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Rocky Road Trip
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Rocky Road Trip

2.7 7
by Catherine Clark

It was a zoo the day I left.

All I remember is pulling out of the driveway. I thought I was going to crumble into a hundred pieces.

I looked at Grant. He looked at me.

Mom hit reverse. It all seemed so tragic, like I was hipping off to war.

Still and all. A really, really dumb idea to come this far for college.


It was a zoo the day I left.

All I remember is pulling out of the driveway. I thought I was going to crumble into a hundred pieces.

I looked at Grant. He looked at me.

Mom hit reverse. It all seemed so tragic, like I was hipping off to war.

Still and all. A really, really dumb idea to come this far for college.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Courtney Von Dragen Smith is keeping a journal of her first year at college in Wisconsin. She is not just miles, but states away from her Colorado home and, more importantly, her boyfriend Grant. Courtney's new roommate, Mary Jo Johannsen, is pretty and nice. She's a farm girl, though, and Courtney's sure they will not have anything in common. She's homesick, misses Grant, and is frustrated with lack of vegetarian food options. Slowly and almost begrudgingly, she begins to adjust to life away from home. She gets involved in several activist groups on campus and meets a boy she's attracted to. Slowly, Courtney begins to learn who her true friends are and starts to have a less whiny, more optimistic and independent outlook toward the future. I did occasionally want to shake my finger at her and say, "Quit your whining," but for the most part it was an enjoyable read. The book was originally published as a sequel to Banana Splitsville entitled Wurst Case Scenario. Some of the references in this book were to the people and events from the previous novel, which left me guessing what had taken place. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Rocky Road Trip

Chapter One

8/18 Friday night

Can I even explain the weirdness that is my life right now?

My new college roommate, the person I have to spend the next 9 months living with, Mary Jo Johannsen, is sleeping now. Went to bed at 10. Set alarm for 5 but said she'd probably wake up before it went off. What? Who wakes up before 5?

Her straw-blond hair is spread out on the pillow. She has baby-blue flannel pajamas with little black-and-white Holstein cows on them. Which she is wearing even though it is about 90 degrees in our room. 3rd floor. Hot, humid. No A/C.

Mary Jo is the type of person you might hate if she weren't so nice. Too nice, actually. Highly suspect. Has perfect body, perfect hair, and no clue of this. Wears unflattering clothes that end up looking good anyway—orange corduroy pants, the kind you see for $1.99 at Old Navy, only hers are legitimately vintage, plus white T-shirt with green John Deere tractor logo. She's tan, she has muscles. She looks healthy, strong, normal. Sort of like Drew Barrymore.

Me, I feel like the heifer in the photo at the end of her bed. Could be the fact I ate cheese in addition to sour cream today, however. In spite of being a vegan. Okay, a semi-vegan. Mary Jo's mom brought snacks and sandwiches and cubed cheese and kept insisting I have some, wouldn't take no for an answer. Realized I had to take something or she would never stop asking. Opted for the lesser of 27 evils and had cheddar cubes. Mom was in heaven, bonding with other mom over advantages of having large cooler stocked with bite-size items in Ziploc.

Anyway, now my stomach is as bloated as my college application was, which is the reason I ended up with mega-size scholarship and grants to this supposedly "top-notch" Cornwall Falls College in the first place. It is way out in the country. Thought I would like that for some reason. Now it seems crazy as I am too far from major airports. Where is my escape route?

Never should have listened to Mom. Or guidance counselor. Or Gerry, the ex-guidance counselor. They all told me to volunteer, like being the student council VP and then P wasn't enough. End result: I cleaned out streams. I collected donated books. I tutored at elementary school. I nearly joined the Girl Scouts to get into a good college. Insane concept, as I am too old to wear uniforms and badges, not that I had any badges yet, which would have been really embarrassing. Would have been oldest living Brownie, and though I have a few camping skills, like rolling up my sleeping bag, and gathering firewood, I am lousy at camp songs and cannot cook a marshmallow without singeing my hair.

