Summer is coming, and nothing says summer like cold drinks, long playlists, and a good, tension-ridden road trip. So buckle up, book nerds, and grab your basket full of snacks: it’s time to hit the road…to the library. To check out these books. Because reading your way through an excellent road trip is the next best thing to actually taking one—you know, while you save up money to go on your own adventure.
Finding Paris, by Joy Preble
Leo and Paris are sisters, best friends, and the only stable part of each other’s lives. So when Paris disappears, leaving Leo outside a diner in Vegas with no money, no car, and nothing to go on besides a cryptic note, Leo sets off to find her missing sister (who may or may not have been kidnapped). And it doesn’t hurt that she’s got a handsome stranger to help her out along the way. With just a dash of gooey romance to spice up the sister mystery, Finding Paris pretty much leaves you no choice but to fall in love. Bonus: is it just me, or is Leo an awesome name for a girl?
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, by Morgan Matson
Ever since her dad died in a car accident, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. So when her mom announces Amy will be road-tripping from California to Connecticut with Roger, an old family friend, for a chauffeur, she’s not exactly pleased. But what was supposed to be a quick and easy journey turns into an adventure when Amy and Roger decide to depart from their itinerary. Matson’s writing flows perfectly from funny to serious and back again, but the real treat is watching Amy and Roger go from strangers to friends to possibly more—and with an excellent soundtrack to back it up.
Let’s Get Lost, by Adi Alsaid
Leila is on a mission to see the Northern Lights. Along the way, she meets Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia, four strangers with nothing in common except for a girl in a red car. Leila is determined to help them with their various problems, but things never quite go the way she plans. If there’s anything about this book I can relate to, it’s this: Leila’s attempts to fix things almost always make things worse (welcome to life, Leila). And yet, it all works out. Told from the perspective of the strangers she meets, Let’s Get Lost slowly reveals the reasons behind Leila’s solo road trip with just enough suspense to keep you hooked.
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
What do you do when you’ve been dumped by number 19 in a string of Katherines? Go on a road trip with your best friend, of course. Before you know it, Colin and Hassan have found themselves in Gunshot, Tennessee, staring at the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But along with the romance and history and wacky best friend moments that are key to a good road trip, Green adds something else, something magical: math. Proving you can, in fact, use math in real life, Colin is building a relationship equation. This book is totally worth a read just for the math appendix alone.
Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech
Salamanca Tree Hiddle is going on what sounds like the least desirable road trip of all time—she and her grandparents are driving across the country in search of her missing mother. Along the way, Salamanca tells them the story of her crazy friend Phoebe, whose mother also disappeared. Believe it or not, you’ll soon be wishing you could go for a drive with your own grandparents, at least if they’re as fantastic and eccentric as Sal’s are. But be warned: this book will hit you with all of the feels.
Back When You Were Easier to Love, by Emily Wing Smith
Joy has no idea if her relationship is over. All she knows is her boyfriend, Zan, just left for college without so much as an “It’s over” text. So she does what anyone would do: she grabs his best friend, hops in a car, and drives to California to find Zan and figure things out. But she’s not prepared for is how much Zan has changed in such a short time—or has he really changed at all? Smith’s writing is hilarious and quirky, and it’s hard not to relate to Joy’s relationship blinders. Don’t worry, Joy. We’ve all been there.
The Disenchantments, by Nina LaCour
Colby is all set to follow through on the post-graduation plans he made with Bev: spend the summer touring with Bev’s band and the following year traversing Europe—but, he learns, Bev is less set. The show (tour) must go on, though, so Colby is stuck driving Bev and her bandmates around the Pacific Northwest, attempting to cope with his feelings of betrayal and his apparent lack of a future, not to mention listening to their (increasingly) bad music. For anyone who’s ever tried to expunge a long-standing crush, be prepared for a lightening bolt of angst straight to your poor broken heart.
What’s your favorite road trip novel?