Love, passion, and friendship collide on the road trip of a lifetime in this breathtaking novel from Paullina Simons, internationally bestselling author of The Bronze Horseman and Tully.
There’s no telling where a journey will lead you…
Shelby Sloane has big plans for the summer of 1981. She’ll drive cross country in her graduation present—a classic yellow Mustang. In California, she hopes to find the mother who left her behind long ago, and then return East in time to start college. Her childhood friend Gina is desperate to reunite with her boyfriend in Bakersfield and has convinced Shelby to bring her along.
With Gina on board, Shelby’s carefully mapped-out itinerary is quickly abandoned. Soon, so is their “no hitchhikers” rule when Shelby picks up a mysterious girl named Candy Cane, who sets them all on a new and dangerous course. Streetwise beyond her years and decked out with tattoos, piercings, and spiky hair, Candy is on the run from a past darker than anything the two suburban girls have ever known. Candy draws Shelby and Gina into her terrifying world, where life as they know it is turned upside down and there is no place left to hide.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Paullina Simons is the author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman, as well as ten other beloved novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Born in Leningrad, Russia, Paullina immigrated to the United States when she was ten, and now lives in New York with her husband and an alarming number of her once-independent children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Road to Paradise by Paullina Simons is a novel about teenage girls on a cross-country road trip in 1981. After graduating from high school and before she heads off to college in the fall, Shelby Sloane plans to drive across country from Mamaroneck, NY, to Mendocino, CA. Her mother, whom she hasn't seen since she was a young child, supposedly lives in Mendocino. Her father died years earlier. Emma has taken care of Shelby. Emma also gives Shelby a classic bright yellow 1966 Shelby Mustang as a graduation gift. Shelby's former friend Gina hears about her cross-country plans and begs to go with her. Gina wants to reunite with her boyfriend who is living in Bakersfield, CA. Soon Gina is part of the planned road trip but her addition adds other problems, like several side trips to run "quick" errands for various family members. Oh, and Gina forgets to tell Shelby that she doesn't have her driver's license, so Shelby has to do all the driving. Along the way the two girls run into a hitchhiker who calls herself Candy Cane. Once she joins the two, their road trip takes a dark turn. First things first: I would read a few pages of Road to Paradise, and then have to set it aside so I could rant at all the characters. Mainly, at the beginning, I wondered how Shelby could be so foolish and stupid. I wondered who in their right mind would not say it was a bad idea to take this trip, especially to a young woman who has never traveled anywhere. Now, I was a young adult in 1981, in college and a few years older than these girls, but still.... Even then I would have considered this a bad idea. Then I was wondering why Emma would buy her that car. Why not save the money for her college fund. Don't even get me started on what Shelby didn't realize about Emma's relationship to her. How could this have never been discussed? There were so many ignorant, incompetent decisions that it was incomprehensible. And they just kept coming. Why wouldn't they have just left "Candy Cane" at a gas station and keep going. Why couldn't Shelby just say "No." No I won't drop these dogs off 250 miles out of my way. No, that is not going to happen. No, Gina, I don't want you to go with me. UGH! I would have set this book aside and informed the publisher that I simply could not finish it because it was not a book I was enjoying at all, but I had a commitment to read and review it so I finished reading the whole hot mess. I admittedly did start skimming through the middle of the book because it is 544 pages of a hot mess. The epilogue did make it all a wee bit better - not enough to raise my rating, but at least I didn't feel as much resentment over reading it. Obviously, I don't recommend this book, but be sure to read other reviews and see how other readers felt. It just wasn't a good choice for me. Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book