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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John

Title: Thou Shalt Not Road Trip
Author: Antony John

Release Date: 12th April 2012

My Rating: 3/5

When sixteen-year-old Luke's book, Hallelujah, becomes a national bestseller, his publishing house sends him on a cross-country book tour with his older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. But when irresponsible Matt offers to drive Luke's ex–soul mate, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. On the trip, Luke must loosen up, discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves.

Told with Antony John's signature wit and authenticity, and featuring smart, singular characters who jump off the page and into your heart, this story is a spiritual awakening and rockin' road trip in one.

In A Nutshell:
A compelling story about a boy who thinks he has his life all together but who is just, if not more, as screwed up as most teenagers.

My Review:
Christian fiction is not exactly my thing to say the least but, I loved Five Flavours of Dumb so I was still eager to give Antony John’s latest offering a try, plus I love road trips. While the religious aspect did get on my nerves to a degree, it wasn’t so over the top that I wanted to stop reading. I found it to be a compelling story about a boy who thinks he has his life all together but who is just, if not more, as screwed up as most teenagers.

Sixteen-year-old Luke has written a religious self-help book, aimed at children and teenagers, after he took part in a writing task at his youth group. Somehow the book became a major success and Luke is sent on a promotional book tour by his publicist, with his older brother Matt as chaperone. Luke blindly goes along, trusting that his older brother will get him where he needs to be on time. What Luke doesn’t realise is that Matt has other plans and he semi-hijacks the tour by inviting his girlfriend, Alexis, along, as well as her sister Fran, who happens to be Luke’s ex-best friend and ex-crush. As Matt and Alexis take the group on random detours along Route 66, Luke is faced with his own conscience concerning the content of his book and also the constant company of Fran. Neither Fran or Luke are particularly happy to be stuck on a road trip together but it provides Luke with an unexpected, and somewhat unwanted, opportunity to see Fran up close for the first time since she went through a mysterious transformation from good Christian school girl to an antisocial, tattooed teenager with purple hair. As Luke discovers who Fran has become, or who she still is, he learns that the greatest betrayals are often by those who you are closest to.

Society’s most common mistake is judging someone for what they look like, rather than who they are inside. There is always more than meets the eye and you should never take what someone says as gospel. Investigate it for yourself and then make your own decision.

I found the character of Luke rather annoying. He makes lots of mistakes because he is rather naïve about life and it takes him a while to figure out what is going on and to stand up for himself. The character of Fran was my favourite. She is so well written, the most real, and was easy to relate to. While she may have appeared to be the most screwed up of all the characters, to me, she was actually the most switched on of them all.

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