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Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  753 ratings  ·  164 reviews
The last time Jess saw her father, she was a boy named Jeremy. Now she’s a high school graduate, soon to be on her way to art school. But first, Jess has some unfinished business with her dad. So she’s driving halfway across the country to his wedding. He happens to be marrying her mom’s ex-best friend. It’s not like Jess wasn’t invited; she was. She just told them she was ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Brian I'd say junior high and up. There is no sex, drug use or violence, but there it does deal with transgenderism and the physical changes of transitionin…moreI'd say junior high and up. There is no sex, drug use or violence, but there it does deal with transgenderism and the physical changes of transitioning. (less)

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ETA 11/8/16: A friend of mine who's trans and writes fantastic book reviews IMO reviewed this book upon my begging. They don't have a Goodreads account, but gave me permission to link to it here. Please check it out!


Okay, I was holding out on being the first review of this book, partly because I was hoping a trans person would discuss it first and partly because I don't want my review to affect how people read it, I guess? But now I can't stop talking about it vaguely on Twitter and I'm being
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: dl, lgbtq, 2017, ya
So many mixed feelings! While there's several positives here, Jess' character is overwhelmingly selfish, which downgraded my rating to a 3. Overall, I did enjoy it, but I could have enjoyed it a lot more if Jess was more compassionate. Sigh.

First, the positives. I really liked the Jess & Chuck relationship dynamic, regardless of how Jess never thought calling him Chunk would be a problem. 🤔 Chuck is a wonderful supporting character who treats Jess way better than she treats him. Throughout the b
rachel ☾
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Jess, Chunk and the Road Trip to Infinity was such a disappointing read. I had heard amazing things about the transgender representation but in hindsight that was literally the only thing that I enjoyed about this book. The plotline was dull. I just was not engaged in the story and I felt a lot of the humour - especially about the supposed hilarity of their weird-ass touristy stops - went over my head. I’m not sure if that’s because I know exactly nothing about Star Trek or what.

My biggest prob
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher.

Though it was troubling at times and my feelings might change upon rereading it, I enjoyed Clark’s debut novel Freakboy. Where Freakboy was serious and at times scary due to violence against two of its narrators, Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity is more lighthearted and features no violence against Jess whatsoever, though two instances of violence against other QUILTBAG individuals are mentioned. Its t
High Lady Indy
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!!!! To start off this review I would like to thank the author but then again not thank the author because this book got me by the hair and just dragging me through the feels my peeps and I will like to get to the thank u part because this book has given me a lot of perspective of trans people and what happens like half the time and my bestie who is also trans told me to read this book because he knew I would love it and just the fact I love to have knowledge about these typ ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Stars (Out of 10): 5.5/10 Stars

Overall Thoughts: I have quite mixed thoughts about this book. It seemed to build up for one case, when suddenly not, with the narrator being an unreliable one. I also found myself liking the characters less and less as the book continued on, finding myself more annoyed with some of the things that made me like them at first. I did like the realisticness of the personalities at points though, and like where the book led to as it ended, although it did end very abru
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
Disclaimer: I cannot speak to the authenticity of the transgender experience, but the author's note gives reassurance that she's had a great deal of input from those who can. I also want to direct anyone who is curious about the specifics to Dahlia Adler's review , because she does a way better job than I ever could with outlining the representation.

So, where to begin with this one? J
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I still can’t wipe the smile off my face after reading Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity.
What starts out as a post graduation trip with a dash of vengeance (Jess wanting to show up at her dad’s wedding in a dress when he used to make her wear a Boy Scouts uniform) turns into a deep winding journey to love and self-acceptance. I can’t speak personally for trans representation, but I loved Jess. I found her to be utterly real as a human being taking legit, pay it no mind, stomp face fir
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I certainly didn't intend to read this book in one day. It kinda snuck up on me...mostly in a good way. I love the letter at the beginning from the author about her own experience with LGBT people, even within her own made everything she wrote feel more important, especially since I have an ever-growing number of trans students in varying stages of transition/acceptance. Maybe that's the reason I flew through it: the more I learn/know, the more I can support these kids.

Beyond that, I
Casey Carlisle
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: glbtqia, contemporary
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

I was looking forward to ‘Jess, Chunk, and the Road Trip to Infinity,’ it promised interesting characters and a journey filled with crazy events. What I got was cute, cheesy, and sometimes a little frustrating.

I liked the narrative style – it was about people, and not the body issues they struggled with (Jess struggled with her gender and Chunk with his weight.) I liked how it illustrated how not everyone gets it. And how any one person is more than one thing and has faul
BookChic Club
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Clark's second novel is a great road trip book- I really enjoyed reading Jess' and Chunk's journey together. It was a very compelling, emotional roller coaster where they both figured out things about themselves and about their long friendship. Clark does a great job depicting a friendship that's fallen into a rhythm and Jess has gotten to a place where she doesn't really question their relationship or anything they talk about. It becomes a learning period for Jess throughout to become more comf ...more
Jack Shanks
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A quick and easy read - completed it in one sitting with ease - only 259 pages long, and quite simple text.

