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Where the Road Leads Us

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Jack is on the verge for leaving for college, but before he does, he wants to track down his estranged brother, Alex and find some closure in the wake of their father's death. Meanwhile, Hallie has just found out some upsetting news about a friend in Oregon, and she has a small window to go see him before it's too late. Jack and Hallie are practically strangers. They shared Jack is on the verge for leaving for college, but before he does, he wants to track down his estranged brother, Alex and find some closure in the wake of their father's death. Meanwhile, Hallie has just found out some upsetting news about a friend in Oregon, and she has a small window to go see him before it's too late. Jack and Hallie are practically strangers. They shared a class together years ago and haven't seen each other since, though they have more in common than they'd ever imagine. And when fate puts them into the same rideshare to the bus terminal, it kicks off an unconventional and hilarious adventure that may lead them to their own true selves…and maybe to each other.


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Jack is on the verge for leaving for college, but before he does, he wants to track down his estranged brother, Alex and find some closure in the wake of their father's death. Meanwhile, Hallie has just found out some upsetting news about a friend in Oregon, and she has a small window to go see him before it's too late. Jack and Hallie are practically strangers. They shared Jack is on the verge for leaving for college, but before he does, he wants to track down his estranged brother, Alex and find some closure in the wake of their father's death. Meanwhile, Hallie has just found out some upsetting news about a friend in Oregon, and she has a small window to go see him before it's too late. Jack and Hallie are practically strangers. They shared a class together years ago and haven't seen each other since, though they have more in common than they'd ever imagine. And when fate puts them into the same rideshare to the bus terminal, it kicks off an unconventional and hilarious adventure that may lead them to their own true selves…and maybe to each other.

30 review for Where the Road Leads Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)

    I received this book for free from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef. "There's something freeing in talking to people you know you're probably never going to see again. There's no expectation or judgement... Everyone accepts each other for who they are, and it's enough." When I picked up Where the Road Leads Us I had no idea how much I was going to I received this book for free from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef. "There's something freeing in talking to people you know you're probably never going to see again. There's no expectation or judgement... Everyone accepts each other for who they are, and it's enough." When I picked up Where the Road Leads Us I had no idea how much I was going to love it. It sounded like an interesting read and I was excited for it, but it definitely went way beyond that! I would like for everyone to meet Jack, Hallie and Oscar, three unlikely characters that end up taking an emotional road trip together. And what a road trip, I cannot even begin how crazy and life-changing it was. What started off as a hitch ride quickly turned into an incredible adventure. During that road trip several unfortunate events happened, but what stood out to me the most was how even though they were so very different, they managed to help each other out and made this journey of self reflection. There was a lot of humor involved as well, I think one of my favorite parts was when someone stole their car, I couldn't stop laughing! I absolutely loved Hallie and Jack (they are the main characters of this story), but somehow I also viewed Oscar as an MC since he is there for the most part and quite sincerely, I cannot imagine this story without him. Where the Road Leads Us was such an amazing read for me, it was heartwarming, emotional and amusing, I could hardly put it down. And despite having some tough subjects, it was also a light read that I think many people would enjoy. All in all, I really liked it and I highly recommend it!! TW: loss, depression, desease,drug addiction.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Phoenix (Books with Wings)

    This is not exactly the type of book I might normally pick up....it's realistic fiction and I have a feeling there's going to be a bit of romance in it....but THIS COVER, GUYS. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVERS I HAVE EVER SEEN. This is not exactly the type of book I might normally pick up....it's realistic fiction and I have a feeling there's going to be a bit of romance in it....but THIS COVER, GUYS. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVERS I HAVE EVER SEEN.

  3. 4 out of 5

    BookNightOwl

    Where the Road Leads Us by Robin Reul is a book about two characters trying to find themselves and what they really want out of life. Jack is dealing with a father who had passed away a brother who is a recovering addict and a mother who is absent always traveling for her job. Hallie is trying to meet somebody who is dying from cancer and is trying to get to him before he decides to end his life. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the characters and their personalities. I could feel their pers Where the Road Leads Us by Robin Reul is a book about two characters trying to find themselves and what they really want out of life. Jack is dealing with a father who had passed away a brother who is a recovering addict and a mother who is absent always traveling for her job. Hallie is trying to meet somebody who is dying from cancer and is trying to get to him before he decides to end his life. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the characters and their personalities. I could feel their personal struggles, and my heart ached for them. Even though, this book dealt with some hard topics, it had lots of comedy to make me laugh out loud. I gave this book an A+.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    The synopsis is a little bit misleading. Yes, it's all accurate but it may lead you to believe that this is a heavy book; it's really not. It's actually such a fun book and just a real delight to read. It's been a hard year for everyone (I read the book and wrote this in 2020), and I really needed this story. I can't even tell you how many times I laughed out loud and how many times I smiled and how many times I hugged my Kindle. (No judgment--hard year.) Everything about this story is completely The synopsis is a little bit misleading. Yes, it's all accurate but it may lead you to believe that this is a heavy book; it's really not. It's actually such a fun book and just a real delight to read. It's been a hard year for everyone (I read the book and wrote this in 2020), and I really needed this story. I can't even tell you how many times I laughed out loud and how many times I smiled and how many times I hugged my Kindle. (No judgment--hard year.) Everything about this story is completely perfect and exactly what I needed to read. It's a very fun book but, at the same time, there are really quietly profound parts. There are thoughts about grief and how to change your life's path, basically how to break inertia and to start trying to actively choose how you want your life to go. (I think a lot of us can remember the time before college, and how it can sometimes feel like it's an expected choice and not a deliberate one.) This is exactly what I needed and I hope you preorder it. This is even better than her debut, which is the highest bar. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    BookishMadds

