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Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern

Don't Stop Now

by Julie Halpern

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I'm still giggling, and slightly swooning over Don't Stop Now. For those of you who are looking for that quintessential summer read, something light, fun and fantastic, pick this one up! I think I had more fun reading this than I have any other book in a long time.

First of all, it's the chemistry between the characters. Lillian and Josh are like night and day, but the two of them mesh together perfectly. There's a "not romance" here that just adds to it all, and I liked how the focus was on their relationship with one another and what is was, or was not, to be. See, the two of them have just finished high school and each has a very different idea of what is to come next. Lillian, the one who has had all the summer jobs to save up, is off to college. Josh, who lives off his father's money, is wanting to start a band. Unfortunately his father wants him to get a "real job" and he's annoyed. Both of them are on a mission to find their missing friend who has staged her own kidnapping. Cue witty banter, debates on the future, and a road trip for the ages.

I can't say enough about the easy banter, and the voice with which this story is written. Don't Stop Now could be a story about any two friends who are confused about their relationship status. I liked that Lillian and Josh didn't have any annoying sexual tension, or fight a lot. They argued, of course, like all friends do. However all Josh would need to do was throw out his signature grin, and it was back to pals for the two of them. I thoroughly enjoyed their visits to random landmarks, and loved the kitchy souvenirs they picked up. Oh! This book was just so much fun!

As far as summer books go, Don't Stop Now just screams a last hurrah at a teen summer. I loved the voice, the characters, the random interjections from Penny, all of it. I wish I could say more, but this is really one that you need to enjoy for yourself. It's delicious. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Is it just me or was the fake kidnapping plot not needed? To me it just made the book seem incredibly unbelievable, and maybe this is because we never get to see much of Penny's point of view, but it was just crazy. I was annoyed at how little focus this supposedly huge part of the storyline got, it seemed to me that it was written in the style of, 'Lil's friend is obviously in a bad place so she fakes her own kidnapping, but Josh doesn't like her as more than a friend, so let's focus on that for 90% of the novel'

For me this needed to be a one of the other book, either focus on Penny and actually explain further her thoughts and feelings, leading up to this fake kidnapping. Or right a cute summer road trip book about Lil and Josh. Having both of these plots in one short book, left the whole thing feeling unbalanced.

For a longer review, please check out my blog at http://www.thebooktower.webs.com ( )
  bookish92 | Mar 20, 2014 |
Though short, this book comes equipped with a lot of depth and equal amounts of punch. Halpern is different from the formulaic young adult writers because she trusts her readers to be smart. You'll find no info dumps, repetition of facts, or awkward plot devices. Great for all teens, reluctant and avid readers alike. ( )
  molliekay | Apr 1, 2013 |

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Jasprit for letting me borrow this book and I'm just sorry I can't get into it. I don't want to put people off, it just wasn't for me :(
  emleemay | Mar 30, 2013 |
Reviewed by Lauren Ashley for TeensReadToo.com

Lillian tried to help Penny, but she didn't think she'd actually fake her own kidnapping. When she does, Lil has to deal with all sorts of people trying to find information...Penny's parents, the police, even the FBI.

Now, Lil is on a road trip with her best friend, Josh, to try and find Penny. She believes she's in Oregon...but they have to get there first.

DON'T STOP NOW had an interesting premise. How bad can a person have it to fake their own kidnapping? I liked that you got a look inside Penny's head at the end of some of the chapters. These are thoughts from previous moments, though. You don't know what's happening in her present life until Lil and Josh find her. And then what happens? I do like the idea of road trip books. I learned about some different landmarks in the various states the duo traveled in.

One of the things that felt a bit overdone was the relationship between Lil and Josh. Lil loves Josh, but he just wants to be BFFs. However, I liked that Halpern made Josh real. He wasn't all suave and perfect. He had bad habits, immature ideas, and he wasn't always the "catch" you would think Lil would want. But he was her friend and he was there for her.

Although this wasn't my absolute favorite read of the year, it's still a pretty good contemporary YA read. ( )
  GeniusJen | Sep 22, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312643462, Hardcover)

On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.

Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:16 -0400)

Recent high school graduates Lil and Josh leave Illinois for Oregon seeking Lil's sort-of friend Penny, who faked her own kidnapping to escape problems at home and an abusive boyfriend, but Lil also wants to find out if she and Josh are meant to be more than friends.… (more)

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