ARC Review: Going Places

Hello people! How are you? I am really relaxed right now and full of positivity, I am full of ideas and I want to blog, blog, and blog some more, there are a lot of books and tv series and just stuff that I want to share, but I am just back from a short vacations, so yes, I am full of energy. I don’t know if this would last but I hope it would last at least a little bit more!
Anyway, I am here to talk about another book that I got thanks to NetGalley and that was quite a pleasant surprise, so… let’s go!

Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Going Places
Kathryn Berla 
March 20th, 2018
Page Count:

Hudson Wheeler is a teen for whom everyone had high expectations, but since his father was killed when he was ten, he’s felt unmotivated to pursue much other than his art. During his senior year, he decides to home school, thinking he will get to relax and focus on his two lazy businesses. But instead, he experiences love and rejection for the first time; meets an athletic girl who shows him by example what it means to be a man; and solves the painful mystery of the WWII vet whose poignant plight forces Hudson out of the comfort zone of boyhood. 

I’ll start to speak about the book in a second, I promise, but I want to celebrate because I am writing the review before the book is going out, for once! So it’s possible for me, too! I wasn’t so convinced about it because I manage to be always late, but not this time!


And ok… about the book! This is a fast reading and it’s not too demanding, and yet it deals with some important and delicate topics, like the loss and the war, for example. It’s a story about being young, dealing with first love, with friendship and with new responsibilities, and it’s about being old, with the loneliness that can entail but also with the friendship and relationships that are there, and the reality about living with your choices, both in the past and in the present.

It’s a short book, and it’s also a fast reading, and yet we have so much in these pages: we have a good MC, Hudson, that try to find a place for his own… he’s quite mature for his age, but he has yet to find his place in the world and live up to the expectations others put on your shoulders is not an easy task. Also, the life has expectations on her own: every choice and every action has consequences, and you have to live with that, even when you didn’t think about them in the first place (for example Hudson is an enterprising kid and the Distress Dial is a good idea, he set up a service for older people that can call him for everything that is just less than an emergency. Great idea, but the reality of it, well.. it reveals to be quite different from what he thought when he started it!). And then there is the first crush, his first love (I wasn’t a fan of Alana, but I think it may be the intent of the author… to represent the first love with all the good and all the bad wrapped up from the start) and some new friends, that he found in some uncommon places.

But we don’t have just Hudson, we have Alana Love, his crush, and Fritzy, who is a giant of a girl and has the habit to call people for their surname and not their name, who is honest to a fault, almost, and yet it’s as good a friend as you can find, I liked her character a lot and I’d like to see more people like her around me. And then we have the client of Distress Dial, the older people. And it’s quite unique. We don’t read many YA with old persons in them and, foremost, we don’t see a lot of books with them as real protagonists. And here we have the second big subplot of the book: if on one hand, we have the youth and all its problems, on the other hand, we have the old age, and I liked the way in which the author speak about it. Mr. Pirkle is really well developed as a character, and with him, we feel the importance of the past, and the problematics that are sadly typical of the old age, but not just of that. We read about a lot of things in this book, about dementia too, for example, about the war, about the loneliness and the importance to reach out.

I liked this book a lot, because it surprised me in a really good way. I liked Hudson, I liked his voice and I liked him as MC, and I liked also the secondary characters, or at least some of them, Fritzy and Mr. Pirkle over all, and I liked that it’s a really non-conventional coming of age tale. But there were some things that I didn’t love, to be honest.

At the beginning of the book we read about Hudson that tries to convince his mother to let him be homeschooled and the mother just agreed (ok, she’s not right away in with the idea, but she doesn’t struggle, she just gave in and then we don’t see her around a lot… we almost never see her, and that really bugged me. I know that the book is not about mother-son relationships, but we’re speaking about a teen who lives with the mother so, yes, I would have liked to see her around a little bit more!). Another thing that wasn’t quite right for me was the part about Mr. Scolari. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoiler something for you, but really, the part about Scolari’s private life was really uncalled for. It didn’t add something to the story, it’s not a mystery book and it was totally unrelated to the rest. That part really bugged me because I can’t see a reason for it, and I have tried.

So… I was quite surprised by this book, I enjoyed the reading, even if yes, it’s not a perfect book, and I loved the originality of it. So if you want to read an original YA, a tale of coming of age that is different but not demanding, well, this is the right book for you!

rating3and half!

So… that’s all. What about you? Did you read this book? Or are you planning to read it? Let me know!
Happy reading!

3 thoughts on “ARC Review: Going Places

  1. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    Great review Susy… I LOVED Fritzy too and want a friend like her… actually I DO have one like her… my writing partner, lol, so I felt right at home in this book. I actually LOVE how Berla mashes genres and adding that bit of mystery with Mr. Scolari was great for an unexpected dash… but that is the fun of her books to me! I can see why it was out of sync to you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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