The summer is finally here, and Pearl Nash is on a mission to save her slowly disintegrating friendship with a whirlwind end-of-year road trip that is definitely, absolutely, most positively going to solve all her problems.
Except, instead of her best friend Daisy’s feet on her dash, suddenly Pearl ends up stuck in the middle of the desert beside Obi Okocha, a boy with a mega-watt smile and an endlessly irritating attitude. Tasked with delivering him to the most epic end-of-year party ever, located in a beach shack in literal middle-of-nowhere woop woop, Pearl Nash is certain that nothing could be worse than this.
Add in a breakdown, multiple arguments, an AWOL nana and a kiss that was most definitely a huge mistake, and suddenly Pearl has the perfect ingredients for the perfect disaster.
One of my favourite books last year was Poppy Nwosu’s Taking Down Evelyn Tait (you can see my review here), so I was absolutely thrilled to here she had a new one coming out this year, and jumped at the chance to get an early copy. It’s not very often that a book arrives here and is read in the same week, but I just couldn’t wait to get into Road Tripping with Pearl Nash, and read it over just two days – it definitely lived up to all my expectations!
I have no idea how Nwosu does it, but there is something so warm and welcoming and comfortable about her writing for me. It is so easy to fall into the worlds she writes (it feels effortlessly familiar and Australian), and fall for her characters. Pearl and Obi were both divine, and it was such a pleasure to spend time with them, seeing them get to know each other better, and learning more about themselves as they went too. I felt like the book was quite tightly focused on just Pearl and Obi, which added to the intimacy of their story and friendship.
While there was less focus on peripheral characters, the ones there did still feel solid. In particular I think readers will enjoy Pearl’s nana, who I thought was really fun. I really liked the way that the parts of the book where Pearl and Obi were with her family or their friends looked at the complexity of relationships – the way small misunderstandings can blow out of proportion, that you don’t have to like someone all the time to love them, and the way people’s different perspectives mean they take away different things from the same interactions. They way Pearl’s view of herself and where she fits with her friends develops through the book was wonderful.
I might have mentioned this when I reviewed Taking Down Evelyn Tait, but gosh can Nwosu write a clean but steamy scene – THE TENSION! I could see the van windows steaming up before anyone even touched, let alone kissed! The way she captures feeling of anticipation, when someone is about to make a move is just exquisite.
If you’re after a gorgeous, heart warming contemporary #LoveOzYA read then I absolutely recommend checking this out!
Source: I received a free copy from Wakefield Press (Thank you!)
Category: Contemporary Australian YA
Format: Paperback (264 pages)