    10/10 Oh my god. Oh my fucking god. This book was amazing. Easily one of my favorites of the entire year. Thanks to the Book Drop subscription box for sending me this masterpiece. Okay. So. Jack. Hallie. Oscar. Princess. Owen. Alex. All of these amazing characters that fit into this one weekend, this one life-changing 48 hour trip. I love Jack. I love him. He addressed a lot of feelings about grief, about wanting more time to figure out life. He also spent the entire book coming to the realizatio 10/10 Oh my god. Oh my fucking god. This book was amazing. Easily one of my favorites of the entire year. Thanks to the Book Drop subscription box for sending me this masterpiece. Okay. So. Jack. Hallie. Oscar. Princess. Owen. Alex. All of these amazing characters that fit into this one weekend, this one life-changing 48 hour trip. I love Jack. I love him. He addressed a lot of feelings about grief, about wanting more time to figure out life. He also spent the entire book coming to the realization that maybe he wasn't as content with his life as he thought he was on page one. And even on page 1 he was struggling. Hallie learns throughout the whole book that it's not a crime to trust people and let them in. She realized, with the passing of one of her closest friends drawing so near, that there was life outside of her room, and sometimes, the risks outweigh the consequences. Oscar is literally the only reason this story happened, and I loved him so much. GoodCarma gets a 5-star review from me, even if they are fake. If he hadn't been headed to LA, if he hadn't been able to pick up Jack that night, none of this story would have been possible. The ending was so amazing, I think it reflected the book perfectly. It actually reminded me of Jack's "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel that he was writing. We see Hallie and Jack agree to meet up in the future, and I think that their ending is decided by each individual reader, just like a CYOA book. If you're an optimist, Jack and Hallie meet again, time leads them back to one another. If you're a pessimist, then for whatever reason, they don't meet. This book showed every reader to expect the unexpected, to roll with life, and to never, ever stay on the ground, no matter how many times life throws you down. This story is told in a beautiful, unconditional, witty way. I grew to love and feel for every single character. I will go through every adjective I know to describe this book, because it deserves all the praise. I definitely have a new favorite.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brinley

    This book is one of my favorite reads of 2020. It was wholesome, sweet, and above all, a tale of two friends finding themselves on a road trip. I went into this expecting a romance, and I've never been happier to read a book that wasn't even slightly romantic. Sure, Hallie and Jake would've worked together, but I love the way Reul crafted this story. Blurb Jake is determined to go see his estranged brother before he leaves for college. Hallie is determined to go meet her online friend for the f This book is one of my favorite reads of 2020. It was wholesome, sweet, and above all, a tale of two friends finding themselves on a road trip. I went into this expecting a romance, and I've never been happier to read a book that wasn't even slightly romantic. Sure, Hallie and Jake would've worked together, but I love the way Reul crafted this story. Blurb Jake is determined to go see his estranged brother before he leaves for college. Hallie is determined to go meet her online friend for the first time before he dies. After they end up sharing the same rideshare, and both of their trains get delayed, they decide to make their way to their destinations together. I strongly believe that friendships in books are better than romances. Yes, I love a good romance, but I love a strong friendship even more. It might be because I just find friendships more relatable, but that's not relevant. Anyway, the friendship between Jake and Hallie is going to stick in my mind. I feel like this really conveyed their bond well. They were both such eclectic characters, and I loved them together. Being there as they worked through their own problems, and talked their way through a road trip was amazingly fun. Any good contemporary requires strong characters, and that's exactly what this book had! I loved how they were distinct, I always knew whose perspective I was reading from. The interactions between Hallie and Jake were hilarious, and I could've read another 100 pages of just them interacting. Oscar however, is the highlight of this book. On top of being utterly hilarious, he was such a fun character. The scene with them trying to get their car back by using all of the mannequins was amazing, I was cracking up. When the bomb about Hallie having cancer was dropped, I got real worried. I hate cancer love stories. I rated The Fault in Our Stars one star. They just don't work with me. This book did though! Hallie having cancer didn't feel like it was the plot, it just felt like another piece of Hallie. I really enjoyed it, which was a pleasant surprise. If you're in the mood for a summer tale of friendship and adventure, this is for you! I'm not even a contemporary fan, and yet I still love this. I'd definitely recommend it! Thanks to Robin Reul and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Niranjan Kumar

    HEARTWARMING ❤️☄️ This book is like having a conversation with someone who can make you feel home and level up your spirits.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Where the Road Leads Us in exchange for an honest review. Based on the praises from other authors and description, Where the Road Leads Us sounds heavy and emotional and while I think that tonally that doesn't quite fit the story, this book is definitely still full of a lot of emotion and insights on life. It just tells it in more of a lighthearted, comedic style that makes the emotional moments even more poignant (the best comparison I can think o Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Where the Road Leads Us in exchange for an honest review. Based on the praises from other authors and description, Where the Road Leads Us sounds heavy and emotional and while I think that tonally that doesn't quite fit the story, this book is definitely still full of a lot of emotion and insights on life. It just tells it in more of a lighthearted, comedic style that makes the emotional moments even more poignant (the best comparison I can think of is the tonal style of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl). That definitely works to the stories advantage because what could have been a "sad boy and girl go on sad roadtrip" story ended up being full of humor, charismatic & easy to root for characters, and a whole lot of heart.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lacie

