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Your Destination Is on the Left

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the fu
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  348 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Cait • A Page with a View
Dessa's family lives in an RV and travels around the country with a few other families (one has a son she's in love with). She's been rejected from every art school but just wants to go to college and put down roots somewhere for a time. Her family and the guy she likes all feel like she's abandoning them, though, so Dessa feels torn between them and her plans for her future.

There were a lot of fun scenes in the story and individual elements I liked, like the RV caravan, and how the family had r
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-debuts
Well it's official: I have a new favorite 2018 debut and its none other than Lauren Spieller's Your Destination Is on the Left.

I never planned on reading this book in February given its June release date; however, in a moment of weakness, or as I like to call it curiosity, I read the first chapter. Before I knew it the first chapter turned into the fifth, and by the end of the night I had read it from start-to-finish in one sitting.

Do I have any regrets? No and yes.

No, because Your Destinatio
Ashley Poston
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I read this book a long time ago, and I just recently read the finished version and I am just as awestruck then as I am now. I fell in love with Dessa's passion for art and her plight to find out who she is -- both artistically and as a person.

And can we just talk about Cyrus for a moment? Because S-W-O-O-N.

I loved it. If I could give it a thousand stars, I would.
I liked this so much that I said so officially!

“Dessa and her story sparkle with fierce, creative passion. This is a journey I would happily take over and over again.” —Dahlia Adler, author of Just Visiting

I really think this is a book fans of Just Visiting would really enjoy. It's full of art and travel and a girl gently but fiercely fighting for her independence against everything and everyone she knows. And as you can see, I read it pretty damn quickly, too! (Which used to be a given for me,
Dessa Rhodes, a meticulous perfectionist craving for normalcy, stability, and independence, was easily a protagonist I could not only relate to, but also actively root for right from the get-go. Her character was a wonderfully delightful mix of determined and frightened.

The plot itself wasn’t very complex, which is not a significant issue because this novel was heavily steered by its characters rather than by its plot. I thought it was a fitting approach because in doing so, Your Destination Is
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Probably around 3.5*?

So this was quite cute! While I wasn't exactly blown away with novelty, it was certainly enjoyable enough. I am a sucker for a road trip, and I loved how much Dessa was able explore not only her relationships with others, but what she wanted out of life too.

There's a huge focus on family, which is nice, and it definitely is an interesting look into a more nomadic lifestyle than most of us are used to. Honestly, I cannot imagine living with my entire family in an RV now, ce
ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS! You need to pick it up right, right away.

The entire idea of the story to bring an artist's fear or happiness in the limelight connects so much to me, it's hard not to relate. Dessa is a teenager who wants her life to be normal, not something most teenagers want but when you're always on the road and your family are nomads, this is exactly what you want. Especially when you want to become an artist and you want to enter college and you even land an internship und
Brian Kennedy
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Full of heart, art, and the funny specifics on what life is like when your home is an RV that you share with three other family members. Not only was YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT an entertaining read, one that wraps you up in the characters and their journey, but it's also the type of story that speaks to larger themes. It's an important read for anyone who feels to call to create, and in doing so, is faced with rejection and failure--which Dessa, the main character in this well-written novel ...more
Diana Urban
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much, and so easily connected with Dessa — her voice, her struggle to figure out what to do with her life, and the dilemmas she faced were all so relatable. I also love that she's so passionate about art, so her internship was fun to read about. It was also fascinating for me to learn more about RV culture, of which I previously knew so little. And of course, there's Cyrus — the romantic tension was palpable. So well done! I highly recommend this one.
Allison Ziegler
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has art. It has RVs. It has a boy who rides a motorcycle. And it has one of the most charming little miscreant brothers the world has ever known. (Love you forever, Rodney).

Your Destination is on the Left also has an abundance of that most addictive of YA contemporary feelings -- you know that thing where your heart hurts while you're reading because you've felt all those feelings before and you've made all those decisions before? And maybe you still don't actually know what the right
Perry Alexander
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the first time I’d read a book written by a friend. That was incredible. Her way with words is simple and poetic, and her characters are real and dimensional! The plot was excellent and was a positive story of how important confidence is in aspiring to be your best.
Vicky Who Reads
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

There are a lot of things to love about Lauren Spieller's debut, Your Destination Is on the Left.

The first thing is super evident, and it's how skilled of a writer Spieller is. She's fantastic, and you know that even though this is her debut, she really knows how to write a story for young adults.

Seriously, she understands the things that make YA books so great, and she's managed to seamlessly incorporate them in her writing. Things like romance that isn't invasive, characters really gr
Rachel Solomon
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most unique contemporary YA premises I've read! This is a fresh, lovely story about self-discovery, independence, and growing up.
Kelly Brigid
“All that matters is that I when I’m with Cy, I know who I am and I know what I want. When I’m with Cy, I’m home.”

