Places We’ve Never Been // Book Review

About The Book
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! Kasie West delivers another romantic and heartfelt story of family, first love, and how expanding your horizons can take you places you’ve never dreamed of.
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My Rating

I don’t know how Kasie West creates such amazing YA contemporaries, but I’m happy to read all of them! This book is a second chance romance, which isn’t my favorite, however I did enjoy West’s take on the trope. The main character Norah is a bit naive and weird, but being normal is vastly overrated. She wants to be a video game animator, which I loved. It is a career field that isn’t talked about a lot in books, so it was a cool addition to the story.

The plot follows Norah as she, and her family, embark on a 3 week road trip with some old friends. One being Skyler, who happens to be Norah’s former best friend. I found Skyler’s attitude towards Norah less than favorable. Some of the things he did rubbed me the wrong way, and were kind of cold. It goes to show that reconnecting with people isn’t easy.

In my opinion, he isn’t a fully developed character and is very wishy-washy. As I mentioned before, it was annoying how unfair to Norah he was throughout the book. She was nothing but nice to him, and still had a chip on his shoulder.

However, I liked that Norah called Skyler out on all his anger towards her. And, made him see that he changed as much as she did. The book touched on the topic of how sometimes we don’t show our true selves. That a lot of the time we forget who we are and change for others rather than for ourselves.

“Maybe we were our truest selves as children, before we let the expectations of everyone else dictate who we should be.”

But truthfully, the romance isn’t a huge part of the story. I know that is weird since it is a YA contemporary, yet I found it refreshing. Honestly, Norah and Skyler’s relationship developed naturally and they were immature teens.

I liked the sibling dynamic throughout the book. Norah and her brother acted like true siblings, and Skyler’s brother and sisters were likable characters as well. I loved Norah’s best friend Willow, because she was funny and understanding. Also, there is a lot of fun video game references in the story.

Nevertheless, there were some things I didn’t much care for. Like Skyler’s character and all his secrets. There was a lot of hiding things, and secrets coming out by the end of the book. And none of the twists were all that surprising.

Overall, the book was enjoyable, just as I expected. Still, I would classify this as my least favorite of Kasie West’s books. It isn’t as memorable-able as some of her other work. But for me, it was a cute story with wonderful writing.

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Until The Next Chapter,

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1 year ago

I love road trip stories. Great review!

I'm All Booked Up
1 year ago

We enjoyed this one! Kasie West is one of our favorites.