Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy ( web | tweet )
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on April 28, 2015
Target audience: Middle grade
Keywords: grandparents, remarriage, cousins, new friends, popularity, parents & secrets
Summary: After Grandpa Howe and Grandma Tess get married, Lana and Cassie are invited on their road trip honeymoon. Lana is hoping to embark on a brand new friendship, but Cassie has other ideas — she’s addicted to keeping up with everyone at home. Will this new family survive this trip as the girls get to know each other and still find themselves dealing with stresses from home?
Looking back, it would have been a dream come true to be invited on a vacation with my grandparents sans parents. Grandparents are just the coolest, aren’t they? They understand us in a way that are parents don’t, right? (The spoiling part isn’t so bad either.) So Grandpa Howe and Grandma Tess inviting Lana and Cassie along for their honeymoon road trip sounds like total bliss. Grandpa Howe is Lana’s grandpa and Grandma Tess’s is Cassie’s grandma so it’s a nice way to bring their families together after their wedding. Out on the open road with dessert for breakfast and cool, artsy stops along the way (even a Broadway-themed restaurant) — what could possibly go wrong?
Well…while Lana is completely gung-ho for the trip and looking forward to spending time with her grandparents, Cassie is a bit of the opposite. She’s concerned about her status with her popular friends. If she’s not available to them, how will she remain important? Her solution is to stay permanately attached to her cell phone, much to her grandmother’s chagrin. Lana does her best to stay on Cassie’s good side but it gets tough when she feels like Cassie is constantly putting her down to make her friends look better. All the while, Lana is sure her parents are keeping something from her. She’s worried something is wrong with her mom and being in a car for so many hours on end, has her imagination soaring to new heights.
It’s true some girls are just not meant to be friends — as much as one side tries, as much as it seems like it should be the case. Lana was an old soul while Cassie was concerned about parties and makeup and boys. They aren’t exactly in the same place when the trip starts. Jealousy also becomes a factor when Cassie sees how close Grandma Tess and Lana have grown to one another. Who can blame her? For the first time, her special relationship with her grandmother doesn’t feel like it’s just meant for her, and when it seems like no one else on your family is on your team, it hurts even more.
But maybe… just maybe each of the girls provide a much needed balance for the other.
It was so refreshing to read a book based on relationships with grandparents, and, like I’ve come to expect from her, Terra Elan McVoy injected her thoughtful writing into this young, wobbly friendship — complete with spot-on observations of technology and how it can take us out of the moment and how it feels as a being young and left out of the grown up stuff. The summer always feels like a time of new beginnings, and I so enjoyed watching a new family make fantastic memories and two very different girls learn to relate to each other. I sure hope they scrapbooked about it when they got home.
P.S. If you like grandparent road trip books (and a box of tissues), be sure to add Walk Two Moons to your reading lists.
An early copy of this book was provided by the publisher.