“The colours of the house were dreary and grey with harsh lightting and dark shadows. The house seemed to reflect Anna’s mood and how she felt about being exiled to live with a father she never saw.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
When I was approached by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd. with the question if I wanted to read and review Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers earlier this month, I immediately said yes because it sounded like an interesting short story. I really wanted to like this novel by Lara Pass. Unfortunately, I have to be honest and say I probably only finished this read so I could write a proper review about the problems I had with the story. First of all, Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers is supposedly a YA novel with teenagers fulfilling the roles as main characters. Nothing wrong with that, would you say, but the prose sounds painfully formal both for the target age and in the dialogue of the teenage characters themselves. And not only the tone is off, but the prose itself is quite annoying as well. I normally don’t add a lot of comments to my goodreads updates as I read, but in this case I had so many I decided to add them to my review:
As for the bright/wide/big blue/green eyes: if I counted correctly, they were mentioned about 30! times in 132 pages. A bit of an overkill and seriously annoying, if you ask me. Another thing that bothered me is the slow pace and the fact that nothing really happens until you’re about 65% into the story. I honestly think I wouldn’t have made it to this point if Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers hadn’t been an ARC, because the first part is painfully boring and slow to read. The last part of the story has more potential, but the action feels rushed and the ending doesn’t make a lot of sense. I have the feeling this story could have been a lot more interesting if the focus and prose would have been different… Because as it is, neither the prose, plot nor the characters convinced me.
After her parents separate Anna has been having trouble to settle down and make friends. Her mother doesn’t exactly have a stable life, and Anna decides to live with her dad for a time so she can focus on her school work. She doesn’t have a lot of contact with her dad because he is never around, so she feels quite lonely… But Anna convinced her mother she would be fine and promised to try and make friends at her new school. It’s not easy, but slowly Anna is starting to fit in and her new friend Holly helps to make her feel at home. Anna also meets a guy named Luke; annoying, but she cannot seem to get him out of her head. And when she decides to spend her Holidays at Holly’s place, things become really strange…
I was looking forward to this read and I really wanted to like Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers. Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding something positive about this short story. I couldn’t really connect to the characters both because of the formal prose and unnatural dialogue. The pace was slow and the plot basically didn’t exist until the last part of the story. The last part had a lot of potential, if only it would have been introduced earlier and elaborated more… All in all a very unsatisfying read that I wouldn’t recommend.