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Published by Pajama Press on May 1, 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Source: The Publisher via Netgalley
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It’s Hanna’s wild idea, of course: take their mom’s car, pack up the tent, and drive across the country. Just three sisters, one guitar, and the Trans Canada Highway. They can be back in Nova Scotia before their parents are home from Europe. She doesn’t say she wants to forget about what happened in Italy, and at university. Claire doesn’t say she keeps having nightmares about her friend’s recent suicide. Megan doesn’t say much, unless it’s a complaint. But maybe they all feel, somehow, that this is their one chance to do something together, something big, before time begins to scatter them. With empathy and insight, Sylvia Gunnery writes an engaging summer read about three sisters navigating the difficult roads of adolescence, trauma, secrets, shame, and fear for the future. Peopled with chance encounters and warmed with fireside heart-to-hearts, Road Signs that Say West is a compelling ride through real life.
Seeing as I am a huge fan of road trip novels, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one. This book had the ability to be all the things, unfortunately, it turned out to be, well, none of them.
The beginning was strong, I will give this book that. The little sibling arguments and rivalry was realistic enough, but the book’s overall execution left something to be desired. I felt like this book could have been much longer than it was, perhaps even somehow broken into several novels. It seemed more of an overview than a full-length novel. This left me not only unable to feel like I was truly experiencing a road trip(something I’ve felt in the past when reading some of my favorite road trip novels), but it also left me completely unable to connect with the characters. Sadly, that made them mostly unlikable to me. This is not to say the novel didn’t have its bright points, it did. Some of my favorite scenes involved following a character that had a small, supporting role. That said, having extra viewpoints outside of the sisters sometimes left me a bit confused about what was going on. So many side stories were never resolved, and the ending was honestly very abrupt. I so, so wanted to love this book and I do not take negative feedback lightly. However, unless there is plans for future novels in a series this book left way too many loose ends for me to feel comfortable recommending it. If you want an okay read and are cool with not having all your questions answered then, by all means, give it a try! There was a lot to love within the pages, it just didn’t do it for me overall.