Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ARC Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Goodreads / Amazon
ARC via Publisher + Netgalley
Published June 2, 2015

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.

“Do I have you like you have me?” (ARC).

Brutally and beautifully honest, Anna Bank’s novel “Joyride” tell the story of a police chief’s son and a Latina girl trying to bring her family into the US from Mexico and all the hurtles and heartbreak along the way. My final though for this book: holy freaking bleepers.

For all those who say young adult novels don’t talk about relevant issues, why don’t y’all read this lovely? And then why don’t y’all come to Texas, where I know this is a hot issue. What’s this controversial issue? Immigration and all the fun stuff surrounding it. Raw and real, this story reaches the hard to talk about things like being sent back, being sent for, the people bringing them illegally who aren’t always as honest as you’re hoping they are, the heartbreak at being separated from your family and finally the police. Now, tell me if any of those issues are black and white. Carly dealt with all this and the pressure her older brother (who I’m pretty sure if half drowning in hope and half drowning in fear) puts on her to help out with the quest to reunite their family. Carly doesn’t really agree with all these ideals- she wants to graduate and make money from job that do more than give people food. She wants a degree.

Enter Arden. This boy made me wanting to ooh and aah over all the sweet things he did and said. He also made me cringe a little bit at the lack of thought that the consequences she would reap verses the ones he would. After his older sister commits suicide, he’s life is completely shattered. His father (the racist police chief) is more of an asshat than ever, his mother slips into a desperate oblivion and is unable to think about things that impact him and his Uncle (who happens to be complete awesomesauce) is drunk and depressed. How do these two meet? Basically Arden tries to scare his Uncle out of driving drunk (Carly happens to be on shift that night) and is confronted with a gun wielding Carly who in the words of the wise Uncle, is a little spitfire. CARLY WAS AMAZING. Have I mentioned that?

This book was super fantastic because of the characters. They’re people you can connect to, feel sorry for, hope for and totally fall for. The story was one where the characters have to fight for something real. Like, holy crap it was real. It was nail-biting real. While Carly was fighting for her family, she realizes she’s fighting to find out who the hell she is. Her whole life has been ruled by the prospect of just getting them back, not what they’ll come back to. Arden, he’s fighting to regain what he lost- a partner in crime and a part of himself. When he asks if he has her like she has him, it’s totally swoon inducing and oh so very sweet in a oh you’re just the vanilla ice cream on the cherry cobbler kind of sweet. And is there really a better kind?


  1. I loved Of Poseidon by Anna Banks and so I’m desperate to get my hands on this one. Banks is actually coming to Boston later this year so I’ll probably get a copy then to read :D Great review!

    1. I adore her initial series! And you're getting to meet her?! How cool! I hope you have a great time.

  2. I'm glad to see you liked this one! I'm a huge fan of Anna's Syrena Legacy so I've had high hopes for this one since I first heard of it. Great review!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. This one is sooo good. It's not like her other series. Personally, I actually like JOYRIDE better.