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Leaving Unknown

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,081 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
“Mixing humor with tender moments, Reichs creates an enjoyable journey with wonderful writing and likable characters.”
Library Journal

From the author of The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life comes Leaving Unknown—a funny and touching story of a young woman who, while traveling across country, finds herself stuck in the true middle of nowhere, a.k.a. Unknown, Arizona. Great w
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2009)
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Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonPaper Towns by John GreenAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen JohnsonTwo-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Young Adult Road Trip Novels
97th out of 267 books — 1,851 voters
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonThe Girl She Used to Be by David CristofanoTake Me There by Carolee DeanSecond to No One by Natalie PalmerLeaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs
Up a Road Slowly
5th out of 14 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,400)
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Feb 08, 2016 Tânia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chick-lit fans; people who like quirky characters
“Go and wake up your luck” - Persian Proverb

This was not a very good luck charm after all which is really a shame because Maeve’s sassy personality, a cockatiel pet bird, a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner car named Elsie on a road trip of self-discovery is just begging it for a chance to happen. By the time I turned over the first 65 pages, though, I ran out of luck.

As soon as she hit the Unknown, Arizona mark on her map, the story became too chick-litty for me. The whole point of the road trip was
Apr 21, 2010 Krystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicklit
The truth is, the enjoyment of a book is only relevant, for the most part, in that moment. There are many books I read that I become so disappointed in and give up on, that I'll later return to in desperation of something to read. This revisit finds the book compelling, able to hold my interest. Likewise, a great book on the first reading can become trite and annoying upon revisiting it, making me wonder about my taste level. It's all relative, in what we are currently experiencing and what piqu ...more
Just - The romance reader
Jun 21, 2010 Just - The romance reader rated it it was amazing
Shelves: at-library
Thoroughly enjoyable! At times highly emotional. Leaving Unknown is overall, a very good story, with quirky, entertaining characters. The plot is unique, and well thoughtout.

I found myself laughing as I read, and at other times crying. Maeve takes us on a journey to self-discovery that I found to be pretty inspiring. Maeve is far from the typical twenty-something single girl. She's faced some major struggles in her life. But what I found interesting was that Reich creates Maeve's character as n
Dec 07, 2014 Kelsie rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF at page 98. This was too quirky for me. Honestly, the best part of the story was the main character's pet cockatiel. I almost read on to see what happened with the bird, but I couldn't put myself through it. I guess I judged this book by its cover, and let me tell you, the cover is much nicer than what you'll find inside. I plan to donate my copy and maybe someone else will appreciate its quirk?
Christina Hoffman
May 08, 2013 Christina Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved. I would read it over and over again.
Mar 11, 2010 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maeve Connolly is very flighty. She seems to find it very difficult to stay in any place for too long a time. Maeve is also impulsive and seemingly has a lot of bad luck, and on an impulse she decides to drive across America from North Carolina to LA to see her friend Laura. Maeve sets off on her journey along with her bird Oliver and soon finds herself visiting some relatively obscure (and fantastically named) towns across America. However, Maeve’s bad luck doesn’t seem to have left her and she ...more
Jun 13, 2012 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Maeve is your typical recent college graduate with a string of bad luck that she just can’t seem to shake. Everywhere she turns she manages to run into problems including on her trip to “escape” the bad luck of her past and move forward into a bright new future in sunny California. Unfortunately though, she manages to get stuck in a “no-stop light” town with a mechanic who has a knack for taking off on extended vacations. In the end this little detour ends up being just what the doctor ordered f ...more
Nov 05, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: ha-ha-chicklit
Initially, Maeve irked me. Her lack of responsibility and flakiness rode my every last nerve. In fact, I had shelved the book after 40 pages. Then one night, that was the only book within reaching distance that I hadn't finished, so I picked it up again. After around page 90, Maeve is still a flake, but she is much more endearing. Read a little further, and things start to fall into place. She is one of the most dynamic protagonists in chick lit, hanging out in one of the quirkiest, yet sweetest ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Literameer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Als ich den Klappentext des Buches gelesen habe wusste ich, dass ich dieses Buch lesen muss. Vor einigen Jahren kam mir nämlich mal der Plot zu einer Geschichte in den Sinn, welcher sich ganz ähnlich liest, wie dieser Klappentext. Da ich jedoch weiß, dass ich nicht zur Schriftstellerin tauge, habe ich den Plot zwar aufgeschrieben, aber nie weiter ausgearbeitet. Nun war ich natürlich sehr gespannt darauf, welche Idee Kerry Reichs hatte und wie sie diese Idee umgesetzt hat.