I think it is definitely important to have books like this one, ones in which the protagonist is a transgender character. I'm sure there are quite a few available these days, and I myself have read a few others, but there is definitely a need for there to be more transgender awareness spread through literature.
I particularly enjoyed this one, as the character - while misunderstood- was also
There's just something unlikable about this book. Nothing is outrageously bad, but that being said, there's so very little that's good about it that the bad far outweighs the good.
First thing's first, I commend Kristen Elizabeth Clark to be one of the few cis authors who actually talks to a trans person before writing her story. Her daughter is a trans woman and she wrote this book as a way to share her and her daughter's experiences as a trans woman and the mother of the trans woman. Thank you
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
"Is it so wrong to want to appear to the world the way I see myself?"

You know, I was kind of wondering the same thing myself, so with a quote like this on the back cover, how could I not read it? (Please note that I'm not trans. I'm ace.)

But it turns out that this isn't really what the book is about. It's more about hypocrisy. Jess is so wrapped up in her own life that she's not even noticing anyone else's.

Ultimately, my favourite thing about this book is the cover. The quote on the back, the r
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Brian
Cover Story: My God, It's Full of Stars
Drinking Buddy: They Grow On You
Testosterone Estrogen Level: Subdued
Talky Talk: Changes
Bonus Factors: Roadside America, Transgender
Bromance Status: Shotgun!

Read the full book report here.
Wolf (Alpha)
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I honestly didn't really care for this book. It started out boring and took a lot of time to get used to. I feel bad for Jess, and I hate what her dad did to her. I like how Chunk goes with her, and how he is such a good friend. Overall rating - .5 ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This was such a surprisingly adorable book with, what I felt, was excellent trans representation.
Diverse Reads

• Jess (mc) is transgender (currently transitioning).
• Chuck (sc/li) is pansexual.
• Minor agoraphobic character with a panic disorder.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq
I was perusing the new Young Adult selection for LGBTQ+ books at my local library when I found this one. The side stuck out to me and I had an inkling that it was somewhere on the spectrum, and a quick look at the summary confirmed my hunch and I snatched it up immediately, in love with the idea of a road trip and a trans girl, and her journey that basically boiled down to spiting her father in the best way possible.

That being said, this book had a lot of potential and I can't help but fell it f
Martha Schwalbe
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a fun book about a boy transitioning to a girl. I liked the plot and the events and encounters Jess and Chuck experienced. I agree with Chuck, that Jess doesn't really think much about others. I felt she was too whiny.
I would recommend this book to students are enjoy reading LGBT novels and those who enjoy reading about teens and high school.
AJ (the.booknerd.reads)
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
read this in one sitting. such an important read when it comes to the relationships in this book. otherwise, i found jess' voice annoying at times, but can understand how it influenced the actions in the book, and also the plot was pretty dry at times. still a very engaging read tho ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I was sent an ARC of this from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinions towards the book.

I picked this one up for 2 different reasons. #1: I was on a road trip at the time and thought it would be perfect. It ended up actually being sort of cool because we were in the same state at one point and on some of the same routes that the book was mentioning. #2: June was Pride Month and I was really excited to read another book about a transgende
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Though short and absorbing, this is not an easy read. It might not be for everyone. The characters are a bit authentic for comfort. More so than most novels that deal with gender dysphoria and body image, this one pulls every possible punch, and no character—no matter how marginalized—escapes what is sometimes harsh judgment.

Jess and Chuck are recent high school graduates who take a road trip to Chicago to attend Jess’s father’s wedding—to her mother’s ex-best friend. Jess has known she is trans
The Bibliophagist
Meh. I wanted to like this book. I really did. But this story had too many flaws for me to find it enjoyable.

I like how the main character is trans! Diversity is always a good thing in YA literature. However, I didn’t really like Jess, at all. She didn’t have many redeeming qualities. She was immature and constantly picking fights with her best friend, Chunk, when he was only trying to help.

I love road trip novels, and this one felt authentic. Since I’ve been to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, I ca
Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings about this book. On one end I'm excited to be seeing a POV from a transitioning male to female. Yet on the other the way that characters are written, they come off as moody and like brats... which just takes away from what could possibly be a great story. All in all, worth the read. ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really, really wanted to like this book. And I did, at first.

By the last 100 or so pages, I was just agitated and bored. A good portion of that book was just Chuck and Jess arguing. Jess was a pretty selfish person and it annoyed me seeing her only care about herself until the very end of the book. Chuck was so clearly in pain and she practically ignored it.

The plot line was also dull. I was expecting more of the fun adventure-y road trip things, but it’s mostly them in the car not talking o
Sarah Sammis
Initially I thought this book settled higher up on the road narrative spectrum at a 660000 (marginalized city interstate), which is where For Today I am a Boy by Kim Fu sits. It certainly starts there but later with pacing similar to The Graduate by Charles Webb, Christophe manages to blurt out his love for Jess and she reciprocates, thus lowering the book's placement to 330000 (couple city interstate).

The coupling at the end while awkwardly romantic, also feels a bit like a cop-out. The couple
Natalie Diller
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
That was a great book. I've never really understood the concept of transgender before, but I think this helped a little. All the writing here is great. The characters are great. Ending might be a little too cheesy for my taste, but it was great. There's some swear words in it if you were wondering about that. Anyways it was great and think you should all read it. ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I may be biased. This book was written by a woman I have known since she was a child. She calls me "Mama." I think every book she writes is brilliant. ...more
Sally Ma
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
just eh
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Kristin Elizabeth Clark lives and writes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She hikes with her dog and reads to her cats… but she’s not one of THOSE people. Really.

Her young adult debut, Freakboy, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 22nd, 2013.

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