Finished Joyride by Anna Banks.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.”

I really enjoyed this book!  I didn’t know much about it going in, and this book was honestly not at all what I expected it to be.

Because Carly and Arden both narrate the action in alternating chapters, I was able to understand both of them and see why they acted the way they did.  That also helped me like Arden more than I probably would have if I had only seen Arden from Carly’s perspective.

There were a few drawbacks for me.  This book is under 300 pages, and so some things felt a little bit rushed.  I think even an extra 25 pages would’ve made a difference there (and 50 would’ve been better).  I also thought Arden’s dad was a little one-dimensional (although I guess some people are just 100% awful).

Even so, this is an incredibly fun and surprisingly deep read.  Recommended.


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