Maeve, die Protagonistin
Jul 18, 2014 Mycoton32 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En bref, l'auteur nous plonge dans une superbe quête. On apprend à connaitre les personnages au fur et à mesure, on voir évoluer Maeve, on la voit se livrer, nous donner les clés pour la comprendre et l'aimer. Les personnages secondaires sont géniaux, une mention spéciale pour Oliver le perroquet mais aussi pour tous les habitants de Coin-perdu. Une très belle histoire !
Apr 16, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Maeve, an flaky and impulsive young woman who decides to take a trip across the USA, stopping off at places with the most bizarre names. Her only redeeming feature appears to be the affection she has for Oliver, her white cockatiel.

When her car breaks down in a small town called Unknown, Maeve is forced to stay for some weeks. She makes friends, and discovers that she can't keep running away from some painful episodes in her past.

It could have been a big cliche, but someho
Georgiann Hennelly
Feb 10, 2011 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
Leaving unknown is a funny ,poignant novel about finding yourself. Maeve Connelly's epic road trip is taking her through every colorfully named tiny town in America. On her way to meet her friend Laura who she hasn't seen since she was eleven years old. But they recently reconnected on Facebook. Laura invited her to visit her in L.A. So since Maeve just graduated college' lost her bar tending job ' and her parents basically said time to grow up and decide what to do with your life. She sold all ...more
Apr 10, 2010 Dawn rated it really liked it
I gave this a four because after I got into it, I couldn't put it down. It took me till about bage 70 to really get to the point where I loved Maeve and gave a crap about what happened to her. There's a surprise twist reason for Maeve's airheadedness that you don't find out till the middle. Surprises that answer questions are always enjoyable when they don't seem contrived and this one didn't. Reich's characters were a bit predictable but still very appealing and realistic. The story was a good, ...more
Dixie Bowman
Jul 22, 2015 Dixie Bowman rated it it was amazing
Finally!!! A great summer beach read!
Apr 27, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un roman où se mêlent humour et émotion. Certaines scènes sont très drôles, les personnages hauts en couleurs. Plus on avance et plus l'intrigue se charge en émotion avec des révélations poignantes. Mais voilà, je n'ai pas réussi à entrer complètement dans l'histoire. Je me suis parfois ennuyée, et à d'autres moments les phrases défilent rapidement. Une belle histoire mais qui n'a su me captiver totalement.
Jasmine Holloman
Oct 27, 2015 Jasmine Holloman rated it it was ok
I QUIT. This book does just not do it for me. I appreciate the message of going on a trip to find yourself and the irony in finding it in "unknown" but the story line was completely unrealistic and naive to me. Unfortunately I have another book that I DNF. Good news is that I only paid a dollar for the book so I did not lose much.
Jun 15, 2013 Kristy rated it did not like it
Couldn't make myself finish this book, the main character was so annoying, so irresponsible, and the whole story line was lame!
Angie Fehl
Sep 02, 2015 Angie Fehl rated it did not like it
Okay, I was totally suckered in by the mention of working in a bookstore (in the synopsis on the back) and traveling through a number of real life places I am pretty familiar with, but this book... ugh, no, couldn't do it. From the over the top cheerleader-y, cheezetastic dialogue throughout to the eye-roll inducing flood of pop culture references that, to me, always seem to make the author scream "hey, I'm hip! I'm with it!" (durka,durka,durka....). And all the rhyming. The damn constant rhymin ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Marcie rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Such a quirky and delightful book! I admit that at first, I struggled to enjoy the book because of Maeve's flightiness and unmotivation, but as the story unfolded, I was happily surprised to discover that Maeve had a compelling reason for her behavior. And as she traveled around the country dealing with car troubles, lovable pets, job difficulties, entertaining friends and romantic tangles, I was delighted to see her grow into a strong and endearing woman.

This book reminded me of Driving Sideway
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Mar 23, 2014 Nidah (SleepDreamWrite) rated it really liked it
Road trip, a foul mouthed bird, a slight detour, sexy doctor and a bookstore boss and you got a surprising read. Never heard of this book before and wasn't sure what to expect per say. But found myself liking the descriptions, the quirky characters. Was a little surprised at times and near the end it felt like something was missing, the epilogue to be precise. The photography aspect reminded me of another with similar themes called Hold Still by Nina LaCour. More like a 4.5 rating for this one. ...more

I've now read this book 5 times. This is weird. What I said before still stands.
I wasn't feeling really good for a big part of the year. In December I finally caved to open this book again because Maeve is the closest I have to a doppelgänger in the literally world. Not that I'm tall and gorgeous and able to run a marathon but I do run, love colourful socks and braided hairstyles. I didn't battle cancer but saw the handiwork of cancer up close.

