Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Joyride by Anna Banks

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. 
First Line: "Mr. Shackleford shuffles in the front door of the Breeze Mart, jingling the bells tied to a velvet string on the handle."

Review: Joyride was such a refreshing read in the Young Adult Contemporary genre, it had diversity, a sweet fun romance and it also dealt with issues you don't see much of such as immigrants, their struggles, and racism.

I connected with both Carly and Arden instantly. Carly likes to be unnoticed she doesn't want to be "seen" so she does everything to stay under the radar but when Arden Moss comes crashing into her life and "sees" her I mean really sees her for who she is, not the girl she portrays at school he can't help but want to be her friend and ask her to be his sidekick in his late night pranks.

I loved Arden instantly, how can you not. Yeah, he was your typical rich kid who got all the girls but he was so much more than that and so broken. He lost his sister and blames his dad for it all (which he has every right to, if you want to talk about an uncaring image concerned racist asshole Sherriff Moss is your man) Arden hasn't truly healed after what happened to his sister, he has a lot of anger and regret that he is dealing with. Carly, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of what she shows the world, the girl is ballsy, strong and determined. She is trying to raise enough money to bring her parents and siblings into the country so she works endless hours, I'm talking about two jobs which include a graveyard shift just to help her brother Julio save up so they can pay someone to bring her parents into the country illegally after they were deported.

Arden is just going through the motions and Carly is working herself into the grave.  Plain and simple both Carly and Arden are not living.

The romance between the two took awhile, Carly hated Arden right off the bat because of how they officially met and it took Arden a good minute to convince her to at least be his friend and after that it was just a matter of time until they realized how amazing the other one is. Arden was awesome in the romance department he wasn't an ass to her or going hot and cold, he was genuinely a sweet guy. There was so many laugh out loud moments between the two I loved it. Things obviously don't stay uncomplicated between them, about the 60% mark Banks really dives into the other half of the story which had to do with illegal immigrants and the racism and stereotypes that go along with it.

There was a point in the book where I officially did not like Julio or Carly's parents. I really felt that there is no reason a sixteen-year-old should have to work the hours she works and constantly be told to not worry about school and just work, work, work to raise the thousands of dollars they need to bring her family over. She is the child, her parents should have never asked this of her. The amount of pressure they put on her was not okay and I'm glad Carly started to realize that as well with the help of Arden.

I wanted to give the book five stars, but I felt the ending was wrapped up a little too neatly for a book like this, but that's just me. Overall an awesome read with two loveable characters. I actually want more of the two, I just wasn't ready to leave Arden and Carly when I was finished with Joyride which I read in one sitting.

Memorable Quotes

"Carly, you pulled a gun on me the first time I met you. I don't think 'normal' is in the cards for us." - Arden

"I'm not worried about heaven or hell really. I am worried about jail though. Jail doesn't delight me." - Carly
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