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Don't Stop Now Hardcover – June 7, 2011
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Lil and Josh have been best friends for the last four years. They've just completed high school and are about to go their separate ways, Lil to college in Portland, and Josh is staying home with hopes of getting his rock band off the ground. One night Lil gets a voicemail from her sort-of-friend saying "I did it." Lil interprets this to mean that Penny has faked her own kidnapping and ran off to a boy she met in Portland, Ethan. But she doesn't know for sure and Penny isn't answering her phone. Before things get out of control, Josh and Lil decide to go after Penny, taking a sort of impromptu road trip to get there. Lil is anxious to do this because she wants to find Penny before she gets into trouble and because she wants to finally find out if Josh and she are meant to be, as she's always hoped. Lil has been crushing on Josh for most of their friendship and she doesn't know if he feels the same. He holds her hand all the time, puts his arm around her shoulder, and then they say things like this:
Lil: "Maybe they didn't want to hear you talk," I try to assure him. "Maybe they were using you for your body. It is in rather usable condition." Josh: "True." He perks up a bit. "So is yours, you know," he adds with a cornered smile. I blush. Lil: "You think so?" I ask, looking down at his hand still on mine. Josh: "Most definitely," he says.
I enjoyed reading this. The romance was bittersweet. The side story with Penny is explained in her perspective in some chapters, and you can really see why she did what she did. The road trip was fun with all the cheesy motels, and souvenir T-shirt at every stop. Pick it up if you're a fan of road-trip stories.
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.
Now, Lil is on a road trip with her best friend, Josh, to try and find Penny. She believes she's in Oregon...but they have to get there first.
DON'T STOP NOW had an interesting premise. How bad can a person have it to fake their own kidnapping? I liked that you got a look inside Penny's head at the end of some of the chapters. These are thoughts from previous moments, though. You don't know what's happening in her present life until Lil and Josh find her. And then what happens? I do like the idea of road trip books. I learned about some different landmarks in the various states the duo traveled in.
One of the things that felt a bit overdone was the relationship between Lil and Josh. Lil loves Josh, but he just wants to be BFFs. However, I liked that Halpern made Josh real. He wasn't all suave and perfect. He had bad habits, immature ideas, and he wasn't always the "catch" you would think Lil would want. But he was her friend and he was there for her.
Although this wasn't my absolute favorite read of the year, it's still a pretty good contemporary YA read.
Reviewed by: Lauren Ashley
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After my senior year I took the “road trip” that Lil & Josh took so this was fun to read. (Although my trip was with family and lasted full 7 weeks). Read morePublished 23 months ago by Kathy Habel
I LOVE THIS BOOK. IT HAS BOTH ROAD TRIPS AND ROMANCE. THE TWO MOST FUNNEST THINGS TO READ. NOW I WANNA GO TO THE PLACES LILLIAN AND JOSH WENT TO!Published on June 5, 2013 by Juju
After reading The Story Siren's review, I was very excited to get my hands on this book.
The verdict? Disappointment. Read more
My Thoughts: I had heard such fabulous things about Don't Stop Now! Friends had recommended it, I had read reviews on goodreads, so I was more than ready to dive in once I got a... Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by princess bookie
I'm still giggling, and slightly swooning over Don't Stop Now. For those of you who are looking for that quintessential summer read, something light, fun and fantastic, pick this... Read morePublished on August 11, 2011 by Jessica N.
3.5 stars, reviewed for MM's by Cynthia:
When I started reading Don't Stop Now I thought it was just going to be a fun light-hearted read, it was actually pretty funny... Read more
Although the road trip part was fun, on the last pages Penny apologizes to her abuser boyfriend on the phone. I am disappointed that this book was even published. Read morePublished on July 22, 2011 by Linda P.
I always adore road trip books, and Julie Halpern's Don't Stop Now was no different. Romantic, quirky, and fast paced, it constantly had me flipping the pages, eager to know what... Read morePublished on July 14, 2011 by Lauren