Estranged best friends take a road trip to see a band concert at the end of senior year in a tired plot that fulfills all the promises of improbable events with the heart-warming ending readers have come to expect.
The car, a 1976 pea-green VW camper van that used to be a clubhouse in Alice’s backyard provides the means, with nerdy, organized Alice the glue to hold together bad-girl Tiernan and little-miss-popular Summer. The former friends, who used to call themselves A-Plus, Sunny-D and T-Bird, are making one last go of it. Their trip from Walford, Mass., to Austin, Texas, is characterized, predictably, by madcap adventures and valuable discoveries—about Tiernan’s mother and Summer’s boyfriend—as well as romance for Alice. This is light fare with plenty of bickering and possibilities for romantic entanglements. Between chapters, readers find the fictional band’s song lyrics, which are hysterically pretentious. The book won one of two 2011 Book Launch Awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Road-trip fans won’t find this remarkably original, but it does satisfy all the typical requirements of the genre. (Fiction. 12 & up)