We’re Never Getting Home

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. Apr. 2024. 320p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063217805.
Gr 9 Up–Jana Rubio begged her parents to let her have one night away at an outdoor music festival to see her favorite band with her best friend, Maddy Parsons. After her mother’s car accident and her sister’s bumpy start at college, Jana has felt the need to be available for her parents whenever she’s needed. She deserves some freedom before she graduates high school in a few months and won’t let a fight with her best friend that leaves them not speaking with each other derail her plans. She secures a ride with her friend from church, Nathan Clark, and is ready to go. But, when Nathan arrives to pick her up, not only does he have his younger brother Ethan with him, but Maddy and her boyfriend Tyler are also along for the two-hour ride. Then, when Nathan loses his car keys crowd-surfing and he and Tyler become unable to help in the search for them, Jana, Maddy, and Ethan are left to search the festival grounds for the keys to make it home. The premise is promising, but at times the uneven pacing and unrealistic series of unfortunate events make for an uneven narrative.
VERDICT Teens will enjoy the adventure.

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