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The Other Way Around

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Andrew West goes to an all-girls school and he still can’t get a date. If that’s not bad enough, his Mom is the headmaster. Everyone seems to have the wrong idea about Andrew. His teachers think he’s a good student who doesn’t apply himself -he really is trying. The kids at his old school thought he was a goth. His cousin Barry thinks he’s gay.

When his Thanksgiving break g
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  197 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Valerie Cole
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
THE OTHER WAY AROUND is my favorite 2014 contemporary. It's about a boy who runs away from home to hit the road with a group of vegan, trash-picking street performers. I loved not only the road trip story, but the organic and rich alternative life Andrew tumbles into. It was a lovely, and unique, way to rebel against his uptight, by-the-books mother.

I loved this book so much, Sashi and I are giving away a copy on my blog!
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Within just a couple of chapters, I suspected that this book was going to be one of my favorites of 2014--and now that I'm finished, I'm happy to report that it is. Written in one of the most blazingly authentic teen voices I've read in quite a while, Andrew's journey brings him into contact with fascinating people and equally gripping interior conflicts. The secondary characters--especially G and Emily--are expertly drawn, and the romantic elements of the book have the perfect tinge of awkwardn ...more
This is really well written. Andrew's voice rings true, and his gradual development from uncertain boy into confident, clear-minded young man works both on a narrative level and a more figurative one.

The issues of youth homelessness, freeganism and society's inability to successfully care for some of its most vulnerable members are all here, but not in a preachy or trite way.

I found the relationship with Emily the weakest part of the book. She didn't garner my sympathy or my support. I liked how
Petty Lisbon
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a nice and short read. I didn't know if I would enjoy reading young adult, much less a road trip book, stories again, but this balanced the seriousness with lighthearted stuff. I'm glad it didn't focus too much on road trip mishaps as much as it focused on Andrew's relationship with himself and the people around him. I don't know if freegans are a real subculture (it just passed my autocheck, so I'm guessing it is) but this book made something potentially holier than thou and annoying i ...more
Sleepless Dreamer
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
So after reading Game of Thrones, I wanted something fluffy and fun. This was definitely it.

I'm at this point of thinking about the future a lot. I'm going to finish army service in five months. Then I have 9 months to myself. And I can go volunteer in a high school in Spain or build houses in Uruguay or work in France or WOOF somewhere or couchsurf Europe or just roam around SEA. All of this makes me understand that it's not about knowing. All I really want is to live and experience. I'll get
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Say your parents have been divorced, you are at another new school – and at this one your mom is the principal – and you are turned off by school. Say your worst cousin – the one whose always calling you ‘gay’ and goes on to wet your bed – comes for Thanksgiving.

Solution? Take off! Now picture yourself at the Greyhound bus station buying a ticket to your grandmom’s place in faraway Indiana; hear yourself trying to tell the ticket guy you’re really 18 (you’re not)
when one of the girls sitting wit
Elizabeth Curington
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Andrew's life starts falling apart around him, he sets out to visit his grandmother. It's a Thanksgiving tradition, after all. And if he has to take the bus alone to do it, fine.

Until he discovers there is more to the story, and he really might be as alone as he feels. Enter a random group of hippie teenagers who offer to take him along for the ride (quite literally).

Andrew never realized he might be living a priviledged life until he first sleeps in a van, finds dinner in a dumpster (long
Emma L
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. The Other Way Around is a well written story of a boy figuring out who he really is, and who wants to be. The main character, Andrew, has never really had any friends, or got along well with his family. After having enough one Thanksgiving he decides to run away and he begins a crazy adventure that helps him discover himself and what he was missing in life. The characters in this book were great! The relationships between the characters a ...more
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved this YA read! I picked it from my oldest's stack and he said, "Mom, you will love this book! The main character's experience is so cool, but don't worry I will never do that." Obviously I'm I read......and loved the book. Life lessons abound. As a parent reading books from the YA perspective, I am always reminded how different their priorities are. The characters and their situations are complicated and I think the reader is sometimes asked to fill in the blanks. Not a b ...more
Alana Mcconnell
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm really surprised this book has so few reviews. It has that sort of John Green-y feel, even though it was much more well written. The story was interesting, though I actually felt like the pre journey part where Andrew is in school, to be unnecessary and disconnected. I loved Andrews and Gs relationship though, but felt like Emily was freaking annoying and hat Andrew was too good for her, overall unique and a great read, I loved the topics of teen homelessness and freeganism. ...more
Alex Ouellette
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
this book is amazingly brilliant. i'm blown away by how much i loved it, considering i don't gravitate towards realistic fiction. i found myself laughing out loud and feeling sad for the characters. i recommend this book to anyone who likes john green. this gave me the feelings i feel while reading my all time favorite books. hats off to sashi kaufman! ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was great. Aimless teen reaches his breaking point and tries to get on a bus to go visit his grandma. Along the way he falls in with a group of goodhearted homeless youths who travel around in an old van, Dumpster diving for food and performing street shows for gas money. The main character really comes into his own, and learns a lot from his new friends.
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
It was an amazing book. I enjoyed it a lot. I love the character. It had an interesting plot line. Sometimes, i want to run away and go on a little adventure. The book inspire me more to do that. Andrew was a cool guy. Really, all the character were cool. They had this hippie thing about them and they were street performer. It was an amazing book.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
this book surprised me for some reason. i liked the people and the adventure and the point of the trip. as an aerialist, i had heart palpitations when they explained the trapeze setup however, and i kept holding my breath the entire book as a result.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not that this is a "boy" book, but if you have a young man looking for a good read, may I suggest this book. A young adult book that you don't have to be a teen to enjoy. Recommending for adults as well as kids. ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really refreshing story for YA audiences. I was captivated from the very beginning to the very end. Great characters, vivid pictures and lovely story telling!
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could tell by the first page that this book was going to be interesting, and I absolutely love it.
Zabelle Sundance
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
fantastic, amazing, many other words to describe the best book I've re-read. Would love to read it again in a year<3 ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, ya, 2014, 2014-debut
The thing about this book is that I liked pretty much all of it: I liked the writing, I liked the main character, I liked most of the secondary characters, I liked the story, but there never anything, except very close to the end, that had me dying to pick up the book and know what would happen next. Maybe that’s not a bad thing? Not every book has to be compulsively readable and, at least with this book, all of the things I liked about outweighed my lack of desire to know what happened next.

