Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Rachel Toor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
On the Road to Find Out is a comical, upbeat coming of age story, particularly perfect for high school juniors and seniors that are just learning to make their way into the after-high-school scene. Alice Davis just wants to go to Yale. She’s the top student at her high school and Yale is the only college that she applied for. But when she gets rejected in the admissions process, Alice is at a loss and spirals into a whirlpool of self-doubt and self-pity. With the help of her overly enthusiastic mother and her best friend, Alice picks up running as a New Year’s resolution. And running opens up many doors to new people and new ideas. Soon Alice learns that being smart isn’t the only thing that matters and that there are as many routes for a high school graduate as there are for a runner.
Rachel Toor’s debut YA novel is very timely and funny. She often alludes to many popculture topics like hit television shows. Although I can see why Toor utilizes these allusions, there were some that were a bit lost on me because I was not very familiar with them and other readers might feel similarly. The writing style may exclude young men as the tone was feminine through and through. Yet Toor’s Alice is refreshingly funny and relatable, often popping one-liners and doing crazy embarrassing things that we all relate to. It is a good growing up story about change and adaptation to change. Despite the near universal themes, this novel is riddled with topics, allusions, and words that are meant for an older audience. A good solid read, fun and comical if a bit cliche.
*Contains mild language and sexual content.