I am so thankful to be a part of the Geography of Lost Things Book Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. When I read the summary and saw the cover for this book, I knew it was one I needed to read. While being a part of this tour means I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for review, this in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this story.
By: Jessica Brody
Published Year: 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?
Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.
He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.
And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.
This cover just gives me all the feels! I want to disappear into this cover. I 100% picked this book on it’s cover. I mean, the summary sounded interesting too, but if it had a different cover I don’t know if the summary would’ve been strong enough to capture me.
What I thought
What a fun book!
Ali’s dad has just died and in addition to leaving her and her mom with a ton of debt, he left her his 1968 Firebird 400 convertible. In hopes of getting her family out of debt, Ali decides to sell the car. When she gets an offer in northern California, she intends to drive it there herself until her ex-boyfriend Nico reminds her that she doesn’t know how to drive a stick. He offers to drive the car for her, even though they haven’t talked in a month. While on the trip, Nico decides to introduce Ali to the art of trading up. This is when you take a useless item such as a rubber band, and trade it for something of more value to someone who needs the seemingly less valuable item. The road trip turns into an adventure full of love, life, and forgiveness.
This story started a little bit slow for me. It took a while to get my bearings between Ali, her dad Jackson, and then her ex-boyfriend Nico. Her mom barely exists which is a bit odd. Once Nico and Ali are on the road the story starts to pick up. However, I really started to get into it once they started trading up. It felt like once that storyline got added the relationships became deeper and more intimate and the pace of the story quickened.
The interesting thing about this story is that there are truly only three relationships to this story. There’s Ali, Nico, and then flashbacks to Jackson’s relationship with Ali. While Ali does have a friendship at the beginning of the story, she disappears pretty quickly. Ali’s phone has no data because her mom was unable to pay the bill, so she isn’t able to be contacted by friends or family. I was oddly bothered by this. I think I would have preferred if she could have had some side conversations with her friend or mom to help flesh out some thoughts. Instead, she’s often left to her own thoughts and to work through her problems independently.
Once the story started moving I found I couldn’t put it down. I was eager to find out what item they were going to trade up for next and whether or not they would reach their goal. I was also curious whether or not Ali would find out if Jackson had meant more leaving her the car or if he just left it for her because it was his most prized possession.
Brody wrote a wonderful story of growth and forgiveness. Reading about Ali throughout the story as she came to terms with her past, present, and future, was insightful. I felt the way that Brody wrote about life and deal was very well done.