100 SIDEWAYS MILES
by: Andrew Smith
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 2, 2014
Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes. It’s how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he’s a real boy and not just a character in his father’s bestselling cult-classic book. Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he’s ever loved. Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma.
When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned—and learn how to write their own destiny.
Ok, so it’s done. It’s finished. It’s completed. My first novel by Andrew Smith. I’m not really sure where to begin. So I guess I’ll just begin with the truth. This review can’t be long and drawn out. It has to be straight and simple to the point. It’s a quick read and I wouldn’t want to give away one single moment of it away. You must experience it for yourself. So the traditional/non-traditional reader in me must admit that I thought it wasn’t going to work for me after the first few chapters. My oldest read Grasshopper Jungle before it came out and he, being a young adult of very few words immediately after a book reading (I have to truly enjoy his feedback in his reviews). He said to me, “Mama this book was awesome. I’m pretty sure it will be picked up for a movie.” So that comment told me that I had to read something by Andrew Smith.
So remember I didn’t think it would work for me. I can listen to certain “dirty birdy words” on television, however when I read them, it almost feels like your speaking them. Saying it. And I had to get used to that in the beginning. But I understand the usage now. This book is not about making you feeling great when you read it. Entertaining you through “he loves her”, “she loves him” and “woe is us”, with all of a character’s many relationship problems. This novel speaks to you through the structure of its words on the pages from the very beginning to the end. It’s almost magical in a since. It’s the type of read that has its own unique writing style. I’m pretty sure I have a feeling that it flows through all of Mr. Smith’s novels. With first person point of view, it’s truly that. You hear the voice of Finn, the main character. You live Finn’s life. You experience his journey.
Finn is the nucleus of the storyline. His life experiences currently define who he is. But this coming of age novel, allows him, along with the help of his best friend Cade to create life experiences of his own. Loosing Julie, his first love, has a ripple effect of events in his life. But it is the symbolism of the horse and description of time that speaks to the reader as we experience Finn’s journey for ourselves.
Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed WINGER (Starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness—an Amazon “Best of the Year”) and THE MARBURY LENS (A YALSA BFYA, and Starred reviews and Best of the Year in both Publishers Weekly and Booklist). He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. STAND OFF, the sequel to WINGER, coming in January 2015, is his ninth novel. Andrew lives in Southern California.
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