" and he's annoyed. Both of them are on a mission to find their missing friend who has staged her own kidnapping. Cue witty banter, debates on the future, and a road trip for the ages.
I can't say enough about the easy banter, and the voice with which this story is written. Don't Stop Now could be a story about any two friends who are confused about their relationship status. I liked that Lillian and Josh didn't have any annoying sexual tension, or fight a lot. They argued, of course, like all friends do. However all Josh would need to do was throw out his signature grin, and it was back to pals for the two of them. I thoroughly enjoyed their visits to random landmarks, and loved the kitchy souvenirs they picked up. Oh! This book was just so much fun!
As far as summer books go, Don't Stop Now just screams a last hurrah at a teen summer. I loved the voice, the characters, the random interjections from Penny, all of it. I wish I could say more, but this is really one that you need to enjoy for yourself. It's delicious.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.