100 Sideways Miles – Andrew Smith

Synopsis

Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.

Review

This story was sweet, funny, and genuine! My heart went out to Finn. He has a lot of stuff to deal with, but manages to forge relationships with some amazing people. The graceful and pensive Julia Bishop. The spontaneous and charismatic Cade Hernandez. I found every side character, no matter how small, to be intriguing. They were all interesting people with a story to tell. What kept Mr. Nossick going day-to-day? How does a bullfighter wind up living in a little valley in California? PEOPLE HAVE SUCH GREAT STORIES.

Andrew Smith is a master of situational comedy. From the ingenuity of the BEST Test, to the origin of Win-Win, to baseball party shenanigans, to the Berlin Wall and the freaking Little Buffalo River, I kind of felt like I was along for the ride with the coolest guys ever.

This book had a lot of little quirks that added nuance to it. I enjoyed some—like Lazarus Door freakouts by strangers, and Cade’s ever-changing depictions of :|: , Quit Missions, and German influences especially … but others simply didn’t work for me (ghosts, boner talk, “getting out of the book” obsessions, and counting time by distance). Still, Smith managed to put together a bunch of seemingly unrelated things and make a pretty awesome story. Fun, emotional, and thoughtful!

Related Reading

  • Winger – Andrew Smith
  • The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence
  • An Abundance of Katherines – John Green
  • The Spectacular Now – Tim Tharp

Rating: 4/5

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