Book Review: Driving Sideways, by Jess Riley

Driving SidewaysDriving Sideways by Jess Riley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Driving Sideways, by Jess Riley
★★★ and a 1/2 (rounding up to 4)

Synopsis: Leigh Fielding wants a life. Seriously. Having spent the past five years on dialysis, she has one simple wish: to make it to her thirtieth birthday. Now, thanks to the generosity of the late Larry Resnick and his transplanted kidney, it looks like her wish may come true.
With her newfound vitality (and Larry's kidney) in tow, Leigh hits the road for an excursion that will carry her from Wisconsin to California, with a few stops in between: Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the Rockies, Las Vegas--and a memorable visit to thank Larry's family for this second chance.
Yet Leigh's itinerary takes a sudden detour when she picks up seventeen-year-old hitchhiker Denise, a runaway with a bunch of stories and a couple of secrets. Add to the mix a long-lost mother, a loaded gun, an RV full of swingers, and Hall and Oates' Greatest Hits, and Driving Sideways becomes a hilarious and original journey of friendship, hope, and discovery.
In A Sentence: A fun and comfortably quirky novel.
My Thoughts: This was a decent read, really. I liked Leigh's quirkiness and felt that I could relate to her in many ways. That's always a plus, to be able to relate to the main character. The other characters were enjoyable as well: Wes, Jillian, Denise, they were all fun to read about. I also really liked how the plot went in unexpected twists and turns while at the same time traveling it's fairly predictable main route.
The plot had many fun moments. Some were pleasant to read about, some were hilarious, and some were downright outrageous. It had it's eye-opening moments as well, where things don't go as planned and subsequently change Leigh's outlook on life. Overall, this whole book was an interesting read.
There are some slight downsides to this novel, however. The writing is good, but not great, and sometimes it seems a little jerky. There were a couple times where I wondered where the author was going with the story, but in retrospect, the plot's pace made sense.
Overall, this is certainly a good story that goes in surprising, and sometimes amusing directions. I would say it's a light, but not too light, read. I had fun with it and I think generally, most readers would too.

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