Alex is an angry teenager, and for good reason. The only thing his mom ever seems to be interested in is advancing her political career, and his dad hasn’t been around [or even been in touch] since he was a toddler. More than anything, Alex wants to get away from his over-bearing mother and find his long-lost father. Enter Lester… Lester is an old man whose health is failing; he can no longer live on his own, but he doesn’t want to live in a nursing home either. In an attempt to find a happy medium, Lester has agreed to be the test patient for a new program that will pair an elderly person with a foster family of sorts. Alex is pretty certain his mom is only hosting Lester to look good, politically, and his suspicion is confirmed almost immediately. Rather than trying to work things out when she discovers that Lester has vastly different opinions from hers, she decides to back out of the deal.
Feeling guilty about Lester’s impending eviction, Alex comes up with a plan. He proposes that he and Lester take a roadtrip! If all goes as planned, Lester will get one last chance to visit his sister in Alabama and Alex can find and confront his father in Florida. While the two don’t have much in common, the roadtrip gives them plenty of time to get to know one another and to form a unique bond. Even though a relationship/situation like this isn’t exactly probable, it came off as very possible. Definitely one of the best coming of age stories I’ve read in a while, though I feel compelled to warn people this is NOT a “clean read” in case that matters when they’re selecting books to read/purchase.