Review Detail

 
Young Adult Fiction
(Updated: October 09, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Going Places

GOING PLACES by Kathryn Berla is a coming-of-age novel that follows Hudson Wheeler through his senior year of high school. He only needs two classes to graduate, so he has plenty of free time to chase the edgy, art girl, run his two businesses, and start his own graphic novel. His life is unconventional, but then again, it’s been that way since his dad died in Iraq.

When his dad passed, Hudson thought his opportunity to be someone important did too. Instead of fighting that notion, he developed firm, nontraditional plans for the future that go unchallenged until he meets Mr. Pirkle, the old recluse, and Fritzy, the athletic girl who could kick his butt. With their help, Hudson begins to reexamine who he could be and starts to realize his full potential. He discovers there’s more than just hope for himself. He is indeed going places.

This book fully exceeded my expectations. After reading the jacket copy, I was prepared for a bland, standard, run-of-the-mill story, but what I got instead was a colorful and vibrant slice of life. GOING PLACES is funny, brash, heartfelt, mysterious, gripping, poignant, and human. It is everything you would want from a tale about growing up, and then some. I spent most of the novel laughing out loud and finished it in tears. I felt every emotion on the spectrum, mainly because the characters mirrored real people so exquisitely.

There were multiples times that I was surprised by a character’s behavior, not because it wasn’t what someone would actually do in the real world, but because it wasn’t what authors would typically allow their characters to do in the book world. Kathryn Berla went there without being heavy-handed. She didn’t wallow in the drama, but instead pushed her characters onward as people do to themselves in real life. She also gave Hudson strong agency, which made him likable.

Overall, GOING PLACES strings together many different plotlines seamlessly. It deals with dark and difficult themes, while also highlighting the absurdity of being a teenager. It is a delightful novel and I feel privileged to have read it.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Follow la vida y legado of Pura Belpré, the first...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Remarkably You
New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller celebrates individuality...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Our Little Love Bug! (Heart-felt Books)
You're the precious gift we dreamed of. You...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bird Watch
From the author of the acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree!...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
What About Harry?
From New York Times bestselling illustrator Derek Anderson comes the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Roary the Lion Roars Too Loud (Wee Beasties)
Help little ones learn how to use their inside voices...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
It’s the year 2191 and the last known civilization hides...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Haunted
Clean slate. That's what Hendricks Becker-O'Malley's parents said when they...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Art of Losing
On one terrible night, 17-year-old Harley Langston’s life changes...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Beyond a Darkened Shore
The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
OverRun (The OverRuled Series, book 2)
TWO LIVES BOUND BY ONE LIE. Magic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Step-Spinsters
Once upon a time, in a land far, far...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Glamour of Midnight
Fae bounty hunter Loftin’s life depends on him finding...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just For Clicks
Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
i am Elephant, i am Butterfly
When sixteen-year-old Simone Wheeler is accepted into the elite Camp...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Fairest Son
 
4.0
"A well-written and unique take on an old tale. The Story: The prince of the Seelie court is the..."
EVERY BOY IS A BOOK
 
5.0
"I loved this story so much I didn’t want to stop reading... I wish this book never ended! It’s such..."
EVERY BOY IS A BOOK
 
5.0
"Every Boy is a Book is the first title I've devoured and loved in 2019. Awesome is not a big..."
Dragon's Awakening
 
4.0
"When Kaylee goes on a date and the guy tries to make a move on her, she accidentally calls on..."
Meet Me There
 
4.0
" A fun, sweet romance. The Story: In Meet Me There follows Ashlyn and Luke, two people who couldn't..."
Meet Me There
 
4.0
"'Meet Me There' by Judy Corry follows main characters Luke and Ashlyn. They don't get along too well, especially since..."
The Fontre (Chronicles of Lashai Book 2)
 
5.0
"Format: Paperback As a mother of three young children it is very hard to find time to read. This is..."
Reactive: A YA Dystopian Romance (The Elite Trials Book 1)
 
4.0
"The story: Lune Tatum, the adoptive daughter of this dystopian world’s Supreme Elite, wants out. Out of the walled..."
The Fontre (Chronicles of Lashai Book 2)
 
5.0
"I loved it! I'm so delighted to have gotten to read the 2nd book in this series! If you love..."
The Fontre (Chronicles of Lashai Book 2)
 
5.0
"I was hooked from the beginning and it had my attention all the way through. Great book! "
 
5.0
"This is like no other YA I have ever read. You have Gods, Demigods, a game, and high school. Couldn't..."
 
5.0
"The gods know that no one plays games better than teens. R. Caine High School combines gods, games with a..."
The Secret Lives of Princesses
 
4.0
"THE SECRET LIVES OF PRINCESSES brings elements of Aladdin (one of my favorite fairy tales) into today's society. Jasmine has..."
 
5.0
"Reading for the next book! Got me guessing. Page turner just went to fast. I couldnt put it down. If..."
Zero Sum Game - Book 2 of the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures
 
5.0
""I crack my knuckles and shake out my fingers. To quote The Grey, 'Once more into the fray.'" Sidonie..."
 
5.0
"As if High School was not nightmareish enough, now let's put you in a game. No you do not get..."
The Namarielle (Chronicles of Lashai Book 1)
 
5.0
"I love the budding love story mixed in with the evil that is happening around them, it gives the readers..."
 
5.0
"If Victoria Danann writes it; I'll read it! She's so talented at world building and this is no exception..."
 
5.0
"But and read in one sitting - totally possible and highly probable!"
The Step-Spinsters
 
4.3
"You think you know the story of Cinderella and her evil step sisters but you don’t know the whole story...."