Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham


by Hilary Weisman Graham
Goodreads Summary:
1 Concert
2000 Miles
3 Ex-Best Friends

Alice, Summer, and Tiernan are ex-best friends.

Back in middle school, the three girls were inseparable. They were also the number one fans of the rock band Level3.

But when the band broke up, so did their friendship. Summer ran with the popular crowd, Tiernan was a rebellious wild-child, and Alice spent high school with her nose buried in books.

Now, just as the girls are about to graduate, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion show.

Even though the concert’s 2000 miles away, Alice buys three tickets on impulse. And as it turns out, Summer and Tiernan have their own reasons for wanting to get out of town. Good thing Alice’s graduation gift (a pea-green 1976 VW camper van known as the Pea Pod) is just the vehicle to get them there.

But on the long drive cross-country, the girls hit more than a few bumps in the road. Will their friendship get an encore or is the show really over?

So, you ever read a book that makes you want to go back to high school? No? Me either. But this makes me want to go back to the summer between graduation and college. It also makes me want to send this book to a best friend that I can no longer even call friend. The kind I've known since I was in first grade. The kind that was there when my first child was born. Then something bad happened and I walked away, but I miss her. That's what kind of book this is, it makes you miss those friends that really knew you when you were a kid all the way through high school. The kind that knew you in those God awful nerdy 7th grade awkward days with the braces and the terrible hair. Yep those friends. 

That's the kind of friends Alice, Summer and Tiernan are or were until something happened at the Winter Wonderland Dance between Summer and Alice brought on by Tiernan and they all practically ran away from each other. They had been thick as thieves until high school. They used to hang out at Alice's house in the Pea Pod- The Green '76 Volkswagen Van up on blocks in the backyard. Level3 posters and collages covered the van. The girls knew the words to all the songs and even had dance routines. Then as a graduation present, Alice's parents fix the van up for her, leaving the insides alone, and hand her the keys. That's why on the spur of the moment Alice buys the tickets to the concert and invites both Tiernan and Summer. Neither are bit by the nostalgia bug but they have their own reasons for going.

The trip from the get go is tense and hilarious. From an ex-con to an introduction to kudzu to Bourbon street and the heat of the South, the girls experience a lot in the five days it takes them to get from Massachusetts to Texas.  I enjoyed every moment of it and because I didn't know these girls that well, I never had friends like them (don't worry, I had friends) I couldn't predict what they would do. Because as the miles rolled away, the girls changed and grew. Each one was uniquely different. Alice, though she seems shy and nerdy, she's adamantly honest about how she feels. She gets it off her chest and then she's done with it. Tiernan, though she appears to be a rebel with blue hair and Doc Martens, has never really recovered from her parents divorce, her dad's desertion and her mom burying herself in her job. She just wants to be accepted somewhere, wherever she can find it. And Summer, she's the cheerleader type dating the football player, really popular, the kind that everyone hates behind her back, very pretty and looks really put together, like she's got it all made. But she really doesn't. She just wants some attention and she's probably in a relationship that ended a long time ago just so she wouldn't be alone. She writes poetry and plans to get the H out of Dodge as soon as she can. She's a cheerleader with layers. You really don't see that in YA. So these three girls are all anomalies to me. Maybe you've seen them before, not me.

But don't worry, this novel is meant to entertain as well as slip a little lesson in and the entertainment factor is high. I totally slipped away from my world and into that Pea Green VW Van traveling along the road listening to the GPS telling me to enter the motorway in 3/4 of a mile. I think I'll try the British voice on my GPS, they had such fun with theirs. Had to wipe the tears of laughter away a few times so I could continue reading. It's got a bit of romance but it's more about friendship. But you know girls when they get together, can't go ten minutes without talking about guys. So they're in there. It's a clean book, maybe a few mentions of something sexual, but not about sex itself.  A couple of WTF and that's about it.

This was a great coming of age story, road trip story and contemporary YA fiction. I read an ARC thanks to the Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tours, but I'll be buying my own copy. That special shelf is growing bigger all the time. But this is one I'll want to read again. 



  1. I am so excited to hear that you liked it so much! I meet Hilary for the first time last year at BEA and she was so nice and I loved listening when she talked about this book. Makes me the more happy that it is such a great book! I love Road Trips and I love the cover!!! Totally Summer Reading Worthy!

    1. Absolutely! It's a great summer read! I hope I get the chance to meet her some day!

  2. Awesome review! I think think this sounds like a really fun read for the summer. I've had those friends that drift away from you I'm sure I could relate to that aspect as well. And I think it's awesome the girls are getting together to road trip for a concert, because a friend of mine and I have done that a few times, and it's always good times.


    1. I haven't gotten together with old friends in ages. I don't even know where they are. I think it would be fun though to reminisce and share a good time. This book really makes you want to do that. I kinda had a road trip like this to a concert once, but it was a day trip.

  3. I don't know that ive heard of this book. But it sounds SO good and like something I would adore. So its definitely going on my WL! I love road trip books! Thanks for bringing it to my attention Heather!

    1. You betcha! If you love road trips this is a great one for you!

  4. Oh NO WAY would I want to go back to HS... and what if you are STILL in that awkward phase? ;) But this sounds like a great read. Oh and a book you want to read again? Oh yea, that is one I am putting on the wishlist. :)

    1. It was so great Melissa! I'm still smiling thinking about this one scene in the van with a boy....So funny!
      Gotta read it!

  5. Huh, this one didn't jump out at me when I first heard about it, but after reading your review I think I should reconsider it. I like how this one has a bit of a mature feel to it. Thanks for a great review!

  6. Facebook has reconnected me with some great high school friends. There's been a lot of cathartic truth telling when we meet. Reunited sounds like it hits that same theme. I'm in.

  7. This one has been on my TBR list for awhile though. The road trip aspect is one that I can never pass up. Sigh. I need one of those in my life!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  8. This sounds like a great read! Being in high school at the moment, I know what it can be like with friends, and just trying to find a group. I'd definitely pick up this book for some laughs. Great and thoughtful review!


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