Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Format Read: Hardback
Description from Goodreads: A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are son 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.
I'd been excited for JOYRIDE ever since I saw ARCs start popping up. I was unfamiliar with Banks' previous work, but thanks to seeing so many of her fans getting excited for the standalone, I too got excited.
I enjoyed this story. Carly is the goody-goody type girl, who never wants to do anything out of line, which I could really relate to (I follow the rules and schedules to a tee), and Arden is the kid who girls like us generally despise. Reckless and carefree and trouble-causing. Watching their friendship grow and develop was a blast, especially as it turns to something deeper, and the conflicts ensue. Arden and Carly both have their demons, and though I wasn't expecting a certain connection between them, it did make for interesting reading. You'll know what I'm referring to once you read it.
JOYRIDE is a 3.5 star review from me. It was good, and I liked it, but it wasn't one of my favorites, and there were some things that I noticed flaw-wise and couldn't help but let bug me. If you like a good friendship-turns-romance, and books with diverse characters with issues that pop up due to their heritage, this is for you.