Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Joyride by Anna Banks
by Anna Banks
June 2, 2015
288 pages

Goodreads Summary:
A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.


I'm always looking for stories that have unique storyline and Joyride sounded like one. It touched on sensitive topics like immigration and mental illness which I found so relevant to today's world. While I couldn't say this book blew me away, it was an enjoyable read.

Carly was a down-to-earth character for me. She's smart and responsible even if the circumstances around her force her to act otherwise. I hated the way her brother and mother treated her - guilting her into working 24/7 and giving up all her earnings. I definitely understand family is important but their attitude and expressions just didn't sit right with me. Add to that they were blindly trusting a stranger, it was all very cringe-worthy. Carly was right to question El Libratador. Her solid mature thinking really resonated with me. "Or are we all just varying versions of bad people, some trying harder to be good?" (eARC p. 112).

I wasn't a big fan of Arden. Nothing about him stood out for me. I mean, I get that he was grieving over the lost of his sister and angry with his dad but nothing excuses the way he behaved. So selfish and immature putting Carly in dangerous positions. He was always regretting his decisions after it's too late.

Ultimately, not being a fan of Arden was probably why I couldn't get into the romance between Arden and Carly. It wasn't quite at insta-love level seeing as she disliked him at first but then the feeling turn fairly quickly into something more. I think the relationship was a little underdeveloped because of the progression of the story (see my point in the next paragraph).

It was tough for me to get through the last half of the book. I didn't find anything engaging. My biggest problem was how the story lacked smooth transition. I felt like there were holes in the plotline. One moment we're talking about something and the next moment it's done and over with and we're already doing something else. The story was jumpy if you will.

I wasn't a fan of the ending. It felt too open-ended with minimal resolution to one of the key point of the book. Despite all the issues I had with the story, I would put Joyride in the hands of readers would enjoy a casual fast read. Afterall, who doesn't enjoy an innocent prank now and then ;)

3 Cats
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.


  1. Open ended endings are so hard! I think I hate to love them. :P
    Great honest review Eileen!

    1. Hahaha sometimes I do too since it means there could be more! For this book though, it wasn't quite what I would've pictured for it :S

  2. Hmm I don't think I'll be picking this up anytime soon! Thank you for the wonderful, honest review! :)

  3. I'm sorry to see that this was just a decent book. I've heard good things about it, so I may still give it a read. Great review!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I've seen quite a few people loving it too! It definitely comes down to personal preference :) Thanks Krystianna~

  4. Thanks Eileen, great review. I too look for the unique premises.

    1. You're welcome Debbie~ You should give this one a try! You might like it more than I did :D

  5. Awww... I'm kind of sad to see you didn't love this one more. I'm really excited to see it myself. Open endings are the worst!! Great review! :)

    1. It's a personal preference thing so you might really like it! I'll be looking forward to your review :D

  6. I'm really not a fan of open endings either. I want a solid 'this is what happened'!!
    Great review ☺

    1. Right?!? To be honest, I can't even remember the ending that well haha ;P


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