The Miles Between
Mary E. Pearson
September 2009; Henry Holt Books for Young Readers; 978-0-8050-8828-1 (hardcover)
Summary: For Destiny, it's all about keeping her distance. Abandoned by her parents in favor of her younger brother, she won't let herself make friends or get comfortable at her boarding school. After all, she'll just have to move on, going to a new school at the whims of her parents and their lawyer, Mr. Gardian. When she unexpectedly gains a car, though, Destiny decides to go on a road trip, joined by three schoolmates. As they travel to her hometown, Destiny begins to see all the connections she has . . . and those that she doesn't.
Reminiscent of her earlier work The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson's new novel uses the classic road trip structure to explore friendships and family. The reader is sucked into the story, in spite of Destiny's distance and slowly-revealed unreliability as a narrator, as the truth about her past is discovered. In addition, the desire to have a fair day seems to speak to an essential teenage want; captured between childhood and adulthood, adolescents are slowly realizing that even though fairness isn't automatic, it is possible if you fight for it. Seeing the characters strive for one fair day, a day where everything is just and right, makes for an inspiring, compelling read.
As a side note, I can't help preferring the cover on the ARC I received to the final cover. The final cover seems more like a middle-grade novel to me. Take a look at the ARC cover, as seen for this audiobook version, and weigh in with your thoughts!