Saturday, April 19, 2014

Destination Unknown - by Amy Clipston


About the book:

It’s senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won’t get into the “right” college---her alma mater---with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor’s rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship. Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver’s seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity---and God’s plan for her life---before she throws everything away?

My review:

I enjoyed this story written for teens, but also found it frustrating because Whitney's mom drove me crazy.  She was incredibly controlling, telling her eighteen-year-old daughter everything from what to wear to what to eat and who to be friends with.  While I don't agree with how Whitney treated her mom, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.  I think her mom should have given Taylor a chance and not been so shallow, but I could see how she would think he was behind Whitney's attitude shift.  It would also worry me if a girl seemed to dump her friends and change; I would wonder if the guy wasn't being controlling.  I really liked how Whitney started to question what she wanted out of life and stood up to her friends who weren't treating Taylor right.  The romance was cute, but I'm glad it started as friendship and that they got to know each other well.  I really appreciated the strong faith element, with an emphasis on the importance of prayer, knowing God is always with you, and that lying is never the way to go.  I felt the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly as it seemed her mom became understanding all of a sudden, even though Whitney really blew it.  This works well as a stand-alone, but her cousin Emily is featured prominently and a prior book was about her, which I haven't  read.  Overall, this story has a good message and an interesting story.  I think teenage girls would like this book!

I received a free ARC from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

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