After the books I’ve been reading lately it was really refreshing and nice to get back to my favorite kind of ya fiction-rock solid, old school, realistic. It’s got relationship stuff in it, coming of age, family dynamics, a group of kids, and a road trip. And it’s Canadian to boot!
Rainey has been raised by Greg, her single father, because when she was just 6 months old her mother took off and was never heard from again. Recently Greg has gotten remarried to the gorgeous, kind, funny, too-good-to-be-true Lynda. Rainey will be spending her whole summer on a special trip that only 6 teens in Toronto are selected for each year-Westex. The Westex kids will be travelling across all of Canada, learning about the history and geography as they camp, hike, explore, and have wilderness experiences.
One thing I really liked about this book was that although one of the other kids was kind of a pain, for the most part the kids quickly formed a tight unit and all really liked each other. As might be expected there are pairing offs, and there is drama and tension with Carlos, the bus driver, who ends up having a fascinating backstory. There is wilderness adventure and excitement (bears!). And there is Rainey’s big struggle of the summer–should she meet the mother who ran away and has revealed herself finally?? Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to mention-Rainey has a prosthetic leg.
This was a fantastic story. It had a lot in it, but it didn’t feel too long or cluttered. I also really enjoyed all the Canadian history/geography info that can’t help but be included. A terrific read! Also, #20 in my challenge-only 5 more to go!