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 forgot where I saw a review of this book but that review contained the magical word – road trip. I love road trip themed books!! Ever since Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, I’ve been craving a road trip book something fierce! And for the double win, we have best friends falling for each other. Is there anything better?
Lillian, Josh and Penny have just graduated high school. Lillian is going to goof off all summer because she knows she’s going to have to buckle down in college. Josh is despondent a bit because his absent father has demanded he get a job, and this coming from a man who’s never had any input on Josh’s life before. And Penny…Penny has faked her own kidnapping in order to get away from her life. When the police and eventually the FBI question Lil about Penny, Lil decides on the spur of the moment to go to where she thinks Penny is, all the way across the country. Josh is the means to that end because he has a car. Also, Lil has loved Josh since freshman year. They’re best buds. So they cross the country, visiting every corny tourist destination they can think of while Lil slowly goes crazy with wanting Josh.
I could really get behind Lil’s character and her unrequited feelings for her best friend. I’ve been there, I hate to say it. LOL She’s also a bit of a bad friend towards Penny. She’s friends with her out of pity. Penny has a horrible boyfriend (it’s pretty obvious he’s physically abusive) and is kind of socially awkward and somehow Lil brings her under her wing. But Lil has a vague feeling of guilt over her friendship with Penny so she agrees to keep quiet when Penny disappears. But her guilt also drives her to go after Penny to make sure she really is ok. And she’s determined to use the trip to resolve her feelings about Josh.
Don’t Stop Now was very enjoyable. The road trip dynamic is written very well and I would get in a car with Lil and Josh any day. These were two cool cats and their friendship was solid. These two know each other so well. I enjoyed the characters and their adventures. There were definitely some fun times. Cheese castles and theme room hotels.
The whole Penny situation was a bit more deep than I was expecting from this novel and I didn’t feel that it was really resolved. I mean, Penny ran away rather than deal with her problem. That’s fine, a lot of people do it, but even at the end, she deals with one problem but the more important one, the abusive boyfriend, was kind of glossed over I felt. But other than that, I enjoyed this book. B+.
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com