Leila was just a random girl in a red car who was driving across the country (from Louisiana to Alaska) to see the Northern Lights. But, to the people who she met along the way, Leila was also a huge help. Well… Her interaction with Hudson could actually be construed as less than helpful, but she definitely helped the rest of the people she met along the way! I like how the story was broken down into five distinct sections, like short stories, since the other characters that Leila interacted with didn’t cross over at all. These adventures were five different episodes in her life, if you will. I also appreciated the fact that, though the interactions were life-changing for the people she met, Leila often left feeling just as lost and confused as when she first arrived. I mean, it just felt so much more genuine to me that Leila *didn’t* have all the answers. Because, who does?
I’ve heard that a lot of people are comparing this book to John Green’s books, especially An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns. While I recognize that there is a road trip and a quirky, female lead character who shakes up people’s realities, I reject the notion that any quirky, realistic YA novel must be a knockoff of a John Green book! I think this book was my favorite “summer vacation read,” since there was plenty of adventure, lot’s of laughs, and it ended on a hopeful note… It’s just too bad I didn’t remember to review it until November!