Joyride by Anna Banks Review!

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.

     The beginning of Joyride really pulled me in. We obviously get to know a little about the characters before we see where the plot is going, and these characters are strong and interesting enough to pull you into the story. Carly was so awesome. Right from the beginning, I was fascinated by her and rooting for her. She seemed shy and reserved but she was a spitfire behind all that! She was also a hardworking and driven girl that anyone would cheer for. Carly had to work nonstop just to raise money for her family, and it really pulled my emotions into the story.
     Arden's story also pulled at my heart strings. Arden was trying to deal with what happened to his sister, and he slowly started opening up about it. That wasn’t the only thing about Arden that sparked my interest. He was also likeable, funny, and awkward. It was hard not to like him.  He is the kind of character that had a magnetism about him from the very start, and you just want to know more about him. Him and Carly were polar opposites and that's what made this book so fun and interesting. Plus, when he said "Do I have you like you have me?" I swear my heart melted.
     Then there was Sheriff Moss, who I hated with a fiery passion. A character as sinister and underhanded as him was easy to hate. But his character was important because he showed that sometimes, people in positions of power can let it go to their head and corrupt them. He was an interesting and complex character....to bad I didn't like him.
     The plot of this book was another plus for me. We get to see both sides of how two different people live and it's really interesting and true. Joyride is also about how unfair life can be. Carly was running herself ragged day and night to make ends meet and sometimes not even that, and then Arden was letting his grades go down the toilet and going out at night pulling pranks. Of course, this book was also about the fact that no one is ever without trouble, tragedy, or issues and it's nice to see a book acknowledging that. There are so many surprises and shocking events that happen in this book that I just had to set the book down and think about what happened. I loved how Joyride wasn’t just about normal teenage problems; it was about the unique problems that some teens like Carly have to go through. It was about striving to provide for your family, being under the thumb of dirty cops, and dealing with the rest of the world working against you.
     Joyride allowed us to look into the lives of a semi-normal American and a semi-normal Mexican-American and the struggles that they had to go through separately and together. This was the kind of book that appeared to be a light and fluffy read, but once you got into it more, you began to realize that the book wasn’t so light and fluffy. With Joyride, the book you started with seems completely different from the one you ended with because the events that occurred in the book changed not only the character’s tone and attitude, but yours as well. I wish I could explain how great this book and its plot is, but you just have to read it for yourself.
     Also, the romance in this book will melt your heart. Arden was the kind of guy that protected those he loved and Carly was the kind of girl that loved with all her heart and did what she could to help those she loved. The little scenes between them where they opened up about their feelings kept me going in this book and their chemistry was great. Plus, the pranks were hilarious.
     I love books that make me laugh, make my heart melt, make me angry, and change my view on certain things and this book definitely did that. I give Joyride five out of five stars.


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