A road trip. A singing competition. And super-hot cowboys.
What could be better?
For Charlie, a post-high school road trip isn’t just a vacation, it’s life changing. While her parents think she’s helping a friend move, a chance at fame is the real reason to grab her best friends and drive to L.A. But when her super annoying, uber-responsible, younger sister, Lucy, has to tag along, it isn’t quite the summer of fun she imagined.
Add in a detour to her grandparents’ ranch in Texas, and between mucking the stalls, down-home cookin’, and drool worthy ranch hands, this could just turn into the best, and most complicated, summer of their lives.
I received Road to Somewhere from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’m torn in how I feel about Road to Somewhere. I expected a fun road trip with great characters, sisterly bonding, and a little romance. Instead I got a book divided into two sections. The first half had a road trip, mopey Charlie, mopey Lucy, and poor character development all around. There wasn’t one well-developed character in the whole first half. The second half of the book had no road trip, but both Charlie and Lucy perked up and I felt like I was finally getting to know them. Also, sisterly bonding and a little romance.
Charlie was supposed to be the fun one between her and her sister Lucy, but she sure wasn’t much fun. Even in the end, when she grew a spine and and started making plans for the future she wanted, I still wouldn’t call her a lot of fun. She was constantly putting herself down (calling herself stupid) because she didn’t do well in school and, therefore, was doomed to community college. Not even a state university! It was hard to tell if she struggled in school because she just didn’t try or because she had trouble with the material. When she first brought it up, it seemed like she hadn’t tried, that she had given up. But then she kept harping on how stupid she was and it seemed like she just didn’t grasp the material or maybe needed to be taught a different way. So, I still don’t know, but I lean towards the lazy angle. Charlie seemed, to me, like the type of girl who just wasn’t interested in school and didn’t care about it so she didn’t try to do well. Then she was upset that she didn’t get into a good college and her friends did and were leaving her. That does tend to happen.
For the first half of the book, Charlie spent most of the trip yelling at Lucy for little things: wanting to (gasp!) hang out with a ranch hand, taking a walk on the beach, existing…She was a bitch to Drew, the boy who gave her her first kiss several years ago, for absolutely no reason. She chased her ex-boyfriend all the way across the entire country — and it turned out she didn’t even like him that much.
I liked Lucy more than Charlie, even in that first half. I felt sorry for her being dragged along on a road trip with her sister’s friends, knowing that she wasn’t wanted and not fitting in with them. It was Lucy who was the catalyst for the return to the ranch, and it was Lucy who got the better love interest. I guess she deserved that reward for putting up with Charlie her entire life. As much as Charlie thought it was hard to be perfect Lucy’s sister and to be compared to Lucy by her parents, it couldn’t have been easy for Lucy either. She didn’t know how to stand up for herself and her own sister resented her.
Both girls grew by the end of the book and were taking steps to live their lives on their own terms, although with two years of high school left, Lucy couldn’t really get started on that right away. Their stereotypically overbearing father wouldn’t change overnight just because his daughters did, so Lucy may have to just endure life until graduation. Maybe their mother can help her out. That’s not very hopeful, but the ending of Road to Somewhere was a little more abrupt and open-ended than I like.
There’s one plotline that I was sure was going to turn into a THING, but nothing came of it. At one point, Charlie noticed that her grandfather was taking naps and that her grandmother’s kitchen was stocked with healthier foods than she was used to seeing at the ranch. I was sure that Pops was only a heart attack or a stroke away from death, but fortunately I was wrong. It seems weird that it was brought up only to not go anywhere, but maybe that was left open for a potential second book, where Charlie (and Lucy?) has to return to the ranch to keep it running while Pops recovers. I would be interested in that book.