Friday, March 2, 2012

Don't Stop Now (fiction) - road trip, kidnapping, more than best friends?

The morning after graduation!
A whole summer of freedom before college...
Until Lillian gets Penny's whispered message - "I did it."

Why does Lillian feel so certain that Penny has set up her own kidnapping? Anyone normal would just run away from that jerk sometime-boyfriend Gavin or her crazy family (Penny's mom buys everything from TV home shopping shows, even their food).

Lillian and Josh have the perfect friendship, so he knows that she must try to find Penny, even if it means going all the way from Chicago to the Pacific. Only clue they have - some guy Penny met on her only vacation lives in Portland. Josh's old Chevy doesn't have air-conditioning, but he does have his dad's credit card for a few more weeks, so off they go.

From the Cheese Castle in Wisconsin to the Corn Palace in South Dakota and beyond... Josh and Lil see every weird roadside attraction they can find. But will Josh ever see how much Lillian loves him, really loves him, before she leaves for college and he wanders the world to create the perfect rock band?

Book info: Don't Stop Now / Julie Halpern. Feiwel & Friends, 2011. [author's website] [author's blog] [publisher site] [book trailer]

My Recommendation: That odd voicemail from Penny – has she been kidnapped? And she called Lillian instead of her overbearing boyfriend… maybe it’s up to Lillian and her best pal Josh to make a cross-country road trip to find the quiet teen.

Lillian wasn’t Penny’s best friend during senior year, she was her only friend. Her boyfriend Gavin says they shouldn’t be all lovey-dovey during school, so Penny respects that (more than he respects her after school hours). Lillian and Josh know that she met a nice guy from Portland when her family went on vacation – maybe Penny sneaked off to see him or maybe not.

Laid-back summer plans out the window, Josh and Lillian jump into his old van and head toward Portland. Determined to visit unusual places during their last trip together before college, the friends amass t-shirts and strange photos along the way. Lots of time to think, out in the wide-open spaces of the plains – Lillian wonders why Josh has never figured out that she loves him as more than a friend.

Emerging from the Badlands, Lillian’s phone is filled with missed calls from the FBI about Penny’s disappearance! What has that pathetic girl gotten herself into? Did she fake her kidnapping or was it real? How will Lillian and Josh find her in Portland? How will Lillian let Josh know her true feelings before they go their separate ways to start college?

A quirky road trip, a beautiful friendship, and a quest combine to give more answers than Lillian and Josh knew they were seeking. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.


  1. This looks interesting. Is it young adult, mostly high school appropriate or adult? I like the promise of adventure that bends into something even more.

    1. Linda, it's young adult, as they've just graduated from high school the night before Penny's message. A super road-trip book - watch the book trailer video from Arlington Public Library (link above) for a little more of its flavor.

      And the crazy roadside oddities that they visit are real places, too!

  2. This sounds compelling. Who doesn't love a mystery, a romance and a road trip adventure all rolled up into one?

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z


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