Alice's Summer Road Trip

Young Adult - Coming of Age
142 Pages
Reviewed on 02/11/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

When Alice’s sister dies by her own hand and in the name of love, Alice finds herself lost to the possibilities of the future. The grief that racks the family and breaks the tightly woven circle of friendship draws Alice into that inner sanctum of Jan’s peers. A place she had only enjoyed from a distance as the younger sister puts itself right in front of her when her sister’s friends invite her on a road trip. At first Alice was excited about the prospect, but quickly hoped that her parents would not approve. Days upon days of travel in a mixed group of Jan’s friends somehow didn’t seem acceptable in Alice’s mind; but her parents surprised her with their consent, and Alice found herself thrown into a bizarre and enlightening adventure that somehow made life bearable once again.

Cameron Glenn creates an alternative universe in this poignant and richly descriptive memoir of one young girl’s journey into the unexpected freedom experienced in an older crowd. With the assistance of beatnik verse and constant musical references, this account of Alice’s summer vacation is not one reserved for the conventional school essay. Through the eyes of Alice, the reader becomes intimate with the thoughts and emotions of every teenage girl. Sentence structure and lengthy paragraphing often detract from the beauty of Glenn’s words, but are reminiscent of free verse popular with young readers. I believe that the author gives a first-hand insight into the reading preferences of today’s youth, while offering a lesson in the evolution of coming of age. Alice’s Summer Road Trip is a must-read.