    This book was so great! I tend to shy away from sad stories, so I was hesitant to request this. But the reviews claimed it was lighter than it looked, and thankfully they turned out to be right. It was a freaking delight. I loved the characters, and I loved the road trip. The banter was top notch. Overall, it was just a perfect escapist read. I'm excited to get the author's previous book now! This book was so great! I tend to shy away from sad stories, so I was hesitant to request this. But the reviews claimed it was lighter than it looked, and thankfully they turned out to be right. It was a freaking delight. I loved the characters, and I loved the road trip. The banter was top notch. Overall, it was just a perfect escapist read. I'm excited to get the author's previous book now!

  10. 4 out of 5

    sethuramalingam

    This book gave me a feel good vibes all over... The characters Hallie and Jack will remain close to my heart..kudos to the author for her narrative style..

  11. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Jack had been struggling with his father's death, and upon finding a letter from his father addressed to his estranged brother, he set out to locate him. Hallie was racing against the clock and had to get to Oregon to see her terminally ill friend. They felt alone in their struggles until a rideshare brought the two almost-strangers together just when they needed someone most. What a wonderful and touching physical and emotional journey! Both Hallie and Jack were at a crossroads and dealing with Jack had been struggling with his father's death, and upon finding a letter from his father addressed to his estranged brother, he set out to locate him. Hallie was racing against the clock and had to get to Oregon to see her terminally ill friend. They felt alone in their struggles until a rideshare brought the two almost-strangers together just when they needed someone most. What a wonderful and touching physical and emotional journey! Both Hallie and Jack were at a crossroads and dealing with some major concerns. This unexpected excursion resulted in a surprising friendship that helped them both find some clarity. The story started with Jack, who was NOT having the best birthday ever. He was due to leave for his internship in New York prior to starting his freshman year at Columbia, and he just could not muster any excitement about this big life change. He had been trying to fill the emptiness left by his father's death, but could not. With an absent mother, an estranged brother, and a dead father, Jack was left on his own to deal with his feelings, and I think that's why I was so happy when the universe brought him and Hallie together. Hallie was also unsure about her future, but for very different reasons. Her health issues forced her to finish high school via home schooling and left her parents with a great amount of debt. College didn't seem like a possibility and the things she was passionate about before her illness lost their luster. This forced Hallie to stop looking ahead to a life she believed she would never have. I shed some tears for Jack, but Hallie's story really made my heart ache. This road trip unfolded in quite an entertaining and emotionally satisfying way. It started off rather comically with some over the top antics. Then it settled into a series of beautiful and meaningful moments, where Hallie and Jack got into deep soul-baring exchanges. I love the idea of fate intervening right when you need it most, and that's what happened here. Chance brought these two together, but it was with the other person's assistance that they were able to reclaim some control over their lives. Jack and Hallie were dealing with their own issues, but that insight and understanding translated to each of them finding a way to understand themselves. Overall, this was a rewarding expedition which was filled with warmth, hope, and heart. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthea

    While, thanks to a million university papers, I have not finished the novel yet. Let me just say this! Robin Ruel doesn’t disappoint! I am in love with the characters she has created and love being able to go on this journey with them!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Belle Ellrich

    *I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL GALLEY BY MY WORKPLACE IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION* When this book showed up on the cart in our employee break room, I was immediately excited about it. I'd had my eye on it for quite a while, and I'd been working up to possibly requesting it. Not even two days after this, it was suddenly there and available for my eyes to read. Where the Road Leads Us  is a whirlwind adventure of emotions, subtle insta-love romance, and coming-of-age. *I WAS PROVIDED A PHYSICAL GALLEY BY MY WORKPLACE IN RETURN FOR MY HONEST REVIEW. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION* When this book showed up on the cart in our employee break room, I was immediately excited about it. I'd had my eye on it for quite a while, and I'd been working up to possibly requesting it. Not even two days after this, it was suddenly there and available for my eyes to read. Where the Road Leads Us  is a whirlwind adventure of emotions, subtle insta-love romance, and coming-of-age. In this book, we have two perspectives: Jack, a wealthy boy who has his entire future already planned out for him; and Hallie, a girl with an overly-worried mother and a diagnosis that is holding her back from the things she loves. For each character in this book--yes, even the side characters--I felt that the author developed them wonderfully. Jack went through a lot of deep thinking and came to some realizations about himself that made him second-guess a few things and look at his perspective from different vantage-points. For Hallie, I felt that she really did a deep-dive into understanding and unveiling things about herself that she'd previously hidden and locked away out of fear. There were a lot of funny points in this book, and I'm mainly speaking in terms of the dog. Around the midpoint of this book, an adorable chihuahua tags along on their spontaneous adventure. I found myself laughing along and relating to a lot of things that were present and included. However, there were also quite a few issues I had. For one, I wasn't the biggest fan of the depression representation this book was trying to pull off. I think the author was trying to come from a good and well-meaning place with it, but it wasn't really woven into the story all that well, and it ended up feeling more like a tokenization rep than anything else. Another problem I had was the pacing. Every time a big event would happen, the pacing would slightly speed up in anticipation of it, but then immediately after the event passed, it would sort of crash and slow down. It was a little debilitating, and it made me--at quite a few points--want to DNF than continue reading. Along with that, I also had a problem with quite a bit of the dialogue from all of the characters. While they each had great development, their dialogue was clearly separated from them. At times, they would have a huge paragraph of monologue that made me skip over or briefly glance through it. On top of that, I also didn't think they spoke like actual teenagers. It was almost as though they were talking out of a dictionary. I would like to add that Jack constantly refers to himself as a human google, but there's supposed to be a clear difference in pointing something like that out during specific parts. Overall, the casual dialogue felt a bit too flowery and poetical at times, and it made it annoying to read through. All in all though, I did enjoy this book. It was a bit more fun than I anticipated, and for that, I rate it 3.25 stars. I look forward to reading more from Robin Reul in the future, and I do encourage y'all to consider adding this to your TBR if you haven't yet already. TRIGGER/CONTENT WARNINGS: Mentions of depression, depression, overdose, mentions of drugs, drug addiction, character death, mention of character death, cancer, mentions of surgery

