Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Miles Between (YA)

The Miles Between. Mary E. Pearson. 2009. Henry Holt. 272 pages. 

I was seven the first time I was sent away. This raised eyebrows, even among by parent's globe-trotting friends, and I was brought back home in short order. Rumors are embarrassing, you know? A nanny was employed, but that only partially solved their problem. I was still in the house. I was seen and heard. When I turned eight years old, it seemed reasonable enough to send me off again. And they did. They never kept me at any one place for long. 

Des (Destiny) Faraday, our narrator, doesn't have many friends. Then again, she doesn't want any friends. Readers meet her on October 19th, a day that Des has come to dread year after year, though readers aren't quite sure why. Wanting to take control of her life, Des rips the page right off her calendar. Things seem to be off on a shaky start. Until she meets a stranger. Until she asks for one fair day in the universe. Until she finds a car with a running engine. Until she finds three companions that need escape from Hedgebrook Academy--a boarding school--just as much as she does. Can one day of freedom on the road change lives? Perhaps.

I enjoyed The Miles Between. It was emotional--very emotional in places. Though the novel only covers one day, there is so much growth and development. Destiny is changed by this day--and it's a wonderful thing to see. And the writing is lovely. I would compare it to Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, but I think The Miles Between is an easier read, a less-intimidating read.

There are so many different ways of being good. It's all about perspective. (35)

The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the story we are writing on it. (45)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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