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Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In the tradition of Miriam Toews's A Complicated Kindness, Mona Awad's 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, and Marjorie Celona's Y, and set against the shadow of the Vietnam War and the changing social mores of 1970s America, Jessica Raya's hilarious and heartbreaking novel follows the tumultuous coming of age of both a mother and daughter, at a time when womanhood itself wa ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by McClelland & Stewart
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  136 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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MissBecka Gee
This book was a delight!!!
The MC was just the right amount of confusion, depression and fun.
It has a Royal Tenenbaums kind of feel to it.
The book was all over the place while never losing the pace or storyline in the process.
Highly recommend it to all YA fans!!!
*******Free copy received through Goodreads giveaway*******
Tonstant Weader
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Robin Fisher, the narrator heroine of Jessica Raya’s Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit is telling the story of her Freshman and Sophomore years from the perspective of adulthood. This gives her a detached irony about her past that takes what might be a fraught melodrama, to a coming-of-age story rich in humor and sarcastic wit. Robin is a brunette in a California town so full of blondes it’s named Golden. She’s a bit of a misfit and her best friend Melanie is abandoning her for more popular and ...more
Nada Loughead
Jun 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Technically got to page 8 where Raya disparages Canadians with "having the misfortune to be born Canadian" - you just pissed off a whole country of bookworms. Narrow minded American! Won this on Goodreads. ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best way I can think to describe this book is "authentic". I felt like I was reading someone's actual life story, not something written by an author for consumption. Jessica Raya is the perfect story teller. What a feat to tell the story of teenage-hood without being depressing and soul-sucking. ...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was undecided about my rating for this book. I wanted to give it 3 and a half stars but since I can't I bumped it up to 4. This book tells the story of a teenage girl named Robin Fisher. Her life is a mess. Near the beginning of the book her father just leaves - no one knows where he is or if he will be back. Robin's mom, Elaine, also has a life that is a mess. Robin is going through some of the normal adolescent issues such as having trouble with friends and her mom but overall she has other ...more
Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for a free copy of Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit!

You know when a book sits on your to-read shelf for forever? And you desperately want to read it, but you also desperately do not want to have read it? Because then the book will be over, and you won't be able to gaze at it in anticipation anymore?

That was me with Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit. I knew I would love this book. And I was not wrong.

1970s California, a teenage girl protagonist, a dysfu
Ruth Seeley
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An intensely nostalgic read for me, and quite a surprise, since Jessica Raya is not a contemporary. Her protagonist, Robin, is, however, and what set this apart from most coming-of-age novels for me was her ability to capture the essence of growing up in turbulent times. The sexual revolution and the war in Vietnam are not merely the backdrops for Robin's adolescence, they're the fuel that powers much of her angst although she's not consciously aware of this. The novel is permeated with an incre ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the quirky characters in this book: Robin the fourteen year old who is trying to fit in at school and also dealing with her home situation, Carol the very strange friend who Robin struggles to deal with and Robin's mother who is trying to deal with being a single parent and also trying to grow into herself. The very realistic situations the characters find themselves in are, at times humorous, bittersweet, soul searching, and sometimes all at the same time. I think there is something w ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sharp coming-of-age novel that made my heart hurt...Raya perfectly captures those moments in a teenage girl's life...when you and your best friend sadly drift apart...when you feel like a little kid as all your friends seemingly rush ahead of you...when you realize that your parents are not perfect; that they have their own secret, adult lives. I devoured this book in just a few days, something that I haven't done in a long, long time.

Song: "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", The Beatles
Melina Selverston-scher
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Readers of Maria Semple will love this funny yet meaningful coming of age story set in hellish Californian suburbs during personal and societal upheaval. Made me laugh at our social mores, even while cringing, and the characters have stayed with me. Read this if you like a heavy dose of wry wit in your literature, or if you are interested in pyromaniacs!
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I want to start this review by saying that I won a copy of this book thorugh a Goodreads giveaway.

This was a very good novel. I highly enjoyed reading it and recommend it to others to read as well.

The characters are super interesting and you really get to know the ins and outs of many of them especially the main character who you can truly feel for.

