Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner

 352 pages
Published: October 20th 2015 
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5
Wild meets Endless Love in this multilayered story of love, survival, and self-discovery.

McKenna Berney is a lucky girl. She has a loving family and has been accepted to college for the fall. But McKenna has a different goal in mind: much to the chagrin of her parents, she defers her college acceptance to hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia with her best friend. And when her friend backs out, McKenna is determined to go through with the dangerous trip on her own. While on the Trail, she meets Sam. Having skipped out on an abusive dad and quit school, Sam has found a brief respite on the Trail, where everyone’s a drifter, at least temporarily.

Despite lives headed in opposite directions, McKenna and Sam fall in love on an emotionally charged journey of dizzying highs and devastating lows. When their punch-drunk love leads them off the trail, McKenna has to persevere in a way she never thought possible to beat the odds or risk both their lives.
The Distance from Me to You is so incredibly good. I knew I had to read it the second I saw "Wild meets Endless Love." I mean, how can that be anything other than good?  It is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying, which makes this novel a huge winner.

Our main character, McKenna, decides to hike the Appalachian Trail...on her own. Yes, she's as cool as she sounds. The novel covers a lot of ground as far as feminism goes. We get to see this young woman do something "unexpected" and how society does not necessarily approve. I love to read stories about things that I know I'll never do in my life so following McKenna's journey was amazing. The setting was believable and rich, the journey had the perfect amount of danger and self-discovery, and the pacing was so perfect that I was at the edge of my seat the entire time.

The only thing I wasn't completely on board with was the romance. I didn't love it at first but I really liked the way it developed. Sam's story and his point of view add another layer to the story. McKenna and Sam are on the trail for different reasons so the way they come together and help each other out feels a little forced at first but blossoms into something that I haven't seen in YA.

If you're looking for a coming-of-age story set in the wild, definitely pick this up. 
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