What was I thinking when I decided to go away to college? What was I thinking when I said, "Hey, okay, Wisconsin!" I even went for a tour, which should have given me time to think. But no. Must have been in a dairy-induced daze. Just because they served free Starbucks Frappuccinos on the plane and got my vegan/vegetarian/non-chicken meal right, I took that as a sign. A flight attendant with frosted blond hair and an attitude about me having a special request meal gives me a stupid egg-free, gluten-free cookie . . . and I make a major life decision based on that? Am I that insane?

Anyway, that's beside the point. It's all beside the point. The point is that I am here at Cornwall Falls College.

Getting here was so weird. Little sign outside; Rankin Hall. Crowded parking lot. We walked up the stairs and I was wondering if Mary Jo would be here yet. Nervous about meeting her. Have never had a roommate except for Alison, and sisters don't count. Wondered if I'd filled out my housing questionnaire right, if there was such a thing as a right answer to "Hobbies You Enjoy."

What about "Hobbies You Don't Enjoy"? Why don't they ever ask the important questions?

Anyway, we wandered down the hall looking for 326. Very crowded. Lots of parents, lots of microwaves and computer boxes and trunks, lots of girls looking either ecstatic or terrified. I kept saying "Hi," like an automaton. Hi, hi, hi. Then suddenly we were at room 326.

I peeked around the corner. Mary Jo was standing on her bed, putting up a Faith Hill poster. Which would add to the 10 million other things she already had on the wall: barn print, family portrait, Leann Rimes calendar, and 3 different "Precious Moments" posters with uplifting sayings and supposedly cute photos of kittens and puppies.


Mrs. Johannsen was scrubbing built-in dresser and closet with toxic cleaning product. No oxygen in room.

Mr. Johannsen was creating new furniture, putting up shelves, hammering nails into concrete, with plaster pieces crumbling to the floor which was covered with giant red University of Wisconsin rug.

"Um. Hi?" I said.

Everyone totally dropped what they were doing and turned around. Mary Jo smiled as Mom and her parents shook hands and exchanged fascinating news of trip, highway route, weather. Mary Jo said she hoped I didn't mind if she kind of got the place settled—she left all this wall space for me, and if I wanted to change beds or anything, that was completely fine, etc. Very sweet and polite. I was looking around this tiny room trying to imagine how I could make it look remotely like a place I lived when suddenly this crowd of tall blond boys came rushing at me. Thought it was some fraternity reference when Mary Jo mentioned "brothers." Then I remembered there are no frats here, and realized these were her actual brothers. 6 of them, all over age 20. Was introduced but forgot each name instantaneously as they all wore similar T-shirts and jeans and boots. They all work on the family dairy farm. They all have the blondest hair I've ever seen. They all insisted on bringing up my stuff (which was very, very cool). Only took them 5 minutes.

Rocky Road Trip. Copyright � by Catherine Clark. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Catherine Clark is the author of several young adult novels, including The Alison Rules, Maine Squeeze, and So Inn Love. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and daughter, and takes family road trips whenever and wherever she can. (But not on buses.)

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Rocky Road Trip 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a complete waste of money. The characters are poorly developed, some not at all. The plot line is barely exsistent and nothing even happens until about three quarters in, and even then it`s still really boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PriscyPK More than 1 year ago
I read it. And well, if you look at the first book "Banana Splitsville" I wrote a review. Ummm... It kinda explained what I'm about to tell you right now. I don't like diaries much. I'd rather read chapters that fill you in a bit more. It did have it's moments of comedic thrills though. Anyways, I wasn't too thrilled about the ending. There are no spoilers in this review! It's just my opinion, okay? I would just like it very much if Catherine wrote a third book (even though I'm not too thrilled with the first two) so that I could know what happens. Take my advice or don't take it. If you read the first book this one might ruin it. But hey, that's only what I think.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Courtney arrives at college 1,000 miles away from her home, her best friend, and her boyfriend. She meets her meat-loving science nerd roommate and immediately her vegan self thinks - this isn't going to work out.

She struggles meeting new people, making friends, balancing her job and schoolwork, and surviving a long-distance relationship.

With all her stress and worrying, Courtney wonders how she'll survive four years on her own.

Catherine Clark takes a long look at college relationships and how they can make you crazy, scared, cry, and laugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with Banana Splitsville, this is just a rerelease of Catherine Clark's sequel to Truth or Dairy (Wurst Case Scenario) with a different name.