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Take Me There
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Take Me There

3.8 168
by Carolee Dean

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Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan


Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. He knows that rich, beautiful Jess is way too good for him—but she has always been the one person who sees through his tough exterior and straight to his heart, and he has been hopelessly in love with her from the first time they met. He would change his life for a chance with her.

But trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He’s on the run and in search of answers—answers to questions he wishes he’d never asked.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dylan is a deep and conflicted character who confronts problems other young adults often face. Many readers will recognize themselves in some of Dylan's traits and actions, and won't be able to put the book down."
—VOYA, August 2010
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
This is the story of Dylan and the relationships he has with the girl he loves, his best friend, and his father. Told partially in flashbacks and augmented by passages from a death row prisoner's memoir, it is fast-paced, complex and interesting—until it isn't. The storyline about how Dylan became so indebted to his best friend Wade that he risks his relationships and freedom to help him is the second best part of the book. The true best part comes toward the end, when Dylan reunites with his father and begins to learn to truth about what happened on the night his father was accused of murder. All of the dialogue, scenarios and feelings expressed by the characters, particularly Dylan's grandmother, ring true and seem poignant from this point on through the end. It is a startling contrast to the pages dedicated to Dylan's relationship with Jess. The relationship that should form the center of the book feels unrealistic and forced next to the relationships Dylan has with his dad and Wade. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Dylan Dawson, 17, is trying to stay on the right path. After a stint in juvenile hall for possession of stolen property, he's keeping his distance from gang activity and wants to do well at his job. However, it seems everything is going against him: a dad in prison, an alcoholic mom, and, on top of that, he can't read. He seeks solace in poems, and in Jess, a rich-girl love interest. Inevitably, he finds himself in a bad situation, running from the law and the gang, and headed to Texas to discover the truth about his father's trangression and his unknown past. Dean deftly portrays Dylan's tough-guy exterior along with his soft side through the poetry that floats in his head and is interspersed throughout the novel. The supporting characters, including a loyal but none-too-wise best friend and surly grandmother, are well drawn and believable. The story moves quickly as the mystery of Dylan's father's crime unfolds, partially revealed through chapters of a memoir the man wrote in prison and spurred on by his impending execution. At times, the book's message is a bit too obvious, but readers will empathize with Dylan, who is sincere in a desire to reform but can't seem to escape his circumstances.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
HL760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt



I know two things about him.

He’s locked away

down there in Texas,

I’ve heard my mother say.

She only talks about him

when she’s full of wine.

His name is Dylan Dawson,

same as mine.


Middle of the California desert. No lights for miles. Another hour to Needles.

Wade watches the road behind us in the side mirror. Baby Face thumps her tail. Looks out the back window, growling at every shadow. The three of us need sleep, but we won’t rest until we make it to Arizona.

I want to kill Wade. He is my best friend, but I want to rip off his head and leave his body on the highway for the vultures and wild dogs. I understand why he did what he did, but I had three months at a good job. I was turning myself around. I had a girl. I had a future.

Not anymore.

I remind myself how Wade saved my life in juvie. It’s the only thing that stops me from leaving him on the side of the road.

We ride with the windows open because the air conditioner is busted. Still feels like we’re traveling in an oven. Watch the temperature gauge. Radiator has a leak. Gallon jug of water in the backseat in case the engine overheats.

I strain my eyes to keep them focused on the white reflective lines so the Mustang won’t fly off the blacktop. At least there’s a full moon, but it makes my eyes play tricks on me. Every time I pass a cactus I think it’s a man with a gun standing outside in the sand. A shining reflection becomes the glint of a badge … or a barrel.

I remember the rage in Eight Ball’s eyes. He’ll come looking for us. Of that I’m sure. My only comfort is that he doesn’t know where we’re heading. I didn’t tell anyone. Not even Jess or Mom. Better that way.

If they are lucky, they will forget about me.