The author was able to connect the readers to the characters and to what was happening to them and I find that as a writer, it is a super important a
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Goodreads and Penguin Random House Canada for a free copy of this book.
Please Proceed To The Nearest Exit is a beautifully written coming of age story about 14 year old Robin Fisher, growing up in the 70's in California in a dysfunctional family. Her insurance salesman father's credo is "We're all just one bad decision away from disaster". Her mother is trying to find her place in the world after the marriage breaks up and her husband disappears.
Jessica Raya does such a wonderful job o
Steve Wilson
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A book received through Goodreads giveaways.

A thoroughly enjoyable book which exceeded my expectations as the author was totally unfamiliar to me. Overall the story is straight forward and deals with the realities of everyday life and its challenges in a suburban environment. Fascinating and eccentric characters are realistically developed by the author. Writing style is witty and entertaining throughout.
Elizabeth Rains
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Wow! I just finished this book, and I know I won't be able to stop thinking about it for a very long time. Robin, the protagonist, is quirky and likeable. Her teenage hit and miss journey through her parents' breakup, her initiation to sex, and her efforts to shore up her identity, ring loud with truth. The thoroughly enveloping ending was astute and wonderful. There's humour in this book too. A great read! ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in the early 1970s in California, this is the coming of age story of teenager Robin Fisher and the trials and tribulations of teenage life after her father leaves, a fateful night in a party house, and her unlikely friendship with Carol "Jesus Freak" Closter. I enjoyed this novel and was engaged with the story to the unpredictable end. I won an advanced reading copy of thisbook from the published as part of the Goodreads Giveaways program. ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. It deals with the timeless themes of uncertainty, convictions, and learning to let things go, feelings that we all experience, no matter our age. The characters are funny, sad and oh so relatable. Set in early 70s California, it captures the malaise and uncertainty attributed to youth that we never really grow out of.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that follows the life of a 14 year old girl, Robin, for two years of high school. Quietly humorous yet sad just the same. Real life learned the hard way, both at school and at home. It makes one wonder how young people today survive peer pressure.
Andrea MacPherson
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent debut novel*. The 1970's in California, a teen girl and her mother abandoned by her father, a religion-obsessed teenager, the Vietnam War, Roe v Wade, grief, longing, love.

*There is a previous novel under another name.
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I enjoyed reading this novel. It reminded me a little bit of the feelings in my teenage years. A pretty insightful book. I told a couple of my friends to read this book.
I received a free ARC from the Goodreads First Reads program. Thank you for sending me this book.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful foray back to the good and bad times of high school. The narrative moves nicely, the main character is fun, insightful, a real pleasure to follow along. I couldn’t put it down and I doubt you will be able to either. Highly recommend to YA and adult fiction readers.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. Unique, fresh, original - all of these words fit the bill. Loved it.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just wonderful. A journey that you share with the characters. Full of love and sadness and laughter. This is an author I will follow.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Book club book. Didn’t know it was a YA book, well written, funny and sad. High school sucks, kids are mean and bullies are HORRIBLE human beings.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this book. A Canadian author writes with insight and acuity about American suburban life in the 60's and 70's focusing on a mother and daughter. ...more
A very engaging & witty "period" novel (1970's America, Vietnam War, awakening feminism are the backdrop to this story). Female characters take center stage, well done. ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I was given an Advanced Readers Copy by Penguin Random House in return for an honest review which follows:
A fourteen year old Robin Fisher becomes entangled with Carol "Jesus Freak" Closter who is trying to fulfil her purpose in His plan. Her father one night abandons her family and she must care for her mother as she finds herself after her husband has left. What follows is a series of events that include accidentally burning down an abandoned house used for partying, a realization she can not
Sep 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, 2017-abandoned
So, let me get this right: author is born in Canada -- in amazing Montreal, no less -- earns an education and a council grant...but badmouths Canadians? Me no likey. Fastest abandon in history. Bye.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
14 year old girl - Father leaves - obsessed with fire.
Mike Wong
rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2018
rated it liked it
Aug 07, 2017
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I was born in Montreal to American parents and raised in Vancouver, Canada. After several years of blissful wandering (Buenos Aires, New York, London...) I've settled at last in San Francisco and found a home at the Castro Writers Coop. My first novel, Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club, was published in four languages under a pseudonym. My second novel, Please Proceed to the Nearest Exit, was publis ...more

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