I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Places We've Never Been by Kasie West
Published by Delacorte Press on 2022-05-31
Length: 329 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022, 2022 New Release Challenge, COYER 2022
A sweet and swoony contemporary Young Adult novel about a cross-country family road trip that puts one girl and her childhood best friend on an unexpected road to romance!
Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they'd talk all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer.
But when Skyler finally arrives, he seems...like he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks.
An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more?
Kasie West is a new, favorite author of mine. I first read her book P.S. I Like You last summer in one sitting. I loved the author’s writing style and the emotions she was able to convey into the characters. Because of this, I was so excited when I was given the opportunity to read an early copy of her newest release Places We’ve Never Been. It lived up to and exceeded all my expectations! This sweet friends to enemies to lovers story is full of heart, laughter, and tears.
Norah hasn’t seen Skyler since he and his family moved across the country when they were 14. When he first moved away, they talked constantly, but distance separated them and slowly their friendship dissolved. Now she is so excited to reunite with him as their family takes an RV trip up the West coast. Three full weeks to reignite their friendship, something Norah has missed every minute Skyler’s been gone. However, he doesn’t seem to be on board with this plan. Instead, he acts as if he barely knows her and only tolerated her. Is Norah remembering their relationship through rose colored glasses or is something else going on? She has three weeks in an RV to figure it out.
I absolutely loved this story! Norah is so much fun, even if she is a bit naive. Her excitement for this trip is evident in the first few lines of the book which in turn made me as the reader excited. Skyler’s ambivalence hurts Norah and in turn us as the reader. I was just as determined as Norah to suss out the problem. Unlike Norah, I figured it out as soon as they were forced to share space with one another. I adore these two. The shared history as friends works well as a basis for becoming something new. West writes their story so realistically. I found myself laughing, crying, and in general feeling all the same feelings Norah felt. It’s a refreshing read!
Overall, I loved Places We’ve Never Been. Summer is full of adventures, and what better way to start summer than taking a roadtrip with friends. While the story focuses mostly on Norah and her relationship with Skyler, both of their families are present and fully fleshed out. I adored Paige, Skyler’s little sister. She’s spunky and full of innocence at the cusp of young adulthood. She brings levity to the story. I also love that the moms are present and involved. It was fun getting to know these characters through Norah. If you are looking for a sweet summer read, I highly recommend it.