Ticket to Ride
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Ticket to Ride

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  410 ratings  ·  62 reviews

"It was August. For years it was August . . . . There was heat like wet gauze and a high, white sky and music coming from everywhere at once."

In the long, hot Illinois summer of 1973, insecure, motherless Jamie falls under the dangerous spell of her older, more worldly cousin Fawn, who's come to stay with Jamie and her uncle as penance for committing an "unmentionable act.

Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 8th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,219)
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Michelle Owens
"It was August. For days it was August."

During the summer of 1973, Jamie and her cousin, Fawn, who has come to stay for the summer, spend their days sunbathing, listening to great music, and getting into trouble. Jamie lives with her uncle, Raymond, and is excited to have someone to spend the long days with. Fawn is older, very manipulative and quite self absorbed. Jamie is only 14 and still not sure about who she is and what is important to her. She is very impressionable, and wants so much to...more
Haley Spangler
When I first started reading this book I thought about abandoning it, which I do not do very often with books. I thought it was another typical coming of age story but it ended up, in the end, very nearly taking my breath away. I fell in love with the characters, Jamie, Claudia, Collin and even Fawn. And Paula McLain wrote it beautifully, I felt everything Jamie was feeling and the imagery that she used was just wonderful. In the end I was definitely shocked by this book, I loved it. It will for...more
Jamie is a motherless girl who grows up with her distant uncle. She's a good girl in every sense of the word, until her cousin Fawn shows up. Jamie is eager to please her much more experienced cousin that she will do anything to impress her. As Jamie changes more and more from the nice person she once was, Fawn entices her to sneak out with her to Chicago.

It is here that Jamie and Fawn go too far, getting involved in a rape, a faked kidnapping, and eventually one of their friends ends up missing...more
I'm waffling between "I liked it" and "It was Ok". Paula McLain is a superb writer and poet, there is no doubt about that. She wrote one of my favorite books from last year- "The Paris Wife"- and I'm finding it very hard to believe "A Ticket to Ride" is also by the same author. The tone and language in both books is COMPLETELY different.

I found "A Ticket to Ride" too florid and almost overwhelming in its beautiful poetic language for the first half of the novel that I was very close to putting...more
In the long hot summer of 1973, two young teenage girls push the boundaries, hoping to experience whatever it will take to make them cool, sexy, and happy.

For Jamie, the exploration is about a motherless girl searching for approval and acceptance, which is why she is so willing to follow the lead of her cousin Fawn, who has ended up in Moline, Illinois because she is trouble personified. Fawn's version of the events that brought her to Illinois casts her in the most positive light possible. And...more
Christina Marie Rau
A Ticket To Ride by Paula McLain is a coming of age all-American 1970s musical montage. Each section pins down a phase of friendship between two girls or a backstory of one of the girl's family history that involves an unknown mom and sick elderly grandparents and an uncle who has to raise a girl. Each section depends on a song title: "Drift Away," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," "Stuck In The Middle With You," "I'll Take You There," "Morning Has Broken." Adolescent decision-making, semi-o...more
Family drama

I think that this is one of the most entertaining books to read and it has in my opinion one of the best writing styles I have ever come across I really made a conection with the main charecter Jamie and how she was quite but then she met Fawn when she moved in with them because she was too muc of a hand full for her own parents and the suspenseful moments as you gradualy watch Jamie become more and more attached to fawn eventhough she knows that she is bad and how she is ruining her...more
Anyone who ever spent a summer listening to the radio, working on her tan, and learning about boys and life with that not-so-good-for-you friend that you just can't stay away from will be able to relive it vividly with McLain's prose. This was the perfect beach read for me~ a few ticks higher on the literary scale than the chick-lit that usually permeates the beach chair set.
I didn't enjoy reading this book. I guess I'm reached an age where I just don't care about teenage angst. I don't empathize with characters who don't know who they are and can't find themselves. Lost little boys and girls trying to find their way in the world. Frequently, I wanted to enter the story and slap the characters silly, especially , whiney Jamie. What a blubbering mess of a human being. Her mother Suzette, is another character who is so pathetic, so unbelievably docile and vulnerable;...more
Lori Clark
The blurb on this one sold me. Jamie was a seriously naive young girl who was never wanted by her mother and grew up living with her grandparents -- until that's not an option anymore. Whisked away from California to Moline, Illinois to live with her Uncle. Everything is okay. Lackluster, but, okay.

Enter Fawn...The wild child. Jamie adores Fawn. Idolizes her. Wants to be more like her. Fawn steps into Jamie's life and things begin to go downhill from there. Jamie is an impressionable girl who wa...more
loved. her language is beautiful and the way she describes ordinary scenes made me want to keep reading well past bedtime. highly recommend, in no small part because anyone can relate to feeling out of place and wanting to fit in with the cool kids.
Rita King
I made myself finish the book but it was not a favorite. I had loved The Paris Wife and was really looking forward to another great book by Paula McLain. It was a disappointment.
Kim Miller-Davis
This is a coming-of-age story about Jamie, a teenaged girl, whose troubled relative of the same age, Fawn, comes to stay with her and her guardian uncle during the summer of 1973. Not only does McLain expertly build tension as the girls get themselves deeper and deeper into trouble, she also renders such an authentic depiction of adolescent girls and their relationships with each other that I kept getting flashbacks of my own youthful relationships---things that I haven't thought about in years....more
Sarah Whitney
Jamie is a motherless girl searching for approval and acceptance, which is why she is so easily influenced by her cousin Fawn, and ultimately brought down a path of trouble and tragedy.