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dean

    (Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for access to a digital copy via NetGalley. This hasn't affected my review of the book.) A girl suffering from cancer tries to meet a dying friend. A grieving boy with severe anxiety wants to find his estranged brother. The pair end up travelling together due to wildfires cancelling buses. Accompanied by a cab driver who wants to stop his ex's wedding, they set off on a memorable road trip. I was expecting this to be a heavy/dark read, given the themes involved, but it (Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for access to a digital copy via NetGalley. This hasn't affected my review of the book.) A girl suffering from cancer tries to meet a dying friend. A grieving boy with severe anxiety wants to find his estranged brother. The pair end up travelling together due to wildfires cancelling buses. Accompanied by a cab driver who wants to stop his ex's wedding, they set off on a memorable road trip. I was expecting this to be a heavy/dark read, given the themes involved, but it's really not. That's not to say the themes aren't beautifully-handled! Reul tackles cancer, mental health, grief, and a host of other tough topics with a wonderfully light, sensitive touch. The book shows both teens at a moment where they're confused about their future. Hallie's online friend is dying, while she waits for news about her own illness. Meanwhile, Jack's about to go to the superb college his dad attended, but isn't sure if he wants to. Over the course of a weekend, they - and a few other characters - help each other work out what they want in life. I love character-driven novels and this is heavily character-driven, and filled with superb ones. The main pair are wonderful, both as individuals and in the way their relationship develops. At the start, they recognise each other slightly from school before Hallie's cancer caused her to drop out. As the weekend progresses, they open up to each other, expecting this to be the only time they communicate, allowing them to be more honest with each other than they have been with most people. I thought the dialogue here was exceptionally strong, and loved the way characters talked about their problems. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness with which Robin Reul looked to the future for the characters. Despite being a teacher myself, I don't think going straight to college is necessarily the best thing for everyone. Seeing Jack consider whether going straight to a top university was what he wanted, and talk to people about it, was interesting. I also really liked Jack's consideration of his mental health issues. (Yay for positive portrayal of people getting help to deal with issues like this!) Massively recommended and I'll be reading Reul's debut, My Kind Of Crazy, which also sounds great, ASAP!

  15. 4 out of 5

    The Reading Raccoon

    Where The Road Leads Us is a YA road trip style novel that steers into coming of age territory. It alternates POV between two 18 year old Los Angeles teens, Jack and Hallie and what happens when they each decide to take a few risks and start living on their own terms. Jack is reeling from the death of his father, the loss of his estranged drug addict brother, a fresh break-up with his girlfriend and the sudden jitters that come with moving across the country to attend college. After finding a le Where The Road Leads Us is a YA road trip style novel that steers into coming of age territory. It alternates POV between two 18 year old Los Angeles teens, Jack and Hallie and what happens when they each decide to take a few risks and start living on their own terms. Jack is reeling from the death of his father, the loss of his estranged drug addict brother, a fresh break-up with his girlfriend and the sudden jitters that come with moving across the country to attend college. After finding a letter his father wrote before his death Jack decides to drop all of his plans and go to San Francisco in hopes of finding his brother. But as fires rage in Southern California his trip gets sidetracked repeatedly and he finds himself teaming up with former classmate Hallie. Hallie is a cancer survivor who has been playing it safe at home, took her GED for any early graduation and is facing an uncertain future. The only thing she is sure of is that she needs to see her online friend Owen before he ends his life as his cancer has become terminal. But the buses that would take her to Oregon are delayed and the opportunity to join Jack in a ride-share is suddenly on the table. Jack and Hallie will build an intimate friendship over the next 24 hours and share thoughts and pieces of their pasts that they’ve never admitted to anyone. Both Jack and Hallie have faced a lot of loss and disappointments and each are trying to manage their own issues with expectations and what the future holds. Despite the heavy subject matter Robin Reul inserts a lot of humor and slices of life into both of their journeys. These are both bright and witty teens and the story isn't bogged down with Insta-love or longing glances. The plot is fast paced enough to keep anyone’s interest without feeling rushed. I think readers of all ages will enjoy this contemporary YA novel that includes heavy subject matter like death of a parent, drug addiction/overdose, cancer and end of life/assisted suicide but handles them all in a respectful manner that is not overly depressing or preachy and instead is realistic and ultimately hopeful. 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ My copy was provided for review purposes by NetGalley and the publisher

