Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson

Earlier this week my little girl went to bed early, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed sleep. My nighttime ritual always includes reading, so I picked up my Advanced Reader Copy of Mary E. Pearson’s newest novel that's due out in September, The Miles Between. The last book I read my Ms. Pearson, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, was one of my favorites of last year, and I should have learned my lesson based on the all-nighter I pulled to finish that one. But I didn’t, and my plan to go to bed early ended the minute I opened up the book and read the first chapter of The Miles Between.

It’s October 19th, and teenager Destiny Faraday is beginning what appears to be just another normal day at one of the many boarding schools she’s attended since her parents decided they didn’t want her around when she was a young girl. However, that soon changes when Destiny meets a substitute calculus teacher after breakfast who asks her what she wishes. She says she would just like one fair day and almost immediately happens upon a car with the engine running. Just knowing that she is meant to take the car, she is soon on the road trip of her life with three classmates. Along the way, coincidence, magic, or maybe just pure fate turn it into a truly fair day for all four of the teens, and Destiny is finally able to begin healing from her parent’s abandonment.

First, I want to say how thankful I am for young adult authors like Mary E. Pearson. For the past few months I've been lamenting the poor quality and silliness of nearly every new young adult book I've read this year. Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls and now Pearson's The Miles Between have restored my hope that there are still high-quality, well-developed books being written for teens. It seems though that you have to read a lot of not-so-good stuff before you find the good ones.

Destiny Faraday is a character that I immediately liked from the very beginning of the book. It's apparent that she's been deeply hurt because she tries very hard not to let herself or other people get close to her. But she puts on a front and acts like everything's fine. Her inner dialog is funny and snarky and touching all at the same time. Destiny's classmates are also likable and quirky in their own ways. Even the annoying Mira won me over midway through the book. The road trip is filled with adventure and funny coincidences that I think many teens will enjoy. But along with the funny moments are bittersweet moments and heartbreaking moments.

While I was on the journey with Destiny and her friends, I smiled, I laughed, I snorted, I cried, and was not sad at all that I had missed a couple hours of sleep to take part in the journey. Mary E. Pearson is a true asset to the world of young adult literature, and her beautiful, powerful, and well-thought-0ut writing has made me a true fan.

More Info:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805088288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805088281
  • Source: ARC from publisher


  1. I would love to take a road trip right now with Destiny while my little C is napping!
    Thanks for the recommendation and good luck with your spring/summer potty training too!!!

  2. I really enjoyed The Adoration of Jenna Fox and had no idea there was a new one coming out!! Can't wait.

  3. i really loved the adoration of jenna fox. it was so intriguing considering my name is jenna fox :) haha.. i loved it.