Summary: Alice, Tiernan, and Summer were best friends who shared an obsession for the band Level3. Then there was that incident freshman year and they haven't been friends since. Now, recent high school grads, they are back together for a crazy road trip that will end with Level3s one-time-only reunion show. But that's if they don't kill each other first.
Characters: Alice is the hardest to like of the three, but I still cheered her on. She's a little intense with her need for everything to be in order and she seriously can't deal when things don't go the way she expects them to. And yet she tries so hard to be flexible and likeable. She's a little naive and optimistic, but I like her for it, and spent the whole book hoping that her road trip and concert idea would bring the three friends back together. Tiernan takes off on the road trip without telling her mom where she's going. She's the bad girl of the group and in a bad place, but it's easy to see where she is coming from and relate to all the hurt she has internalized. Summer is more of a queen bee and spends much of the trip on her cell with her girlfriends and trying to patch things back up with her jerk of a boyfriend. She grows from completely non-assertive to someone who knows what they want and is not afraid to get it. I found her story to be the most satisfying.
Because they are on a road trip, the girls meet a whole cast of characters who only appear in the story for a short time. However, all of these characters are distinct and memorable. Especially Quentin, the sexy nerdy boy who Alice falls for, and his mother, the southern mom who is sweet as pie until she catches you making out with her son in the early morning hours. Then there are they crazy hippies they meet the first night, especially the sexy bad boy (totally an ex-con!) who takes them to the nudist watering hole for a swim. Everyone the girls encounter bring a lot of humor to the story.
Plot/Pacing: Of all the books I've read, Reunited is probably the one most structured like a screenplay. Actually, it probably had tighter structure than three quarters of the screenplays I've read. I was not surprised to discover from her bio that Hilary Weisman Graham is also a screenwriter. This book is fast paced, hits all the right plot points at all the right moments, has set pieces galore, and a cheesy ending that will make you smile. It's a fun ride with over-the-top antics, but that's the point.
Moments I Loved: Any scene with Quentin. This book isn't about romance. It's about friendship and other awesome things. However, Quentin is major nerd girl kryptonite and I certainly wouldn't have minded more of him!
WTF Moments: Summer's parents laugh when Summer asks if they want her to call them from the road. It made me so angry and I immediately loved Summer. They were supposed to contrast Alice's parents, who are more caring and involved, but even they only wanted Alice to check in every 500 miles. Really? I'm 25 and when I went on a 3,000 mile road trip last summer, my parents still called me ten times a day and freaked out if I didn't call or text every single time I stopped for coffee.
Overall: If you like feel good teen comedies, but are in the mood for a book, then Reunited is for you.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: 336 pages toward the 15,000 page challenge and Support Your Local Library. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.
Reunited gets a Fake Steph Rating of...
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