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    It’s graduation night and Jack’s birthday, but things aren’t turning out like he thought they would. His girlfriend Natasha breaks up with him and he has no one in the audience to see him graduate valedictorian. He decides suddenly to try and reconnect with his brother Alex who he hasn’t seen in two years, which takes him to the bus station. Hallie is a cancer survivor who dropped out of school two years ago and got her GED so she could focus on her recovery and help her parents’ struggling resta It’s graduation night and Jack’s birthday, but things aren’t turning out like he thought they would. His girlfriend Natasha breaks up with him and he has no one in the audience to see him graduate valedictorian. He decides suddenly to try and reconnect with his brother Alex who he hasn’t seen in two years, which takes him to the bus station. Hallie is a cancer survivor who dropped out of school two years ago and got her GED so she could focus on her recovery and help her parents’ struggling restaurant. Hallie is determined to make it to Oregon to see her best friend (virtual only) before he dies so she goes to the bus station. Hallie and Jack run into each other in the bus station and remember each other from a creative writing class a couple of years ago. Fate and California wildfires end up intervening in their plans and they end up on a road trip with a guy named Oscar with his own wild scheme (breaking up his ex-girlfriend’s wedding). Shenanigans ensue and along the way Hallie and Jack start to fall for each other. This is a fun book that will appeal to plenty of kids. The romance is simmering beneath the surface for nearly the entire book, but the ending is a bit unexpected (in a good way!). Both Hallie and Jack have secrets and are holding themselves back from their real dreams; will the road lead them to make changes in their lives?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy for reviewing. I read and reviewed Robin Reul's first book, "My Kind of Crazy" about 5 years ago (that long ago already?!) and to this day, it remains to be one of my favourite YA books that I read that year. So I'm not even surprised that I'm just enamoured with her newest release, "Where the Road Leads Us". The story is about Jack and Hallie, two teens on the verge of adulthood who briefly met in a class year Huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy for reviewing. I read and reviewed Robin Reul's first book, "My Kind of Crazy" about 5 years ago (that long ago already?!) and to this day, it remains to be one of my favourite YA books that I read that year. So I'm not even surprised that I'm just enamoured with her newest release, "Where the Road Leads Us". The story is about Jack and Hallie, two teens on the verge of adulthood who briefly met in a class years ago. Their own personal circumstances inadvertently cause them to reconnect through a rideshare to the bus terminal, which then leads them to the most unexpected, unconventional, most amazing adventure. You think their journey is going one way, then things happen and it takes a turn both literally and figuratively. This is a story about relationships–friendship, romantic, and familial–and about self-discovery. It's about growth and choosing your own journey; your own happiness. I loved how we got to experience the story from both Jack and Hallie's perspectives. Robin Reul switches between Jack and Hallie's points of view but never loses the reader because their voices are so distinct, yet they're both very in sync with each other. It's incredible stuff. One of my favourite things while reading Robin's work then and now is how witty and hilarious, yet poignant her writing and her characters are. I laughed (oh how I laughed!) and I teared, I smiled and I sighed. Mostly, I just absolutely fell in love with this story. My god this was supposed to be a micro review, so let me stop myself, because I could really go on forever about how amazing it all is. My point is: go read this book. You'll thank me for it later. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the copy of this book. Thank you Robin Reul for reaching out and remembering how much I loved your last book, and for writing yet another brilliant and profound piece. I'm forever a fan.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)

    Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review! I know I say this a lot, but the first thing that caught my eye for this book was the cover. It’s just so visually striking. Makes you interested in reading more for sure! I thought this was going to be a bit romance heavy, it definitely wasn’t. It's more about Jack and Hallie as individuals, going on this journey to figure out what direction they want to take in life. It’s not your typical romance plot; well, out Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this to review! I know I say this a lot, but the first thing that caught my eye for this book was the cover. It’s just so visually striking. Makes you interested in reading more for sure! I thought this was going to be a bit romance heavy, it definitely wasn’t. It's more about Jack and Hallie as individuals, going on this journey to figure out what direction they want to take in life. It’s not your typical romance plot; well, outside of the fact that they’re randomly thrown together and of course have chemistry. There are twists and turns that make the plot exciting and really propel you forward. Jack and Hallie are really fleshed out characters and I really enjoyed the chemistry they had on the page. However, I do wish some of the side characters were fleshed out a bit more. We get secondhand knowledge about a lot of them, especially Jack’s brother, but not enough to really bring them to life. There are also a lot of issues dealt with in this book. Which means that some of them are brushed to the side a bit, particularly with Hallie. At the end of the book, we don’t get much of the end of her story, outside of what we get from Jack. I kind of wish we had gotten a chapter or two more from her, just to round out her story. All in all, this was a fun road trip kind of book, filled with plenty of shenanigans and adventures. If you want a not-so-typical romance book, this one is definitely for you!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dalene

