05 July, 2015

#BookReview :: Along the Way by Jacqueline Kolosov

Three friends, 33 days, and 500 miles walking the Camino de Santiago add up to one journey they’ll never forget

Piper Rose, Dani Shapiro, and Alexandra ‘Tessa’ Louise De Mille Morrow share a history that goes back to their preschool years in Chicago when their families were still intact. Now Piper lives in Evanston with her divorced dad, her estranged, unstable mother popping in and out of her life at random moments. Meanwhile, Dani’s been living in Santa Fe with a psychologist mom pregnant with her fiancé’s IVF babies. The blueblood Tessa resides on a prominent street in Boston and dreams of a romantic and well-heeled love story like that of her great-grandmother who went to France during World War II. Now that it’s the summer before college, these radically different friends decide to celebrate their history and their future by walking the legendary pilgrimage along the Way of St. James, from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago. Along the way, each young woman must learn to believe in herself as well as in her friends, as their collective journey unfolds into the experience of a lifetime.

Piper Rose, Dani Shapiro and Alexandra Louise De Mille Morrow have been friends from their preschool years. They have kept in touch and over the years, as things changed around them, they have been the constants in each other’s life. Now with each of them heading out to college, they decide to walk the legendary pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago. They have been preparing for it for almost a year and feel ready to take it head on. Yet what awaits them on the road is more than some random pilgrims. Will they finish the pilgrimage? And how will the experience change them?

The premise of the story attracted me right from the beginning. Most seventeen year olds are worried about fashion, boys and other agonies of being a teenager. Yet these three friends chose to take the pilgrimage as a way to celebrate their friendship and the step towards college. They knew that it would not be easy and that they would have to rough it out for over a month and yet, they were matured enough to consider it. It was so refreshing to see them take this step towards growing up. In the end, the pilgrimage brought them closer to themselves and in some ways closer to each other. They met a myriad of characters on the way who added to their individual stories and to the story as a whole as well. It was fun to see so many different and unique characters in the plot. 

The protagonists, Piper, Dani and Tessa themselves are quite clashing personalities themselves. They each come from different backgrounds and have very different dispositions, yet their friendship is what unites them. Tessa comes from a privileged background and is a hopeless romantic. She loves her grandmother’s love story that played out during the WWII and hopes to find that kind of love for herself. Dani is a shy bookworm who is also struggling to accept the fact that her mother is having another baby, so late in life through IVF. Piper has an outgoing nature that is just a cover for her angst from her broken family. It was interesting to see how each of these three go on a journey of self-discovery and decide to make changes in their own lives as a result of this trip. The author’s narration style is pretty good, especially the way she gave us three POVs of Piper, Dani and Tessa where each voice was distinctive. The characters were well developed and watching them mature through the book was a beautiful experience.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to all YA lovers.

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as three new titles from Luminis Books--we're calling them the Luminis Triplex Tour—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can't be ignored. And, hey, we've got prizes! 

About the prizes: 
Who doesn't love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Along the Wayby Vallie Lynn Watson, or an autographed copy of its tour mates, The Possibility of Snowby Al Riske, or Entrevoir by Chris Katsaropoulos. Here's what you need to do...
  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog
That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Triplex tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:
Jacqueline Kolosov walked the Way of St. James/Camino of Santiago in the summer of 1999 and had her own share of miracles (including a pony who stepped onto the path) as well as bed bugs and cyclists. Next to giving birth to her daughter, the pilgrimage is hands down the most exhilarating event of her life. Jacqueline has published several novels for teens including THE RED QUEEN'S DAUGHTER and GRACE FROM CHINA. She also writes short stories, essays and poetry. Her third collection of poems is MEMORY OF BLUE, and she has a short story collection, LOVE, THE BITTERSWEET forthcoming. A passionate animal lover, she lives with her family including 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and a 1/2 Andalusian mare in West Texas. Jacqueline teaches creative writing and literature at Texas Tech university. She loves to run, swim, and practice yoga. And like the friends in Along The Way, she is a bookworm, a clothes horse, and an avid (amateur) artist. Connect with Jacqueline on her website. Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field. Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN.

Learn more about Along the Way's tour mates HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, just me stopping by from the Novel Publicity team :) So glad you could be part of the tour, and thanks for your really thoughtful review! When you have a moment, if you could cross post your review to Amazon and/or Goodreads, I know the author will really appreciate it!