Title: The Way Back to You
Authors: Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott
Date Started: January 11
Date Finished: January 14
Format: Hardcover from local library
Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend Cloudy is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken. Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.
As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they’re barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot of out character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again. Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.
With hundreds of miles in front of them, a stowaway kitten, and a list of people who are alive because of Ashlyn, Cloudy and Kyle just may find their way to back to her…and to each other.
When I first started The Way Back to You, I didn’t like it. The pacing was slow, the woe is me vibe that I was getting from this novel was depressing and Kyle and Cloudy weren’t exactly good characters. But after what they’d been through, I guess their circumstances were understandable. However, when the true reason for Cloudy and Kyle’s awkwardness was revealed this book really started to flow. As you know, I love books about road trips and I love books where the love interests start out as friends. Although, in Cloudy and Kyle’s case they really weren’t friends, they were just friendly because of Ashlyn. As the road trip unfolds and they spend more time together – along with a black kitten who doesn’t seem to be the most logical of car companions – all the awkwardness that built up between them when Ashlyn was alive disappears.
When they visit each donor recipient, Kyle gets more open, while Cloudy gets more closed off. It isn’t until they get to Sedona – Kyle’s old hometown – that things between the two get interesting even if it might have been helped along by a couple of cookies. I may or may not have been squealing the whole time they were in that jail cell in Bedrock City. I won’t tell.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A slow start that turned into a really good book about finding a new norm after a tragic loss.
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