    I received this book in exchange for an honestly review. When I found out that Robin Reul wrote another book I was beyond excited and knew that I had to have this book. Where the Road Leads Us is the perfect road trip style of book. Why? Well you have 2 characters who just graduated high school and well a road trip. Okay but stay with me. Jack and Hallie had a class together once years ago but besides that, they don't really know each other. They are both wanting to leave LA for different reasons. I received this book in exchange for an honestly review. When I found out that Robin Reul wrote another book I was beyond excited and knew that I had to have this book. Where the Road Leads Us is the perfect road trip style of book. Why? Well you have 2 characters who just graduated high school and well a road trip. Okay but stay with me. Jack and Hallie had a class together once years ago but besides that, they don't really know each other. They are both wanting to leave LA for different reasons. Jack to track down his brother he hasn't seen in years. And Hallie to see a friend who is dying. Cue the bus station that leads to the start of a road trip that will change the lives of Hallie and Jack. The book captivated me from page 1. I wanted to know why Jack isn't speaking to his brother and what Hallie was hiding. I kept reading though because the story was deep, hilarious, and just a great read. And can I mention Oscar? Their perfect driver who is taking them on this epic road trip? The unexpected character in the book who you didn't realize you needed. I know this book doesn't come out for months but can I say it's my favorite book from 2021?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vaish -bookishbelle1008

    I would like to thank the publisher’s and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I expected this book to be one that would be quite heavy however was pleased to find that it was the complete opposite whilst still invoking heartfelt emotions. Most books have the main characters fall in love but the thing that stood out in this book was the beautiful friendship that Jack and Hallie develop over the course of their road trip. Their respective characters were dis I would like to thank the publisher’s and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I expected this book to be one that would be quite heavy however was pleased to find that it was the complete opposite whilst still invoking heartfelt emotions. Most books have the main characters fall in love but the thing that stood out in this book was the beautiful friendship that Jack and Hallie develop over the course of their road trip. Their respective characters were distinct with strong personalities that enabled them to compliment each other, share in light banter and work through their problems. There wasn’t any unnecessary drama thrown in to hype the story, which I greatly appreciated as it served as a reminder than the difficulties that the characters were undergoing was just another piece in their puzzle. The highlight for me was Oscar who was their driver for the duration of the trip and served as their guide, best friend and confidante. Definitely a read that I would highly recommend for those seeking a warm and feel good story about the magic of life and friendships.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Natalie - FerryGoodBooks

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. I experienced a wide range of emotions and this book took me on one hell of a ride. This is a series of fortunate events that leads from one crazy scenario to the next. Between the shenanigans, however, Hallie and Jake had quiet moments of raw vulnerability that I was pleasantly surprised to read in a YA book. Both Hallie and Jake are on a journey with a clear destination, but the path to it is uncertain. There’s this intense connect I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. I experienced a wide range of emotions and this book took me on one hell of a ride. This is a series of fortunate events that leads from one crazy scenario to the next. Between the shenanigans, however, Hallie and Jake had quiet moments of raw vulnerability that I was pleasantly surprised to read in a YA book. Both Hallie and Jake are on a journey with a clear destination, but the path to it is uncertain. There’s this intense connection between Hallie and Jack that resonates through the pages and allows the reader to feel it as they read. What these two experience between themself is so intense you feel as if you are a part of this special relationship. There’s deep conversations about life that go beyond the typical conversations that I feel go on with other young adults their age. They touch on topics that resonate with both young and older audiences. This truly was a thought provoking story that opened up the conversations on tough subjects such as regret and death. There is something special about this book though it’s unfinished, much like life, it’s still a magical read. It is realistic without being dramatized and speaks truthfully in a way that every reader can connect with the story. The author's writing brought a tenderness to this beautiful story about finding your path in life. This is a book that I feel everyone should read and experience. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    I did enjoy this book. The story is engaging and the characters are likable. And though the premise is a bit of a suspension of disbelief the situations and the way they resolve are pretty realistic. Though I'll admit I wasn't quite as drawn into the story as I think I was hoping to be. I'm not sure why as there isn't anything inherently wrong with the book, I think maybe just the whole time in the back of my mind I was comparing it to The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon which has a similar pl I did enjoy this book. The story is engaging and the characters are likable. And though the premise is a bit of a suspension of disbelief the situations and the way they resolve are pretty realistic. Though I'll admit I wasn't quite as drawn into the story as I think I was hoping to be. I'm not sure why as there isn't anything inherently wrong with the book, I think maybe just the whole time in the back of my mind I was comparing it to The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon which has a similar plot and themes but conveys them in a much more interesting way in my opinion and is actually one of my all-time favorite books. (view spoiler)[I kind of wish Hallie had gotten to meet/say goodbye to Owen. I suppose him dying before she gets a chance adds to the realism of the whole thing, but from a writing standpoint it isn't that great. It felt like building up to something and then giving it a cop-out ending. but that's just the way I saw it. (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tracie

    This is a beautiful, touching, heartfelt, often really funny road trip filled with adventures and conversations that help the two 18 year old main characters find their way. They search for meaning and authenticity in life while dealing with grief, illness, the end of relationships, and the uncertainty of whether they're on the right path. The author talks about challenging subjects and emotions with care. I highly recommend this for someone who's looking for a fun, adventurous story that also d This is a beautiful, touching, heartfelt, often really funny road trip filled with adventures and conversations that help the two 18 year old main characters find their way. They search for meaning and authenticity in life while dealing with grief, illness, the end of relationships, and the uncertainty of whether they're on the right path. The author talks about challenging subjects and emotions with care. I highly recommend this for someone who's looking for a fun, adventurous story that also digs deeper into the inner worlds of the two protagonists. There is a literal roadtrip and also metaphorical journeys, and all are delightful. I received a free ebook from Sourcebooks Early Reads program in exchange for my honest opinion.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Annie-JoElizabeth

