Tuesday, June 5, 2012


by Hilary Weisman Graham
Simon & Schuster | June 12, 2012

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan were best friends right up until the big winter dance freshman year at Walford High School. Then something happened and it all fell apart. They've spent four years of high school on separate trajectories, with very different personalities and friends, and have been only partially cordial to each other.

But now, just after graduation, Alice learns that Level3, their favorite band when they were in middle school, is getting back together for one show in Austin, Texas. She buys three tickets on a whim, manages to convince Summer and Tiernan to join her, and all three girls pile into the Pea Pod (the 1976 green VW bus that used to be their clubhouse which Alice's parents restored as her graduation present) and hit the road from Massachusetts to Texas.

What ensues is a completely believable, very fun and sometimes frustrating journey through the trials and joys of friendship, growing up, and learning about being oneself while also trying on new ways of being. The plot twists and turns are engaging and the story progresses nicely, right up to the fantastic grand finale.

Full disclosure - I went to high school with Hilary Weisman Graham, and was friends (mostly in junior high school, funnily enough) with her sister. This fact actually worried me. Oh, no! Someone I know has written a YA novel and if it isn't good, how do I deal with that? Turns out there was no need to worry. It's great!

The jacket design follows the most recent trend with actors on the cover, and the trailer does the same. While this normally bothers me a little, Simon & Schuster cleverly use the map to block the girls' faces on the book cover, allowing the reader to imagine them for themselves. The book is aimed at readers 12 and up, and it's completely appropriate for the younger end of that spectrum while still able to maintain the interest of older YA readers - a difficult feat. Congrats, Hilary!

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