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Joyride by Anna Banks


by Anna Banks

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This is the story of Carly, a truly tough heroine who was the main reason I wanted to keep reading and Arden. Carly's parents were deported 3 years ago and ever since she and her brother have saves every cent they make to try and bring them back. One night while working her job at a gas station, her favourite customer is held up at gun point and she breaks out of her quiet shell to try to save him. Arden is captain of the football team and a prankster. Ever since his sister died he has been looking for a new accomplice for his schemes. He finds one in Carly as she holds a shotgun on him outside the convenience store.
The story of these two very different teens was a great read. It brings up a lot of issues like illegal immigration and how far should we be willing to go for those we love. ( )
  dingesa27 | Dec 6, 2016 |
Joyride alternates POVs between Carly and Arden. Carly is a Mexican-American who lives with her brother in a trailer park and works the graveyard shift at a gas station so they can save enough money to sneak her parents across the border. Arden is the county sheriff's kid who's only goal in life is to break every rule his father sets for him. Arden was the star of the football team and the golden boy of the high school until his sister died and now he does everything he can to get rid of that image.

During her late night shift one night, Carly is having a conversation with one of her favorite customers, Mr. Shackelford, who drunkenly comes in every night around 1am to buy a new bottle of vodka and discuss the mysteries of life with her. This night in particular, Mr. Shackelford wants to discuss something that touches a nerve for Carly-- why do the poor have it worse than the rich. She dismisses his question and ends their conversation. Next thing you know, she looks up from the counter and sees Mr. Shackelford being held at gun point next to his truck. Going on instinct alone, Carly grabs the shot gun that lives under the counter and goes to confront the robber. She and the robber have a few intense moments of threatening each other to put the gun down or they will shoot. Ultimately the robber takes off (along with Carly's bike) and leaves. Carly and Mr. Shackelford are unharmed except for the fact that Mr. Shackelford nearly had a heart attack and literally pooped his pants in fear.

After speaking with the police and receiving a ride home from one of the deputies, Carly realizes how much danger she really put herself in. She could have been hurt, but she also put her family and their need to stay out of the limelight in danger.

The following day at school, Carly is approached in class by Arden who says he heard about the robbery from his dad. Just from hearing her side of the story, Arden develops respect for the way she handled the situation. Not many high school girls would be able to point a gun in his face and stand their grown. YEAH HIS FACE. HE'S THE ROBBER. His uncle is Mr. Shackelford and he justifies his little prank by saying that he was trying to scare Mr. Shackelford into not driving home drunk anymore. BECAUSE JUST TALKING TO HIM PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A GOOD PLACE TO START. Arden decides that Carly would be the perfect sidekick for his life of pranks.

The next day at lunch, Arden approaches Carly and offers to give her a ride home from school since he knows her bike got stolen during the robbery. The only problem is that Carly didn't report her bike stolen so she immediately figures out that he was the guy. Cue awkward scene of her dumping his lunch of his lap. This only warms Arden's jollies even more and now he is CONVINCED! that he must have Carly as an accomplish. Only now he is facing another problem- now that golden boy Arden has paid quiet little Carly some attention all of the other bros in the school are sizing her up. Arden has to pretend that he is trying to sup her in order to call off the wolves.

Arden follows Carly home that day from school and when she turns off the main road onto a dirt beaten path, he decides to reveal himself. She is pissed when she sees him (shocker, stalker), but softens up when he shows that he has her bike and offers to give it back to her. SUCH A GENTLEMAN. They have a little spat about how he could have done such a thing and that's whenhe reveals everything about Mr. Shackelford being his uncle blah blah blah. The chapter ends with them agreeing that they should be friends.

ANNNNND that's where I called it. NOPE not for me. The book was painful to read at only 16% so I just can't do any further. There are so many cliches and stereotypes that my eyeballs almost fell out of my head rolling. This book is just one big bag of NOPE NOPE NOPE. ( )
  leahlo89 | Nov 2, 2016 |
Carly Vega doesn't exactly lead the life of a typical teenager. She and her brother Julio live alone, trying to stay under the radar so that nobody realizes that their parents are nowhere to be found. The Vegas, illegal immigrants who led a productive and quiet life, were deported to Mexico, leaving their two oldest children alone. Now, Carly and Julio work themselves to exhaustion trying to earn enough money to smuggle them back into the country. Carly hasn't really had a childhood, because every time she tries to do something for herself, she's met with disapproving glares and lectures. That's just the way her life is, until she meets Arden Moss, a former high school sports star who is dealing with his own familial issues. Together, they'll learn to be true to themselves instead of blindly following their family's orders.

I was actually fairly surprised at how much I liked this book. I honestly thought that it was going to be your typical young adult romance, in which boy and girl fall in love, boy and/or girl does something stupid, angst ensues, and then at the very last second, boy and girl fall back in love. That's not what I got, not at all. In fact, Joyride is more a story of the impact of illegal immigration than anything else. The story of Carly's family is devastating, and unfortunately all too common. With everything that you hear about in the news, it's almost overwhelming to read about the struggles that she and her brother go through to earn enough money to smuggle their parents back, not even knowing whether it will work this time.

And then on the other side of the novel, we have Arden Moss. On the surface, Arden Moss is a former jock who used to have it all. Then he just threw it all away to turn into a slacker. But is that really what happened? Arden is still reeling from his sister Amber's death, and he harbors a lot of resentment toward his father for failing to get her the help she needed for her mental illness. And this is another big issue tackled in this book. Mental illness is a real concern for a lot of people, and unfortunately, many people feel that if you pretend that it doesn't exist, it'll just go away. But that's not the reality, and we see the consequences of that attitude in Amber's suicide.

I was so surprised when I was reading this book that it wasn't just another vapid teenage romance. It tackles big, important, relevant issues in a great way. I thought the writing was great, and actually really enjoyed that the narration changed from first person to third person, because I got a sense that we were inside Carly's head, but kind of watching Arden from afar. I'll be on the lookout for other books by Anna Banks, because this book was such a pleasant surprise.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

[see all my reviews at the bibliophagist] ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
Soooo good. I'm actually surprised at how good it was. ( )
  mariannelee_0902 | Jul 28, 2015 |
****ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.****

My need to keep reading this book was because, I had no idea what was going to happen. You meet these two characters with total different lives and backgrounds that together they are a grenade about to explode. I had lots of theories of what was going to happen, waiting for everything to fall down and break. Waiting until someone ruin each others life. Is one of those books you want to know what is going to happen because the changes of something good happening are minimal. This book talks about immigrants, so it opens a lot of discussion about it and some other themes the book touches. I want to people to read it because we will have different opinions about it. It's the perfect book for a bookclub.

( )
  melanielost | Feb 16, 2015 |
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"A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads--with the law and with each other."--Provided by publisher.

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