    Where the Road Leads Us by Robin Reul is a heartfelt YA novel about the unexpected paths our lives can take when we least expect it. Los Angeles teens Jack and Hallie are both recent graduates with big decisions about their futures on the horizon who find themselves in the back of the same rideshare one midnight without a solid plan of where to go. Jack is grieving his father and following a new lead to find his estranged brother, while Hallie is racing against time to meet a friend and struggli Where the Road Leads Us by Robin Reul is a heartfelt YA novel about the unexpected paths our lives can take when we least expect it. Los Angeles teens Jack and Hallie are both recent graduates with big decisions about their futures on the horizon who find themselves in the back of the same rideshare one midnight without a solid plan of where to go. Jack is grieving his father and following a new lead to find his estranged brother, while Hallie is racing against time to meet a friend and struggling to decide when she should share some news with her family that will test them all. This novel starts like a typical rom-com or buddy/road trip situation, but quickly gets deeper as Jack and Hallie are forced to confront issues from their pasts and their futures. Teens will relate to the stress of college applications and high-school relationships, but will also appreciate the discussions of mental health and family drama. Jack and Hallie's interactions (as well as their ending) are sweet and genuine. Their rideshare driver, Oscar, on a quest to break up the wedding of his ex, provides comic relief and sage wisdom. While it is not the most original or experimental YA novel, Where the Road Leads Us strikes a balance that is both fun and thought-provoking that will appeal to to fans of Morgan Matson and Nicola Yoon. Thank you to the publisher for providing with me a review copy of this title via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ᴀʙɪ☽

    Roadtrip/wayward contemporary romances are my shit. I need this please

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I loved this book just as much as I loved 'My Kind of Crazy!' It's a very different book...the writing is phenomenal and the characters, again, are incredible. I loved this book just as much as I loved 'My Kind of Crazy!' It's a very different book...the writing is phenomenal and the characters, again, are incredible.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Natalie White

    Hallie and Jack find themselves questioning their futures as they finish senior year of high school. When an unexpected road trip brings their paths together, the serendipitous union leaves them both wanting more. Full of teen angst, uncertainty, and hope for the future, this multi-narrator YA novel reminds readers what it's like to second-guess yourself at a time when each decision feels pivotal. **I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an h Hallie and Jack find themselves questioning their futures as they finish senior year of high school. When an unexpected road trip brings their paths together, the serendipitous union leaves them both wanting more. Full of teen angst, uncertainty, and hope for the future, this multi-narrator YA novel reminds readers what it's like to second-guess yourself at a time when each decision feels pivotal. **I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Inkslinger

    ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire and Robin Reul via MTMC Tours. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 04-06: 'Where the Road Leads Us' by Robin Reul is a dual narrative about a pair of teens who find themselves at a different, but equally life-altering crossroads. Jack is pretty much the golden boy. He's such an over-achiever that he's stacking self-taught AP studies on top of those he's been scheduled for in school. Here, literally getting ready to ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire and Robin Reul via MTMC Tours. All opinions are mine and freely given. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | BookBub 04-06: 'Where the Road Leads Us' by Robin Reul is a dual narrative about a pair of teens who find themselves at a different, but equally life-altering crossroads. Jack is pretty much the golden boy. He's such an over-achiever that he's stacking self-taught AP studies on top of those he's been scheduled for in school. Here, literally getting ready to pack up and leave for college, life throws him a curveball. Reeling from the unexpected, Jack finds himself rethinking everything. Before he follows that pre-designated path.. he wants to locate his estranged brother and set some things to rest. Hallie seems more free-spirited. Life has been kicking her while she's down for awhile and it's forced her to adopt a sort of 'roll with the punches' approach. When she gets some upsetting news about a friend, she makes a spur of the moment decision to go see him while she can. Generally speaking, this is a sweet, quirky novel. Though there are some heavy topics being dealt with, the story is never really sad. There's a concerted effort both between the characters and clearly by the author to sort of recalibrate the emotional perspective whenever something potentially negative occurs in the story.. which supports the whole 'bright side' theme. Jack and Hallie have a really cute, warm dynamic and their rideshare driver turned newfound friend actually adds to that feeling within the story. Though some of the dynamics that pop-up between side characters throughout the book are a little clunky, 'the trifecta' as I like to call them, doesn't suffer from it at all. Their adventures as they travel together are a bit wild and some might even feel they're unrealistic, but as someone who's made road trips with similarly strange incidents littering the way, it just made me laugh and keep reading. I enjoyed the way Jack and Hallie tended to be each other's true North. Whenever one of them would get lost along the way, sort of faltering with their personal struggle.. the other would be there to right them and keep them going. This is a story full of hope.. and with the last year we've all had, I don't think we can have too much of that. If you're looking for a light read, that still has some emotional depth as the characters deal with their traumas, this might be the book for you. Mild caution for triggers regarding loss of loved ones and severe illnesses. PURCHASE LINKS: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BLACKWELL'S | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSAMILLION | GOOGLEPLAY BOOKS | INDIEBOUND | INDIGO | KOBO

