Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern (NY: Feiwel and Friends, 2011).
Lillian and Josh are best friends, just friends, though Lillian thinks she wants more. Newly graduated from high school, they are planning a lazy summer before Lillian heads off to college and Josh does...something. Maybe a band, maybe a job. That's Josh's deal--his rich and largely absent dad doesn't really provide much structure and Josh simply drifts. Lillian wishes he'd drift more toward her. Then a sort-of friend, Penny, goes missing and she's left a phone message clue for Lillian that leads Lillian and Josh on a road trip. It's a sign, right? The perfect opportunity for Lillian to get together with Josh in a whole new way, even if the vehicle happens to have no air conditioning.
Lillian is supposed to be smart, but somehow she can't see that Josh is pretty aimless and lame. Thankfully, the road trip helps her figure it out, but it still doesn't explain why it took her four years to see it! The road trip from Chicago to Seattle and back again is by far the best part of this novel as Josh and Lillian make some fun stops along the way. Perhaps Penny's faked abduction and the piecemeal revelation of her sad situation with an abusive boyfriend is supposed to add some interest, but it really doesn't. It's just sad. Overall, not a bad read, but not fabulous either. Recommended for ages 13 & up. Sexual situations, alcohol.
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