The Geography of Lost Things

Finished The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody. I received a copy for review at ALA.

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.”

I absolutely loved this book.

One of my favorite themes is grief, and this is a unique approach. We all know what it’s like to miss people we love, but I don’t know what it’s like to lose someone you had a complicated relationship with. And Ali’s relationship with her dad is mostly negative. There are positive aspects and memories, but mostly, she remembers him leaving and gone.

This book is an emotional roller coaster. A lot of that is due to the presence of her ex-boyfriend, but she’s also confronting her relationship with her dad. There are a lot of unmet expectations, and that’s always a hard thing to confront.

Like all of Jessica Brody’s books, this is an incredibly fast, fun read. But it’s also very thought provoking. Highly recommended.

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