title: the long ride home
author: tawni waters
type: e-copy from netgalley
“Pain is a driver. It drives people to drugs. It drives people crazy. It drove me to the ocean.”
what it’s about:
“the long ride home” by tawni waters is harleys story. harley lost her mother and is still grieving and in a lot of pain. six months after her mothers death she decides to take her motorbike and drive through the country to new york to scatter her mother’s ashes. she goes on a journey full of pain, meets a lot of people that are good but also bad and goes through and emotional rollercoaster. in the end she has to decide, which is the right thing to do for her.
what i think:
when i read the summary for this book, i was sold. i read roadtrip and that was all i had to know. i love books about roadtrips, because i love going on roadtrips myself. but what i got here, was so much more. i was so happy, that the publisher approved me for this e-copy via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
this is a story about a broken girl, who lost her mother and just goes through the worst time of her life. i felt right from the start for this girl and i was sorry for her too. i didn’t want her to go through this all. i was in pain for her, which showed me, that tawni waters did everything right.
the writing was gripping and i couldn’t put this book down. i needed to know, what was going to happen. but not only that, harley just seemed so real to me. she was a teenager who lost her mom and everything in that moment is just shit. and that’s what you are going to get. an angry teenager who speaks the truth freely. she shares her thoughts and feelings and you just feel for her. i felt like i was reading about so many people, who go through such a tragedy and these kinds of books are my favorite. where i get the feeling, this person really exists and goes through all that. it’s what kept me turning the pages.
of course i do not agree with all the decisions harley makes, but that’s just the thing. you never know, how a person will react, when something like that happens to them. everyone is different and everyone does what he or she thinks is best for them. i could totally imagine harleys story to play out the way it did. although it was a little bit too much at some points, where i thought the author needs to be careful not to loose what she build up until that point. that is also the reason, why i couldn’t give it a full five stars, because sometimes it felt exaggerated. also harleys behavior in some situations didn’t feel right to me personally and i sometimes lost the feeling i could identify with her. but these was just in a few situations.
most of the time i was feeling her and i could understand her. especially when it came to dean, her friend, she sleeps with. her reaction is totally understandable, although it broke my heart, because i wanted her to react different. but that’s the thing about pain. it drives you and you do what feels best for you in that situation. and harleys story is just the perfect example for it. i was feeling sorry for dean, because he didn’t deserve this. his character was just SO cute. i loved dean right from the start. and although i think that it’s not easy to find such a person in real life, i was happy, that he was there for harley. the book does not focus on their story, which made me like it even more, because this is a book about harley and dean is just a very important side character, who plays his part in it.
i will say, that i was a little bit disappointed in the end, because i didn’t think the author would go that way, but after thinking about it, it was a very good ending. and i really could picture it. and of course i was sobbing like a mess the last pages, because it just hit me so hard.
what you should know:
“the long ride home” is no light contemporary. it is very emotional and heartbreaking. it deals with some heavy stuff and you are caught emotionally right from the start. you will read a lot about grief, about anger, about sadness. you should also be warned for anxiety. this one is not easy, especially if you lost a close person yourself. i can imagine this book hits right home, because it feels so real and deals with real issues. so be warned.
for me, these real issues are the beauty of this book. it doesn’t say how great everything is. it says, how shitty everything is and you can also see that in the language. you will read a lot of swearwords and you will know that they are appropriate and they fit. i liked that very much, because it gave the book it’s authenticity. and be also warned, that you will cry. there is no way around it, because it is emotional and harleys story just makes you so sad. but you should also know, that there is hope. this book is full of wonderful quotes, that speak the truth and you can feel the hope all the time. you will get a book, that will make you cry and happy at the same time and that’s what i loved about it. of course i wanted a different ending, but what i got is reality. the fact, that the author didn’t sugarcoat anything, makes “the long ride home” really special. i will definitely check out her other work.