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Don't Stop Now Hardcover – June 7, 2011

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


…this novel has well-developed characters and clear insight into relationships….perfect vacation reading. (VOYA)

…readers in the mood for a vicarious summer fling will enjoy the ride. (BCCB)

Halpern delivers a summer road-trip novel with dark undertones, suggestive of a John Hughes film in its humor, pathos, and keen eye for the teenage mindset. (Publishers Weekly)

The dialogue sounds true without being crude and repetitive, and readers will enjoy narrator Lillian's sharp wit. (Kirkus Reviews)

In funny, easygoing prose, 16-year-old Anna writes letters while spending three difficult, involuntary weeks in a mental institution. … this is an appealingly comic cousin of Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. (Kirkus on Get Well Soon)

Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life. (VOYA on Get Well Soon)

Fans of everything geek will adore Jessie's induction into the world of nerds, one that includes the band geek lunch table, Dungeons & Dragons, and a genuinely fun-filled weekend in a field immersed in a medieval role-playing game. Halpern's story may not hold surprises, but readers aren't hoping for any; besides, Jessie's narration is the real draw... (The Horn Book on Into the Wild Nerd Yonder)

[The] narrative voice is unusually honest, and the at times bawdy dialogue is realistic and bitingly funny… (Kirkus on Into the Wild Nerd Yonder)

Halpern's descriptions of high-school cliques, particularly the punk posers and the D&D fanatics, are hilarious and believable, and characters who seem to fit particular stereotypes suddenly show unexpected traits. The story's theme could easily become clichéd, but this novel is particularly strong in showing how teen friendships evolve and sometimes die away, and how adolescents redefine themselves. (School Library Journal on Into the Wild Nerd Yonder)

About the Author

Julie Halpern is the author of Get Well Soon and Into the Wild Nerd Yonder, as well as the picture book Toby and the Snowflakes. In addition to writing, Julie is a middle-school librarian. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, lived in Australia for six months, and created a couple of zines before she started writing books, and realized she was and always has been a writer. She is married to the artist Matthew Cordell, and they live outside Chicago with their daughter and gloriously large Siamese cat, Tobin.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312643462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312643461
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Halpern lives with her husband, author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, their daughter, and their jumbo-sized Siamese cat in suburban Chicago. She enjoys spending her mornings watching Pee Wee's Playhouse with her daughter and her evenings watching Bravo reality shows with her husband. She also likes to read and do other stuff. You can visit her on the Web at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Valerie A. Baute on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lillian is somewhat friends with Penny, the troubled girl that has faked her own kidnapping. The FBI is even involved, and they seem to think Lil knows something about it. It could be because of the 3am message Penny left on Lil's phone. Either way, Lil grabs her best friend Josh, whom she happens to be majorly crushing on, and they take off on a cross-country car ride to Portland to find Penny. Of course they have to stop at all kinds of cheesy and corny places along the way, and possibly discover their true feelings for each other before Lil goes off to college and Josh goes off to... do whatever.

I love this author's writing style. She is definitely one of my favorites. "Into The Wild Nerd Yonder" is quite possibly my favorite book of all time. That being said, this book didn't quite compare to her other two. Yes, her writing definitely saved the book. It was easy and fun to read. Unfortunately, the story seemed all too familiar. The main character is in love with her best friend (read about 5 other books about this). Her kind-of friend fakes her own kidnapping (just read another, much more powerful book about this). Granted, that is more of a random side story. And of course the cross-country car trip (read at least 2 books about this as well!) Oh, and it is pretty obvious that Penny's boyfriend abuses her (also read at least 2 other, much more powerful books on this subject), but that is a side story as well.

I do have to say the ending wasn't quite what I expected, and that always makes me happy. If only this book weren't about so many powerful subjects that aren't addressed at all and didn't have so many cliches in it, plus one or two very unlikely coincidences. And random note, my cell phone would have been dead long before hers, even with only sending a few texts and making a couple phone calls.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Words cannot describe how much I loved each and every page of this novel! Julie's writing doesn't stop. The best way I can describe it is as if you were snapping your fingers fast. Everything moves on a beat! The book is based on two of my favorite subjects: ROAD TRIP and falling in love with your best friend. (And plus any author who talks about the movie Hiding Out is pretty much awesome.)

I ate up Lil and Josh's relationship with a spoon because once upon a time I was Lil. I got it. All those times Josh acted flirty without even realizing it. The way your heart starts to pound with every little graze. Always knowing that they want to be with you even if it may come off as strictly platonic. It couldn't have been more perfect. And Josh's personality was so freaking adorkable! You could see why Lillian had a thing for him, but mainly, and what Julie did so well was you saw exactly why these two were best friends.

To add on the layers that are already in this story, you have Penny. She's the real reason why Lillian and Josh take off on this quest of finding her. You're given journal entries from Penny so I felt like I got to know her very well even when she was present for the novel. It does touch on some dark issues that Penny has been facing with her boyfriend (who is a straight-up douche). I think it was handled nicely and still kept the book flowing without making it seems like things had shifted so much when Penny was introduced.

Now for the road trip part: *sings* awesome! There is something so freeing and wonderful about driving for me so I loved all the interactions between them as they hit hte raod not to mention the crazy stops they made. I felt like I was in the car, windows rolled down, and listening to Elvis with them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sab H. VINE VOICE on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I LOVED every bit of this! Just loved it. The writing was easy-going and witty and fully enjoyable. The book was fun without been cliched or repetitive. We have the unexpected road trip that *may* put things in motion between Josh and Lil, who have been best friends for years. I always love the BFF turned love interest. It's so real it reminds me of a personal experience. One that I'm sure many of us have in mind because I'm sure everyone has/will crush on someone who only considers you a friend at some point. Julie describes the insecurities and awkwardness perfectly. All the double-meaning interactions and the friendly gestures that make you want to melt inside. Ah, it was so cool to be in love with Josh through Lil.

Also, after every other chapter there are diary entries written by Penny (Lil's friend who faked her own kidnapping and the reason of the unexpected road trip) so you also have a subplot of sorts from Penny's eyes and what's going on with her, but you also get to see Josh and Lil from a different perspective. That really added to the story.

And then there's the actual trip. I have to admit I have not read many road trip books. Nor have I been in a road trip myself. With that said, I feel I have. Lil's descriptions of the places and Julie Halpern's pictures on her website have created a perfect mental image. They went to The House on the Rock, Mars Cheese Castle, Wall Drug and so many awesome places. I kind of need more road trip books now!

It was just such a cool book. THE perfect summer read. This is how contemporary fiction should be done. I highly, highly recommend it.
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