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Thank You The Nerd Daily for an eARC in exchange for an honest review Where The Road Leads Us is a heartwarming YA story of Destiny, discovering who and what you aspire to be in life, all packed into a one-day road trip between two strangers who know each other better than they think. Jack and Hallie are near strangers to each other, but are two people from very same, but different worlds. Both are seniors at the same high school, but nothing could be more different than their personalities, Thank You The Nerd Daily for an eARC in exchange for an honest review Where The Road Leads Us is a heartwarming YA story of Destiny, discovering who and what you aspire to be in life, all packed into a one-day road trip between two strangers who know each other better than they think. Jack and Hallie are near strangers to each other, but are two people from very same, but different worlds. Both are seniors at the same high school, but nothing could be more different than their personalities, interests, and especially their life backstory’s. On one hand, Jack practically has his future lined up for him. A summer internship in New York and being accepted to Columbia University in the coming Fall means his career in Medicine is just about to get started. Before this happens, Jack wants to find his older brother, Alex, and make amends among their late Father’s passing. On the other hand, Hallie receives some devastating news about a friend who lives in Oregon, and an opportunity arises to see him before his time runs out. However, Jack and Hallie do share an ounce of common ground together: They took a class together a few years back and have not shared or heard a word of each other since. Although seemingly different, both have more in common than they could have ever imagined. Seeking out to see someone they care deeply about, Jack and Hallie end up in the same rideshare to the nearest bus terminal, but is this just mere coincidence or is a hand of Fate playing a role in their lives? With fires raging across Los Angeles and Southern California, Jack and Hallie have no other choice but to take a spontaneous and hilarious road trip, one that could bring them to their better selves and maybe even closer to each other. This story depicts the meaning of Serendipity in the most beautiful of ways. You meet someone and get to know them for a given period, find yourself going on different life paths for a while, and the Universe might just bring you back together again. However, the driving force behind this book is not Love, but a very meaningful Friendship between two people who learn more about themselves and a want to chase their dreams without anyone standing in their way. The relationship and dynamic between Jack and Hallie were so special because of how they portrayed themselves as people and the ways they went about achieving their goals. Robin Reul did such an amazing job of building this relationship because there was little to no awkwardness in their interactions, and I felt their communication flowed very well too! The development of the characters and the background they come from really carry this entire novel from beginning to end! Jack choosing between his family’s expectations versus his own happiness was very relatable, and Hallie is someone who does what is necessary even if it means hiding it from those she loves most. The dialogue being said between both characters was so cleverly written and very comedic given the genre and setting of the story. The world building was quite easy to visualize since this novel is in a very realistic setting. Since the plot centers around both characters embarking on a road trip, the scenery being developed within California were colorful and beautiful to see (especially in the Big City areas). This was creatively done and made me want to road trip all over California again! Where The Road Leads Us is such a fitting story for the YA genre because of its characters, the strong development of story, and how it centers around the themes of Coming of Age, Trauma and Growth. The rating of this book makes my own love for it evident because I feel readers are able to see Jack and Hallie within themselves. I recommend this novel for anyone who loves a good story centered around friendship, travel, and a need for spontaneity in their life! It will for sure show you not everything goes according to how you plan it, and taking the bumpier road can be so much more fun.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adela Cacovean

    When I started reading Where the Road Leads Us, I was expecting a very heartbreaking and difficult-to-read book. What I discovered instead was a fun read, with lots of profound messages, much the same as Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan. They both feature a road trip where all the characters have a different purpose but have gathered in the same car for the ride. While in Unpregnant it was with the purpose of ending an unwanted pregnancy for one girl and meeting a distant father for t When I started reading Where the Road Leads Us, I was expecting a very heartbreaking and difficult-to-read book. What I discovered instead was a fun read, with lots of profound messages, much the same as Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan. They both feature a road trip where all the characters have a different purpose but have gathered in the same car for the ride. While in Unpregnant it was with the purpose of ending an unwanted pregnancy for one girl and meeting a distant father for the other one, in Where the Road Leads Us, we have three characters who at first seem, total strangers, each with their own goal. Hallie is a cancer survivor who wants to leave Los Angeles to visit a friend she met online who is ending his own life via assisted suicide since he is in a lot of pain and his cancer is incurable. She buys the bus tickets with money she steals from her parents since she thinks they would not approve of her leaving on her own to meet a boy she met online for such a tragic meeting, but the wildfires are making all the buses late and she is stuck. Jack was just dumped by his girlfriend on graduation day which is also his birthday so he is naturally very upset and leaves a party with a car-sharing service to hang out at a nearby bus station to lose some time because his car is stuck by other party attendants. In the car, he meets Hallie who is going in the same direction, and their car driver Oscar, who also wants to leave LA to stop his ex-girlfriend's wedding and maybe switch places with the groom if all goes according to his plan. Earlier in the day, Jack discovers a letter from his departed father to his estranged brother that he never managed to send before he died. So when the buses don't arrive for Hallie, he makes up his mind for the three of them to use Oscar's car and go together since they have the same destination or general direction anyway. Now of course there are lots of misfortunes and adventures on the way, but the story didn't feel cliche at all and despite the serious topics it delves into like cancer, death of a family member, overdose, assisted suicide, it manages to somehow be a fun read at the same time as being profound and meaningful. "I'd always wondered what happened to her in the same way you wonder about a canceled TV series that abruptly ends without resolution. Eventually you make peace with the fact that just because you want answers it doesn't mean you're gonna get them, and after a while you forget about it and move on." It's a very good coming-of-age story, and probably one of the best I read so far in 2021.

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