Kazhy (My Library in the Making)
(View this review on My Library in the Making.)

The Other Way Around started out really well. Andrew's voice grabbed me from page one, even before he ran away from home and made things interesting. I connected to his feeling of being lost and I loved his smarty mouth, but somewhere in the middle of this book when romance got involved, my interest waned.

I guess if I learned anything from the whole incident, besides that girls were completely baffling, it was not to imagine a future for myself tha
Nov 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who like road trip novels & coming-of-age stories
Read my full review on Lauren Reads YA (with GIFs and quotes!)

The Other Way Around was a pleasant surprise. For some reason (I think I might have just read part of the synopsis, not the whole thing), I didn’t expect it to be a road trip novel. I was too focused on the ‘his mom is the headmaster of his all-girls boarding school’-thing. The first few chapters were a bit boring, but once the main character Andrew starts travelling with the Freegans, it picks up and starts to get really interesting.
3.5 stars. Maybe a little more?

Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

One of the main things that stuck with me after I finished The Other Way Around was Andrew’s unconventional character growth.

How many people run away from their home and their school and get involved in a road trip with a couple of hippies who are surviving by performing on the streets, stalking the best dumpsters, and, once in awhile, encountering the kindness of strangers? After dealing with so much pressure from
Andrea Schmidt
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading The Other Way Around by Sashi Kaufman. The story begins when the main character, Andrew, is at school with his friend (pretty much only friend) Alex. Although Alex isn't to enthusiastic about school in general, never mind the all-girls school he attends, his mom is the headmistress. Alex has a lot of people in his life he really dislikes. For one, his cousin Barry, who's dad is oblivious to his actions. Andrew's dad has left and his mom is controlling and doesn't really ...more
Kimi (Geeky Chiquitas)
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Geeky Chiquitas

Reviewed by: Beryl

Almost everyone around Andrew West has their own impression about him. It's either he's goth, gay or emo. You might think that a boy studying in an all girls school, where his mom is the headmaster, is ultimately popular and has lots of friends, but Andrew is the complete opposite. When Andrew experiences an awful thanksgiving, he decides to just run away from home and maybe visit his grandmother's house. Instead of going to his grandmother,
Andrew West’s life is going nowhere. Even though he’s only one of a handful of guys at a private all-girls boarding school, he is ignored by all the girls. It doesn’t help that his mother is the new headmaster, the “dragon lady.”

Since they’re at the same school, his mom now pays more attention to his poor grades. Then, Andrew finds out that instead of visiting his beloved grandma for Thanksgiving, his mom has invited his clueless uncle and annoying cousin to their house. Plus, his mom is still a
Harolyn Legg
I got this one to write a review of - and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to rate it. Andrew's life is complicated - his parents are divorced, he's not doing well at school which is bad because his mother is the principal and he has no real interest in much of anything. His uncle and cousin come for Thanksgiving - and in between his cousin telling him hundreds of reasons why he believes Andrew is gay and wetting Andrew's bed (his cousin is having issues with his parents' divorcing among other t ...more
Andrew's parents are divorced and neither are handling it appropriately (as evidenced through their parenting). Andrew is doing terrible in school (no thanks to his mom being the headmistress of St. Mary's, the mostly all-girls' school he attends). Andrew runs away from home Thanksgiving night (after his despised, bullying cousin pisses in Andrew's bed). He decides to buy a bus ticket to visit his beloved grandma, Mimi (where he should be on Thanksgiving). When he calls his mom to let her know, ...more
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Andrew West is another great teen male voice that all will enjoy. He's really unsure of himself, he has strained relationships with most everyone in his life, and wants nothing more than to be understood by someone. When he flees his family on Thanksgiving, he finally finds what he's looking for in a bus station. It's a van full of hippies who invite him along on their journey - in both senses of the word. A lot of what happens will really make you check your eye-rolling reflex, but Andrew's jou ...more
Evanston Public  Library
Misery is recently divorced parents, being one of the only boys in an all-girl school when your mother is the head mistress, sharing your bed over the Thanksgiving holiday with your odious bed-wetting cousin, and wanting to spend the holiday with your grandmother whom no one has mentioned to you has died. So when, without forethought, Andrew flees his house and hooks up with a group of Freegan circus buskers, no one should be surprised. Except that Andrew surprises himself. He decides to stay wi ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it liked it
There are parts of this book that I really, really enjoyed. Then there are the other bits, chief among them the character of Emily. She quite frankly annoyed me. I was sympathetic towards her for her past, but she didn't grow as a character in the slightest. I found Andrew's relationship with her to be really unrealistic because of that. I loved G, and I liked Jesse, Lyle, and Tim, but it seems like they were shoved to the background in favor of developing Andrew's hero-worship of Emily. The con ...more
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Sashi Kaufman is a middle school science and English teacher who lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and daughter. She loves contemporary YA, survival stories of all kinds, and journeys large and small. She is an amateur trash-picker and apologizes now if she has ever poached anything you did not mean to leave on the curb. She hates caraway seeds.

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