I still have Jess’s note in my back pocket. I don’t know why she ever fell for a guy like me. What must she be thinking now? Will she hear about me on the news?

And my mother. How will she react when the police come looking for me? It almost killed her when I went to juvie last time.

I realize I’m pushing the gas and have to force my foot to relax.

Keep it slow. Don’t draw attention. Remember to breathe.

I’ve got to put some highway behind us, but we can’t afford to get pulled over. If a cop checks my license or registration, he’ll notice the plates I lifted from the Volkswagen in San Bernardino.

Wade and I don’t speak. There isn’t much to say after what has happened.

I try to stick my head out the window, hoping for a blast of cool wind to revive me, keep me awake, but it doesn’t help. All the air has gone out of the world. I cannot breathe. The night is an endless sea of desert and blackness. I clutch the steering wheel—my life preserver—though I’m not sure anything can save me now.

“You’re goin’ kinda fast.” Wade mumbles the first words he’s uttered in four hours.

I look at the speedometer and see I’ve edged past eighty. Ease my foot off the gas. Take a deep breath. Can’t let my thoughts go wandering. Have to make it to Arizona. Then we can pull into a rest stop and grab a couple hours’ sleep.

“I didn’t think it would go down like it did.” Wade looks at me.

I want to scream and tell him what an idiot he is, that as usual, he didn’t think at all. But he already looks like a puppy expecting to get beat—slouching in his seat, head hanging, greasy blond bangs covering his eyes, trying to make himself small.

Wade has made an art out of trying not to be seen or heard. Something he learned from living with an alcoholic stepfather. Wade came to stay with me and Mom when he was fourteen, after his stepdad pushed him down a flight of stairs and broke three of his ribs. He is part of my family. The only brother I’ve ever known.

“Don’t worry,” I finally tell him. “It’s all gonna work out.” I know this is a blatant lie. We are both screwed, and only time will tell just how totally screwed we are, but Wade seems to take comfort in my words. Sits up a little taller. Smiles. “Want some corn nuts?” he asks, tilting the half-empty bag that is his dinner toward me.

“No thanks,” I say, but Baby Face sticks her head into the front seat between us and licks his chin, eager for a snack. Wade gives her some food and scratches her ears.

“How long till we cross the border?” I ask him.

Wade wipes his hands on his jeans, turns on the overhead light, unfolds the map, and traces a long red line. “Little over an hour. From there Flagstaff’s another two hundred miles and Albuquerque’s three hundred more. Hey, look! The Grand Canyon is just north of Flagstaff. Wanna go?”

He’s grinning like a little kid. It takes so little to make Wade happy. Sometimes I envy him. “We’ll see,” I say. I am not taking a detour to the Grand Canyon, but there’s no reason to disappoint him just yet.

Wade turns back to the map. “We’ll take I-40 all the way to Amarillo, then catch Highway 27 south through Lubbock. After that it’s 87 to Fredericksburg, 290 to Brenham, then ten miles north to Quincy. You sure your grandma won’t mind us staying with her?”

“I’m sure.” I haven’t seen my grandmother in over a decade. Can’t expect her to shelter two guys on the run, but I don’t want to worry Wade. I just hope Levida will tell me how to find my father.

Dylan Sr. has been a guest of the Texas Department of Corrections for eleven years, since I was six. I don’t know where exactly. Don’t even know what he did. Mom cries if I ask her too many questions, so I quit asking.

I wanted so badly to make her proud and not disappoint her the way my father had done, but some things aren’t meant to be.

I will find my father. Then I will understand why I am the way I am. Why it is that no matter how hard I try to stay away from trouble, it always finds me.

© 2010 Carolee Dean

Meet the Author

Carolee Dean is the author of Forget Me Not, Take Me There, and Comfort. She lives with her family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she works with teenagers as a speech pathologist. Find out more at CaroleeDean.com.

