Review: Places We’ve Never Been

Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they’d talk all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer.

But when Skyler finally arrives, he seems…like he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks.

An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more?

I love a good “former best-friends reconnect and fall in love” story, and this one did not disappoint. I even loved the setting of it taking place on a road trip, RV-style with family.

Norah’s enthusiasm to reconnect with Skyler dies a little when he’s very aloof toward her when their families meet up to leave for the trip. It gets even more uncomfortable for her when the teens all stay on one RV together while their moms stay in the other. I have to give credit to Norah that she didn’t let her hurt show much in front of him. Skyler’s younger sister, Paisley, was her saving grace for a lot of the trip, as she wanted to hang out with Norah and even played a role in Norah and Skyler becoming friends again later in the trip.

Another part of Norah’s character that I liked was her passion for video game design. As I’ve mentioned in the past, any female character who’s into doing “what the boys do” is a character trait I love because it’s not a man’s world anymore. Video games are something she’s always been passionate about, something that Skyler remembers from their childhood, and it was cool to see that it was something she still loved in late adolescence.

The book was filled with great side characters, including both Skyler and Norah’s families, as well as Norah’s best friend, Willow. Willow and Paisley provided a lot of the humor for this book, which I loved. I wish there had been more of Norah and Skyler’s older brothers in the book, but they, of course, were doing their own thing. 

Lastly, the travel aspect of this book was a fun setting. They were always going to different places and each one held a significant moment for Norah and Skyler’s repairing relationship. 

This was a great contemporary YA read, which isn’t surprising as it’s a Kasie West book. Her books are always good (at least what I’ve read of hers so far) and I’m looking forward to reading more of hers.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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