Fawn is beautiful, manipulative, and determined to have a good time. When Fawn comes to live with Jamie and her Uncle Raymond for the summer, Jamie becomes enamored with Fawn and her lifestyle, and lets Fawn completely transform not only how she looks but her behavior as well. Fawn is a selfish, troubled girl, wh...more
Nothing new here

I can hardly believe that this is the same author who wrote the brilliant "The Paris Wife". I couldn't even get past the first half of "A Ticket to Ride" as the flip style really put me off. Haven't we all read this somewhere before : shallow, precocious teens getting into trouble ? Readers of that age group might enjoy this book and identify with the characters but as an adult reader I expected much better of Paula McLain.
What a pleasant surprise this book was. I wasn't really expecting much since I picked it up in my local Dollar Tree for only $1. I figured the editing would be awful and the plot boring, but I must say I was wrong! This book was an interesting look into the twisted relationships between teenage girls. While reading this, I found myself relating to Jamie as she did everything for Fawn just to have Fawn turn around and make fun of her to make others laugh. Teenage girls are brutal and this book wa...more
Steffi Porter
For the first half, I found the story well written but not very interesting. Especially as it switched back and forth between Jamie, the protagonist's perspective and that of her seemingly un-involved detached uncle. I enjoyed reading it nonetheless, but It still wasn't particularly exciting, and I kept wondering what it was building to, and hoping it would be something big. It definitely was. Half way through, the story picked up pace in a very surprising way. Without giving away any spoilers,...more
It took a while for this book to get going. The beginning chapters are very detailed with a poetic writing style. It got to be a bit annoying. It's not surprising that this novel is poetic-like as she does have her MFA in poetry and has written poetry collections.
I also found myself getting irritated with the main character and her inability to be herself and stand up for herself.
The book is about a young girl who is now living with her uncle (after living with her grandparents) as her mother w...more
Amber Cooke
This book brought back a lot of memories from adolescence and made me say a little prayer of thanks that I got out alive and unscathed. I think all girls like me knew a couple of Fawns in our day. I love the rock'n'roll songs as chapter titles. It was like a soundtrack playing in the background while reading.
I felt like I'd read this adult novel before, but maybe I just read too much? It's 1973 in Moline, Illinois (yay! love the setting!) and Paula is bored. She just moved from California to live with her Uncle Raymond and she has no idea where her mother and father are. Then cousin Fawn moves in because she was involved in a sex scandal with a teacher. whoooooo. Fawn makes Paula her project--haircut, makeup, new clothes. Then the two teenagers start hitting the town at night. They smoke, drink, mee...more
Really, about a 2.75.

An earlier novel by the author of the recent bestseller The Paris Wife, this focuses on a summer of misadventures and bad choices by two teens. Seems to draw upon the author's own experience as a foster youth. The writing here is not nearly as polished as in The Paris Wife. And I have to say that really none of the characters here are very likeable.
This was a quick read. The book started off slow but ended quickly. I never really felt connected with the charters. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I was a teenager.
Heather Funk
All I can think right now is "SNAPS" to Paula McLain. The Paris Wife is good, this is GREAT. I was sad to see it end.
Lisa Bertino
Not bad but not that good. I never connected with the characters and felt something was missing.
Billed as a young adult/adult novel, A Ticket to Ride is written by an author who herself was a foster child (and author of Paris Wife, which is getting great acclaim). Uncle Ray takes in two kids--one his 13-year-old niece, abandoned by his sister several years prior, and another (just for the summer) an older teen whose mother could not control her. Some of the consequences are dire, but family secrets are finally shared, which should help the core characters move on with a closer relationship...more
This new book took a long time for me to get into, but once I did, I was hooked. It is beautifully written, and the story stayed with me. I was especially moved by the relationship between brother and sister.
An easy, but high-quality read.
And, the author's agent is my cousin Julie Barer (so proud of her!!!), and I am always happy to buy her clients books in hardcover.
Alex Rivas
The Story of two rebel teenage gals in the 70s, I enjoyed reading a novel that was based on a time I was about the same age as the main characters (Jamie and Fawn). The reference to the fashion and the music of those years made me relate and fit right in.

I also thought it was a great idea to name the chapters after popular songs of the era.

Feb 20, 2008 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Liz by: rec from Bust magazine
I really wanted to give this book 3 1/2 stars. It's good and a quick read - tough to put down once you're into it. The relationship between the teen cousins is really what drew me in and made me nostalgic for a time just a little before mine. It really dials in that adolescent need to be accepted above almost anything else.
Mar 20, 2008 Ava619 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kate
This is one of those books that made me want to grab the heroine and shake some sense into her. That said, I could relate to Jame, the heroine, in that she wanted so desperately to be a better version of herself that she let someone else change her. Great book. Would get a five except for the presence of Fawn. I hate girls like her.
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Paula McLain has published two collections of poetry, “Less of Her” and “Stumble, Gorgeous,” both from New Issues Poetry Press, and a memoir entitled “Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses” (Little, Brown, 2003). “A Ticket to Ride,” is her debut novel from Ecco/HarperCollins. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996, and has since been a writer-in-residence...more
More about Paula McLain...
The Paris Wife Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses: A Memoir Stumble, Gorgeous Less of Her: Poems The Dirty Napkin (Volume 1.2, Spring 2008)

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“I didn't want to be a sweet boy's sweet girlfriend. I wanted to be Fawn's equal, the kind of girl who stood up for herself and took care of business, who cut guys loose when it was required.” 12 likes
“It was august. for years it was august … . there was heat like wet gauze and a high, white sky and music coming from everywhere at once.” 2 likes
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