In high school and university, we’ve all had friendships that have gone sideways. We’ve all done things we shouldn’t have, and we’re all fighting our own uphill battles. Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham, is one of those ‘coming of age stories’ that focuses on those lost friendships and individual growth.
Three girls, Tiernan, Alice and Summer, were inseparable best friends for five years. They had different personalities, but were best buds all the same. As kids, they hung out in Alice’s old pea green Volkswagen van for hours on end, making collages and obsessing over their favourite band, Level3, all while the van sat parked in the driveway. However, freshman year in high school approached and the girls soon grew apart. And, as art imitates life sometimes, so did Level3.
The story begins after high school graduation and Alice hears about a Level3 reunion tour on the radio. Despite not having spoken to her two ex best friends in four years, on a whim she buys three tickets and approaches both of the girls about a road trip to Texas to see the band. Tiernan and Summer are running away from their own demons, and decide to climb into the old Volkswagen with Alice and take a road trip to see their favourite group. Only nostalgia isn’t the driving force here; Tiernan and Summer are simply running away from their problems and Alice is providing the perfect outlet.
It’s funny, as this book resembles the plot of the movie Crossroads, I thought it would be predictable. But I was left pleasantly surprised by the constant adventure, turn of events and personal growth that happens throughout the story. The girls find themselves in some precarious situations, they laugh and they cry, and support each other’s goals. This is a story for any YA lover to read about growing up, making hard decisions, the power of friendship and forgiveness, and what it means to look forward.
I mean, wouldn’t we all like to be eighteen again and take one last road trip before real life begins?