I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Joyride by Anna Banks
Published by Macmillan on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Emigration & Immigration, Hispanic & Latino, Love & Romance, People & Places, Social Issues, United States, Young Adult
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Who says opposites don't attract?It's been several years since Carly Vega's parents were deported. Carly lives with her older brother, studies hard, and works the graveyard shift at a convenience store to earn enough to bring her parents back from Mexico. Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He used to date popular blondes and have fun pranking with his older sister. But now all that's changed, and Arden needs a new accomplice. Especially one his father, the town sheriff, will disapprove.? All Carly wants, at first, 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 the wishes of others. Carly and Arden's journey toward their true hearts - and one another-- is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. Just like real life.
You guys! I am here to tell you that I am so beyond glad I did not write an author off because of one book I did not gel with. As you may not recall because you probably read other blogs and this was like two years ago, but I read Of Poseidon by Anna Banks and did not love it. I really, really did not love it. My review goes into details as to why. I did not read the other books in the trilogy. Strangely enough, when Joyride came across my radar, I wanted to read it. I am a big fan of contemporary and Anna Banks is really awesome on twitter, so I thought I might as well give it the old college try. THANK GOODNESS I DID. For real you guys, I absolutely loved my whole experience reading Joyride and am so so glad I gave it a chance.
Joyride is about the unlikely partnership between Carly and Arden, two high school kids with seemingly nothing in common. The book opens up with kind of a bang. Carly is working the late shift at the local convenience store assisting her favorite customer Cletus, when Cletus is held up at gunpoint by a masked man. Cletus messes himself as we all would do and Carly instead of calling the police and hiding yells at the gunman because she has gumption. FYI, the gunman is Arden and Cletus is his uncle. Arden wants Cletus to stop driving drunk and so decides to play a prank to scare him out of that. Only, his prank doesn’t go as planned. He also finds that he desperately wants Carly to be his partner in crime because he sees some spunk in her. Eventually the two become friends with the potential for more.
Carly is a shy girl. She mainly keeps to herself and tries her best to be invisible. She works really hard at school and then goes to her job after school for most of the night. Carly has some goals. Number one, she wants to bring her deported parents over from Mexico and so living with her twenty year old brother, the two are trying to save up enough money to pay El Liberatador to help her parents cross the border. This is not cheap at all. Her parents want this to be Carly’s main focus, but she’s also really dead set on graduating high school and going to college so she can get a good job that will better help her provide for her family. Carly is taking the long view whereas her parents just cannot afford to think that way. And so, when Arden, gorgeous Arden comes along and is all prank with me? She’s all no absolutely not. But, of course, part of her wants to have fun and give in. Basically, I loved Carly. It’s actually incredibly awesome to read about a teenager with strong work ethic who has fought for everything that she has. I actually admired Carly, so there’s that.
Arden was quarterback of the football team. He used to have good grades. Now, however, his only concern seems to be pulling pranks and getting through girls. This is because his sister Amber died, you’ll find out why. His father is the local sheriff and is running again for election. He’s kind of a huge douchebag though. His dad seriously keeps everyone in the family under his thumb and is all about maintaining power and control – so like it seems on the outside that Arden’s life is very charmed, however it is anything but. Arden pulls these pranks without regard to teach people lessons. His pranks are actually a form of poetic justice and kind of funny. They don’t really hurt people overall as well. So, anyways, he manages to charm Carly into taking part in his pranks.
Of course, the romance in Joyride follows one of my favorite tropes and that is hate into love. Well, for Arden it isn’t hate. For Carly, however, she sees Arden as spoiled and entitled and as kind of a manwhore. She is just not interested in him as a friend or anything because she has her own goals she needs to focus on. Eventually though, her resistance is worn away and no you guys that is not in a bad way, just she begins to see Arden differently as the two connect and get to know each other better. That’s totally okay. I really liked the two as a couple is what I will leave it at.
Otherwise — I liked that I read this book in Mexico because of Carly and her parents being Mexican. I thought the deportation and immigration aspect was fascinating. I loved seeing how determined Carly and her brother were. I liked that Carly is portrayed as a person and not as you know subhuman because her family was here illegally. It’s a hard issue to write about and I thought that Banks handled it with finesse. I absolutely recommend this book if you love contemporary reads with hard hitting subject matter, levity, and romance.