Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Joyride by Anna BanksJoyride by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel & Friends on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Another contemporary that covers stereotyping. I love these types of books. This one happens to have a forbidden type romance as well. I really liked the characters a lot. Especially Arden. He was fantastic and totally not what you are initially expecting. I really liked the story to this too. It’s much deeper than the town sheriff’s kid falling for the poor “Mexican” girl, which by the way, she was born and raised in the US, not that it matters either way. Also, it focuses on the pressure that are put on kids. They are sometimes forced to grow up way too quickly or to follow what is expected instead of finding what they want out of life. I thought it was well done with some extra messed up stuff going on. This book does have some things that might make you a bit ragey like they did to me. Racism and stereotyping really get to me, and some of the things the characters say or do is infuriating.

Carly is a bright young girl with high hopes for the future. She lives with her older brother in a small trailer in a Mexican community in FL. Her parents were immigrants who got caught and deported, so she works hard to help make money to smuggle them back home. Besides that, she wants to go to college to make a good living to provide for her family. She doesn’t draw attention to herself and she has no desire to. Her family is everything. Until she meets Arden. She finds that he isn’t what she expected, but more than that, learns who she wants to be. What things she might want besides all the responsibility that is expected of her. Of course, things are hard and dangerous. She has to find a way to get the things she wants out of life, and the things she needs. I really liked her a lot. She was under a lot of pressure, but also still treated like a child. Very few people could see what she was really made of.

Arden was great. Yes, he has his flaws, but that made him so much easier to really like. His father is the Sheriff of town, his mother is an emotionless shell of herself, and his sister is dead. Claimed by her mental illness that her father tried to hide. Arden is under pressure from his dad to play football, go to a certain college, and to be the perfect image for the community. Only he resents his father, and he wants to be reckless and  have fun like he used to with his sister. He wants to be able to be a kid without all the pressure to do something because it’s expected of him. He isn’t racist or stereotypical like his father. He’s a great kid who has had too much pressure and control in his life.

Yes, there’s a romance in here, but I love how it was done. Carly doesn’t just fall at Arden’s feet. In fact, she tries hard to push him away and to get him to leave her alone. Once she starts to get to know him though, she realized he is nothing like she expected. Even going as far as to defend her against his father when he is calling her trash and other mean things. He helps her by not only getting her a better job, but by showing her what fun is. That she needs to live too. Though things don’t always go so well, he is there for her every step of the way. Especially when it comes to things his father is doing.

This story just had so much!! It brings awareness to so many issues. Life, death, responsibility, family. I could go on and on. All of this was packed perfectly into a short book without feeling rushed or like you are missing anything. I really did connect with the characters and felt for them. I can’t say enough how books like this are important. For anyone who might be going through similar situations or just to get an understanding of those who are. I loved getting to know Carly and Arden, and the deeper things going on in not only their lives, but those around them. I highly recommend this book. It was fantastic!!


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I'm no good at this, but I'm a mom of one little girl who really thinks she is a princess. I love reading all sorts of books (horror being a favorite genre of mine), love meeting new people, drinking lots of coffee, and eating chocolate. If you want to know anything else about me, just ask.
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9 Responses to “Review: Joyride by Anna Banks”

  1. Madiha @ Symphony of Words

    Oh, wow. I haven’t really read a lot of books that tackle such serious issues, other than suicide, but it sounds really good! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much, Amy, and thanks for recommending it, I’ll def be looking into it!

  2. Olivia Roach

    Stereotyping is something which happens pretty often and we do need to put an end to it, and I like the idea of this book addressing it in an appropriate manner!