Sunday, August 12, 2012

REVIEW: Driving Sideways by Jess Riley

Title: Driving Sideways
Author: Jess Riley
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: May, 2008
Genre: General Fiction
Rating: 8/10

Description: 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's Greatest Hits, and Driving Sideways becomes a hilarious and original journey of friendship, hope, and discovery.

My Thoughts: Driving Sideways by Jess Riley is yet another one of those books I acquired on a whim, added it to my "to be read" mountain with every intention of reading it quickly. Instead, it languished for years in the bottomless pit of my reading pile. With Driving Sideways, new to me author Jess Riley introduces us to Leigh Fielding, a dialysis patient who has recently received a kidney transplant and thereby a new lease on life.

I know it doesn't sound very appealing on the surface, but where this story really pulled me in and hooked me is when Leigh decides to hit the road, literally, on a road trip to visit her best friend, meet the kidney donor's family to thank them for the kidney and finally to track down the mother who abandoned Leigh and her brother when they were children.

Along the way, Leigh meets a teenage hitchhiker named Denise, who isn't all she seems but not completely in a bad way. The story is rich in pop culture references that gave me the real sense of being in the car with Leigh and Denise.

The story moved at a good pace, kept me plugged in and interested in what was going on and what was going to happen next. The characters were easy to get to know and felt realistic for their surroundings and place in the story. Don't make the same mistake I did. Get in the car and go on a road trip of your own to the bookstore to get this book. Every journey begins with the first step and I am sure this is one ride you will thoroughly enjoy.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)