Hallie's Reviews > Reunited

Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
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's review
Jul 10, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: ya
Read in June, 2012

I was going to give this a two-and-a-half-star rating, rounded up, but then saw the average rating here and decided to go with my first thought, which was to round down. Read this on the recommendation of someone I'd never taken a rec from before, because I liked the sound of a funny road-trip story with a broken friendship that gets repaired over the course of the road-trip/book. But. I thought the execution of the story was quite weak, with that sort of charactization that relies on over-the-top stereotypes to distinguish the three ex-friends. They *are* distinguishable, at any rate, but they never felt at all real. There could have been a lot more editing to get rid of repetitive lines that became quite annoying, like whoever's the one atm putting on "a bad Southern accent".

Alice, who owns the VW van in which the three head off across country, is supposed to be organised, good-girl, responsible - so organised she's a control-freak, in fact - which is a bit tired in itself, but also falls apart when she behaves in a highly irresponsible manner.

Here's where I go into full-on disapproving mode. I have NO idea whether it's as easy as it is in the book to find multiple bars in New Orleans that don't make any attempt to card obviously underage kids. I don't *like* the fact that teens in large numbers will get themselves shit-faced, in situations in which it's really, really less safe than it normally is to get so drunk you don't know what you're doing. But in this case, the three are clearly stupid enough not to have thought through the possible dangers of going out in New Orleans in order to drink (a lot), the night before they've another long highway drive ahead of them. And they won't even let Alice report that her bag's been stolen - though it's the bag with her driver's licence in it. Aaaand Alice gets up the next morning, throws up a lot, and gets in her van to drive - either towards home (1500+ miles, which she thinks they can make in 1 day) or to Texas (5 + hours' drive). Aaaand then when they decide to go on to Texas, they compound the driving drunk (chances of her being sober at this point are very, very slim) & stupid by deciding to make it on time for a contest, saying "screw the speed limit". This is NOT cool, and it's NOT cute. This is the kind of thing that kills people, and I'd hope that it's not only adult readers who'd notice and be disgusted at this.

I was also disappointed and irritated to see a bunch of nasty fat-slams apparently in there to contribute to the "funny". Had there been anything to indicate that the three teens were just showing their immaturity and cluelessness it might have been okay, but there was nothing of the sort. Making "jokes" like "Instead of a flat boat, they should have called it a fat boat" doesn't show a sense of humour - just a prejudice and willingness to join in society's abuse of fat people.

Yes, I did finish it, and this write-up is based on a reading from start to finish.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna It sounds like the book version of a Katy Perry song.

Hallie Anna wrote: "It sounds like the book version of a Katy Perry song."

:) Had to ask the girls and they translated for me!

message 3: by Anna (new)

Anna I think this link encapsulates all anyone needs to know about Katy Perry songs :-) http://www.vice.com/read/take-a-strol...

Caitlin I liked the book,, yeah, there were quite a few flaws, but oh well. I didn't expect Mark Twain.
The repetetiveness was kinda annoying, but not that big a deal...
I don't think the fat-slams were that bad. I'm fat and I didn't think anything of it. The "fat boat" thing was pretty cheesy and immature, but they're only 18.
Overal, the book had plot flaws and the ending was pretty unrealistic, but I still enjoyed it a lot.

message 5: by Suzie Peek (new)

Suzie Peek Kemp

message 6: by Suzie Peek (new)

Suzie Peek Frozen

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