Alice, Tiernan and Summer used to be best friends but they broke up in freshman year over a quarrel. Now, in the summer after graduation, they decide to get back together and drive 2,000 miles to the reunion concert of the boy band they used to love.
I have mixed feelings on Reunited. The first few chapters were the ones I liked better, while towards the end the book definitely started to become boring and predictable. I’m a big fan of storied centered on friendship, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. My favourite bits were definitely the friendship, the road trip, and the way the girls were nostalgic about the past and at the same time worried and excited about the future.
However, I’m not sure I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s not in their teens. As you might know I read a lot of YA, and I don’t mind reading about characters who are younger than me, but in this case the girls wasted so much time arguing over the kind of issues that only bratty teens consider important. The whole book felt somewhat immature. Alice in particular frustrated me more and more as the book went on. She’s supposed to be the organized, anal-retentive one, but in the end she’s just the biggest ditz. If she typed a timetable detailing how many hours and miles they’ll have to drive every day to reach the towns where she planned to stay the night, and if she checked three different weather websites for those towns, how come she didn’t bloody book accommodations in advance?
Towards the end of the book especially, it felt as if the girls kept screwing things up, were saved by a really contrived stroke of luck, and then managed to screw things up again anyway. Rinse and repeat. I felt like there wasn’t any character growth at all — yes, the girls made up in the end, but they remained the same brats that they were in the beginning. It feels like a shame, given how much potential they had.
The other thing that bugged me to no end were the constant allusions to the Winter Wonderland Dance, which is when Alice, Tiernan and Summer stopped being friends. It came up in every single chapter but the author never elaborated and what precisely happened. I guess that since the end of the book is so predictable, she felt that she needed something suspenseful. But the big revelation about the Winter Wonderland Dance is that (spoiler!) had a row because Tiernan told Alice that Summer said that her new boyfriend didn’t like her. Or at any rate something as underwhelming as that, to be honest I wasn’t paying much attention.
It’s not a bad book, there definitely were some entertaining scenes and it made me smile several times. But it definitely emphasizes the Young in YA, rather than the Adult.