Released: June 2011
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Around the World Tours
On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.
Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?
Words cannot describe how much I loved each and every page of this novel! Julie's writing doesn't stop. The best way I can describe it is as if you were snapping your fingers fast. Everything moves on a beat! The book is based on two of my favorite subjects: ROAD TRIP and falling in love with your best friend. (And plus any author who talks about the movie Hiding Out is pretty much awesome.)
I ate up Lil and Josh's relationship with a spoon because once upon a time I was Lil. I got it. All those times Josh acted flirty without even realizing it. The way your heart starts to pound with every little graze. Always knowing that they want to be with you even if it may come off as strictly platonic. It couldn't have been more perfect. And Josh's personality was so freaking adorkable! You could see why Lillian had a thing for him, but mainly, and what Julie did so well was you saw exactly why these two were best friends.
To add on the layers that are already in this story, you have Penny. She's the real reason why Lillian and Josh take off on this quest of finding her. You're given journal entries from Penny so I felt like I got to know her very well even when she was present for the novel. It does touch on some dark issues that Penny has been facing with her boyfriend (who is a straight-up douche). I think it was handled nicely and still kept the book flowing without making it seems like things had shifted so much when Penny was introduced.
Now for the road trip part: *sings* awesome! There is something so freeing and wonderful about driving for me so I loved all the interactions between them as they hit hte raod not to mention the crazy stops they made. I felt like I was in the car, windows rolled down, and listening to Elvis with them. Don't let this novel slip past you. Don't Stop Now has all the great elements any good story is supposed to have: fabulous characters, a wonderful plot line, hilarious offbeat and quirky moments, and an author's writing that makes you crave for more!