This is my comfort book when I feel lost
Jul 01, 2014 Ptitelfe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ce livre très frais est à lire! J'ai passé un superbe moment avec Maeve dans sa recherche de soi. Suite à une accumulation d'évènements, cette femme de 25 ans décide de quitter sa ville de Caroline du Sud (ou du Nord) pour rejoindre une de ses amies à Los Angeles pour tenter sa vie là bas. Pendant son voyage, sa voiture tombe en panne et elle se trouve obligée de rester à Coin Perdu, une petite ville dans laquelle tous les habitants se connaissent. Elle va trouver un petit job à la librairie loc ...more
Writer's Relief
May 13, 2014 Writer's Relief rated it really liked it
In LEAVING UNKNOWN, Maeve Connelly decides to take a road trip west to California after losing her job. Planning on relocating to Los Angeles, she stops at tiny, colorfully named towns along the way: Sweet Lips, Tennessee; Toad Suck, Arkansas; and Okay, Oklahoma. Maeve is enjoying the adventure, until her beloved car breaks down outside of Unknown, Arizona.
Since the only mechanic in this small town is out indefinitely, Maeve has no choice but to settle into Unknown for the time being. She tak
Apr 26, 2010 Geetha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stark contrast to the first one. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels this has so much more depth in every sense - characters, places, incidents, etc. As some of you have already pointed out, I couldn't and didn't get into Maeve in the beginning. But once I did, she really grew on me.

One of the things to note is that we grow to understand why and how Maeve became the person she was at the start of the book. And how she evolved out of that as a woman, a person in her own right and as
Elizabeth  (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)
Maeve Connelly is on a road trip of epic proportions with her foul-mouthed cockatiel, Oliver, as navigator. Traveling across the country from her home in North Carolina, with the ultimate goal of reaching Los Angeles, Maeve has planned her journey to include stops in as many towns as possible that have unique names. Toad Suck, Arkansas; Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; and Ding Dong, Texas are all part of the plan until her 1970 Plymouth, affectionately named Elsie, breaks down outside of Unkn ...more
Jan 08, 2012 gille rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiftyfiftyme
This was a lovely book. Definitely a great read, and, as usual, I couldn't put it down. A much better story than the first book by Kerry Reichs - this book didn't take 100 pages to get into. Although there was a lot of attention to detail again, and there were also quirks among characters that were really annoying, such as Maeve always rhyming stuff even when they don't necessarily rhyme (What's up, duck").

Maeve Connelly decides to take a road trip to start over in L.A. On her way, her car brea
Ingrid Fasquelle
Entre humour et gravité, Kerry Reichs signe un joli roman d'apprentissage à-mi chemin entre le road trip décalé et la comédie de chick lit. Elle ne raconte pas seulement les mésaventures déjantées de Maeve, elle entraîne également le lecteur à sa suite, dans une traversée hilarante de l'Amérique profonde, peuplée de personnages à la fois drôles et attachants.

Loin des siens, perdue dans une petite ville au fin fond de l'Arizona, Maeve n'aura pas d'autre choix que d'évoluer et grandir au fil des p
May 18, 2010 April rated it it was amazing
Glowing satisfaction. That is the feeling that I was left with, as I closed the cover on Leaving Unknown. Just from looking at the cover, I knew this was going to be a fun read, however, I had no idea just how much fun was in store. Mix that laugh-out-loud fun with real emotion, life changing events and the quest to "find" oneself and you have one heck of a story on your hands. That is exactly what author Kerry Reichs manages to put together in this superb novel, that is sure to leave the name " ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Kristin rated it really liked it
4.25 stars.

For the first part of Leaving Unknown, I thought that I definitely enjoyed The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life better. This book just seemed a bit lighter-weight to me, it might be because there was a larger cast of characters involved in the companion novel, this isn’t really a sequel, even though it occurs after the events of the previous book, and that some of their lives and events were intertwined making it a more involved story, I even thought maybe it had more to do with the ma
Jun 03, 2011 Novelwit2000 rated it it was ok
I feel like there's something that I missed in this novel. Something that apparently a LOT of other people got, that maybe I didn't. (Maybe it's just the kinds of books that I'm into or maybe it was something that I was looking for, that just wasn't there.)

But you know, I feel this story was set up with a lot of smoke and mirrors to start with.

I mean, not to give anything away (and I'll try not to) the main character Maeve came off as a kind of slacker (maybe.) I mean, with her taking numerous
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Road Trippin' July: Leaving Unknown 1 8 Apr 15, 2014 10:44AM  
  • Right Before Your Eyes
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  • Just Like Me, Only Better
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  • A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents
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  • I Never Fancied Him Anyway
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  • The Transformation of Things: A Novel
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Kerry Reichs graduated from Oberlin College and Duke University School of Law and Institute of Public Policy. She practiced law in Washington, D.C. for several years until she took a sabbatical and discovered that sabbaticals agree with her. She now writes full time, splitting her time between Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, and is still trying to convince her two cats that driving across countr ...more
More about Kerry Reichs...

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“A closet isn't scary in the daytime, Maeve. It holds clothes, not monsters. Whatever is scaring you, bring it into the light. Its strength will fade.” 3 likes
“I was a girl sitting in the sun, enjoying a pepper.” 1 likes
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