HEAT WAVE by Elizabeth Neal


Age Range: 12 - 18
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A music festival road trip quickly turns to disaster as best friends navigate hazards and setbacks.

Marissa and her longtime friends Tiago and Ben have been waiting all year to see their favorite musicians perform at the big spring music festival. Getting there, however, begins to feel impossible when the trio encounters a string of difficulties on their desert route—both natural and man-made. After car trouble finally leaves them stranded, the friends must rely on their wits and work with each other to get back on the road—and avoid the dangers of the wilderness. The four books in the high-interest Road Trip series offer different takes on the thrills and catastrophes that teens can encounter during travel. In K.R. Coleman’s (Royal Treatment, 2018, etc.) Off Course, twin sisters take a detour that results in dire consequences and a surprising encounter. Spinning Out by R.T. Martin (Riptide, 2019, etc.) follows two couples facing a deadly blizzard and a heavy dose of relationship drama. In Stranded by Jannette LaRoche (Escape!, 2019, etc.), plans for a weekend at a family cabin turn ugly for two friends when the road is washed out and they encounter an aggressive wolf. The plotlines move quickly and stay realistic while problems are resolved with neat endings. Characters aren’t described physically, but authors include some diversity with ethnically Latinx names, Jewish characters, and a character with two dads.

Reluctant readers with wanderlust will enjoy taking a ride with these straightforward novels. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5415-5687-4
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Darby Creek
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019