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Take Me There 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 168 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
my friend told me about this book and how good it is but i didn't really believe her until i opened the first page. this book is emotional and romantic and exciting and sad all at the same time. if you like simone elkeles books you will really enjoy this book and fall in love with these charactere.
RomanceLover29 More than 1 year ago
This book was very good, and it will go how you never expected it to! Very interesting, and I didn't want to put it down. I read this book in 2 hours! Such a great read! I recomend it to anyone who loves romance, and mystery! Please read, and ENJOY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was good even though i really didnt like the ending. I was like,"really thats it?" I would recommend this book.
Stride More than 1 year ago
This book has romance in it, yes. Is it it's main foundation? Nope! But that does not mean that it's not a good book. Dylan has tried to get away from the trouble that never seems to stop lingering over him. Now, he's killed someone and is wanted by the person he killed's brother. His father is on death row, he has a good-for-nothing shady uncle, and his mother is an alcoholic. He must leave the girl he wanted to change his life around with behind so he can get some answers to a vague memory that haunts him in his dreams that he can't seem to piece together. A wonderful book, I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love,love, love this book. I read it in one day, couldn't put it down. A cute story of two people who are truly in love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. I could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book last year and I loved it so much. I wanted to read it again! I would recommend this book 100%.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellnt book. Absoutley loved it. I felt like i was with all the characters in the book. Made me a lil teary eyed in some parts, over all great book! Recommened? YES!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book I just hated the ending...
RoboLove More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing. I read it till' the very end and couldn't get enough. I wish it didnt end, thats how good it was. Now, you see, I'm one of those type of readers that if the book sucks, I stop reading it. This book was not one of those, this one was just GREAT. The ending will leave you shocked, trust.
KENZ7298 More than 1 year ago
So, my cousin started this book and couldn't get into it. I started it and I adored it from the first page. It kept me gessing what they got themselves into and I couldn't get anough. I finished and now I've been dying for more. If you love bad boys, you'll LOVE this, and for me it was a change because it was from the male prospective. I think some people will love it, others not so much. It completly depends on the person reading it. So, if you do decide to ready it I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
booklover101CA More than 1 year ago
this book was amazing!!!! no doubt about it!! i couldnt put it down for a minute, to where i found myself finishing the book in one entire day.if your looking for a book about love and life this is surley the one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was surprisingly suspenseful and I could barely put it down. Amazing read!
Cheyenne Waldrop More than 1 year ago
This book will bring you to a teenaged boy wo has gotten himself in a bad situation but has the best girl he could ever find falling in love with him...and accepting what he did....best teen book ever!!! Would recomend to everyone!!!!
Amanda Vasquez More than 1 year ago
Best book ever. Teens will love this novel!!
mariaha001 More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I could not put it down.
Thomas Schubert More than 1 year ago
i love this book so much!! it is by far a fav. book of mine. :)
jjsmithers More than 1 year ago
i loved this book! i cried so much! it normally takes a lot to make me cry but this writer was sso amazing that she brought me to tears! i hope she writes a sequel! this book really made me rethink life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book had me hooked cover to cover. it wasnt just about Dylan and Jess. It was about so much more. If you're looking for a good read you have to read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. My daughter read it and shes almost fourteen and she loved it. She got it done in less than a week because she didnt wanna stop reading it. Theres so much detail it makes you think that your there. Definatly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is one of the best books i have ever read. there is so much emotion behind the characters. this is a book i will reread. the synopsis gives almost nothing away, not what i expected to read, but i loved it. i highly recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was like and emotional rollercoaster it had its up and it sure had its downs but i fell in love it was very relatable to my like and when i read the back of the book it reminded me of my brother/best friend and his ex-girlfriend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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GingersLittlePrincess366 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. There were times where I had to put it down because it was so overwhelming with emotion. It's a total roller coaster, and Dylan will make any girl think twice before judging a book by it's cover. I highly recommend this book.