Sunday, 4 January 2009

Teen Novel

Finished January 4
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Chris Collins decides to take the summer before college and bicycle from his home in West Virginia to the Pacific coast. He plans to go with his best friend Winston. Win is from a wealthy family, but has no real family life, unlike Chris.
The two young men work their way west, scamping (their name for camping that takes place anywhere except a campground). They meet interesting people, stay interesting places, and grow as people.
At one point, near their goal, Win deserts Chris and Chris never catches up with him. Chris is angry at first and then resigned and returns home to West Virginia and then to college in Atlanta. Win, however, never shows up, and Win's father tries to pressure Chris into giving him information about Win's whereabouts.
I found this story one that I really connected with, perhaps because I had a similar experience. When I was in my early twenties, I went on an adventurous trip with another woman, who I considered my best friend at the time. We had many interesting adventures and met interesting people, but we also split up at one point, when she decided to stay somewhere while I kept travelling. Like Chris, my trip was a life-changing one, but I'd forgotten some of those lessons, and it was nice to be reminded.

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