By: Lynne Branard
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's exactly what she needs...
It all starts when Alissa impulsively puts a bid on an abandoned storage unit, only to become the proud new owner of Roger Hart's remains. Two weeks later, she jumps in her car and heads west, thinking that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life.
She isn't wrong.
Especially when Blossom, who just graduated from high school, hitches a ride with her to Texas, and Alissa has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Alissa's eyes to the road in front of her and to how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming.
I was drawn in immediately by the summary. It sounded exactly like a book that I would read. I also really love the cover and if I had seen it somewhere I would’ve picked it up. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up in December/January, but over the summer it would’ve been in my beach bag instantly.
What I thought
This book was so cute!
Alissa Wells (AKA Al) has discovered a box of ashes in a storage unit that she bought. She finds out that they belong to a man who was cremated in New Mexico and decides she’s going to drive from North Carolina to return them to the man’s family and find out how they ended up so far away from his home. Along the way she meets some interesting characters and, of course, discovers a bit about herself.
Al works at the small town local newspaper that her father owns. While she enjoys doing it, she has fallen into this life as a sort of duty and not of passion. While traveling, she meets a teenage waitress who ends up becoming her travel companion. Blossom, the waitress, is actually one of my favorite characters. She feels like one of those waitresses that would be an old lady who has seen the word and can give you all of the advice, but she’s trapped in a teenager’s body.
For a road trip/life discovery book this was a lot lighter than I expected it to be and I really appreciated that. Sometimes books like these can get a bit heavy and this one seemed relatively realistic to me. There weren’t unnecessary road blocks so that the main character could learn about his/herself. Al is a relatively easy going character and because she goes with the flow, it leads to interesting opportunities.
There is a little bit of romance in this book but it’s not a main point. It’s definitely a strand in the story and it plays a part in her self-discovery, but it isn’t as though she finds herself by finding the right man. Considering how many novels have the main character not able to find out who she truly is until she finds her true love, it was refreshing to see a character find herself first.
This book would also make a wonderful book club book. It’s an easy read but because it deals with life, it has some really good discussion points. There are a lot of fun characters and each one has an individual personality. Like I mentioned, it’s not a heavy book so you could easily count it as a beach read but there is still substance to it which is what made it so enjoyable.