Your Destination Is on The Left is such a charming novel about discovering one’s self and pursuing your goals no matter what obstacles lie ahead. The importance of family is a recurring theme throughout the story, and the friendships between the protagonist, Dessa and her friends, Cyrus and Tarryn, were simply beautiful. I flew through this novel in two sittings, and absolutely a
Hannah Fergesen
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure - I had the privilege of reading this book a couple of times before publication. One of the things I have always loved about this book, besides the super interesting concept of a nomadic group of families traveling together full time across the US, is the way the idea of failure is approached. We have such rigid ideas of what it means to fail and to succeed, and YOUR DESTINATION ON THE LEFT challenges that in so many ways, in ways that feel realistic. As an artist myself (of a di ...more
Cassy Klisch
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did.

Your Destination Is on the Left is about 17-year-old Dessa and her path to finding her muse again. All through middle and high school, YA contemporary was my jam, but the genre slowly started to wear on me, and when Twilight kicked off the YA fantasy phenomenon, I didn't read much more contemporary aside from the fun, kitschy reads, only diving deeper into the world of fantasy. But then this book came along, and it not only surprised me, but
Samantha (WLABB)
The family motto was "never stop moving". Though they meant it terms of physical location, it applied to Dessa with respect to her emotional and personal growth.

Dessa's family had been living a nomadic life for the past five years, but Dessa had plans of her own. She aspired and worked towards the goal of going to art school and becoming an artist. She yearned for some independence, and not having all her life choices decided by a group vote. However, after countless college rejections, she beli
Princessjas04 (Princess of Books and Fandoms)

That was good.

That was sweet.

That was frustrating.

That was cute.

This book is a lot of things to me It can be super cute and adorable, but there are times which you wanna reach into the book, grab Dessa by her shoulders, and say, "Get a grip on yourself! You can do this!"

I liked the premise of the book being "Girl always traveling and getting rejected by colleges wants to be an artist." I really liked Dessa's character. She was super relatable at times which is really good for the main pr
Kath (Read Forevermore)
An arc of this book was sent to me by Simon Teen in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

The Destination Is on the Left is a beautiful story of growing up, letting go, and being brave. I loved the idea of this story, and the plot was wonderful! The setting and the character development was just a great addition. Dessa is a girl that is gently, but fiercely, fighting her struggles to get to her end goal of studying art. I fell in love with her passion for art
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

I really liked this! The family caravan foundation made for a unique set-up. Dessa's internal dilemma of disappointing her parents by not wanting to adopt their lifestyle was relatable; I felt the frustration right alongside her. I did want more development -- to better get to know D's family, especially her grandmother. I had some questions about the internship, and Cy -- lots to unpack here. I might be watching too much Dawson's Creek lately but Dessa totally reminded me of a Joey Po
Dec 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I really like reading books about art and artists, but this one didn't speak to me as much as I hoped it did. I liked reading about the life of a traveler, but I think a lot of the plot was predictable, and also one of the characters said something I think is kind of problematic about Hinduism which really turned me off to the rest of the book, so I'm knocking another star off of what could have been a 4 star read.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was a cool read because it's not your typical YA situation. The MC's home is the RV she travels in with her parents and little brother, alongside a couple other families. She just finished high school (via online courses) and wants to go to art college. But her parents are reluctant to see her leave the traveling life, and did I mention there's a boy she might just be in love with?
Madison Lessard
Jan 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
How did it take me this long to realize that's the cathedral in Santa Fe on the cover? Blessed. Now I have to read this.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dessa and her family travel in an RV caravan that is really a loving, supportive, rolling semi-communal home inhabited mostly by we-missed-the-60's-hippies. But with Dessa's adulthood bearing down on her, she is conflicted. She was raised to believe in family unity as one of the highest values, but does she really believe that commitment to a family should compel you to abandon your own individual potential? Dessa and the rest of the cast are finely drawn, her lifestyle fascinating, the romance ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-portage
A unique story with lots of relatable moments. Loved it!
Vicky Skinner
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book quite like this one. I was rooting for Dessa from page one and then rooting HARDER for her by the end. I loved how quiet it was and how sweet and inspiring. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
Juliana Brandt
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure here in that I was extremely privileged to read Your Destination Is on the Left in its infancy and also in this final form of completion, with this published version being a beautifully refined version of the one I first read.

Dessa's story is one that pulled me in and has stuck with me over the months since I first read it. I'm a sucker for sibling stories, and the relationship between Dessa and her little brother, Rodney, is one I fully believed existed in real life. This goes f
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dessa Rhodes spends her life on the road. Ever since her parents decided to uproot their lives and travel around the United States exploring the country, Dessa’s home has been their RV, surrounded by the other two families traveling with them. For years Dessa was satisfied, visiting new states and spending time with Cyrus, the boy in their caravan who has always been something more than a friend to her. But now Dessa is looking for more, applying to colleges with the hope of pursuing an educatio ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Hmm. I picked this one up for the travelling theme, but the more I think about it, the more the travelling theme seems like a thin veneer over a pretty standard YA story. Dessa's family lives in a caravan and has spent the last few years rambling across the US with two other families, but...strip out all the mentions of the RV and put Dessa and her family in a house in Albuquerque, and very little would change. The love interest's family could live right down the street, the other family in thei ...more
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Lauren Spieller is a literary agent who lives in New York with her husband. When she isn’t writing, she can be found drinking lattes, pining for every dog she sees, or visiting her native California. YOUR DESTINATION IS ON THE LEFT is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @laurenspieller.