Tuesday, December 8, 2009


by Jennifer Bradbury

Dedication: "For Jimmy - always my first, best, and favorite reader"

First paragraph: "The nose of the seat bit into my shoulder as the toe clip scraped the back of my thigh. I wrestled the bike through the dorm's gaping front doors, the derailleur cable snagging on the knob as I stepped inside. I lurched, swore, and hoped none of the half-dozen people hanging around the sweltering lobby were watching. I tried to block out the lingering smells of puke and cheap beer as I headed for the row of mailboxes along the far wall."

Review: The day after high school graduation Chris and Win set off on a cross-country bike trip. Their plan is to make it from West Virginia to Seattle. But before they get all the way there Win leaves Chris behind. Chris decides he's better off without him, reaches the west coast and takes a bus back home and starts his freshman year of college, figuring Win did the same. Only now he's finding out Win didn't make it back and people are starting to ask questions.

This book is about more than just finding out what happened to Chris's best friend. It's about Chris finding out who he is. I love how Bradbury was able to write two very different stories and yet make them connect and become one. The story of the bike ride across America - two young men doing something they love, and the story of growing up and becoming adults - making decisions and doing things you never thought you could do. Becoming a person you always wanted to be.

As you travel across America with them you really get a feel for what they are going through (as much as is possible without actually doing it yourself). You become connected to them and as the story progresses so does your friendship with them.

I really enjoyed this book. I don't remember why it made my reading list but I'm glad it did and it should make your reading list too.

Click Here for Jennifer Bradbury's website.

Also, just a fun fact I learned off the book jacket - Jennifer Bradbury rode her bike across the country for her honeymoon .... Wow.

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