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Don't Stop Now Hardcover – June 7, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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""Halpern's novel of self-exploration is thoughtfully executed and similar in tone to Morgan Matson's "Amy & Roger's Epic Detour." Heavier scenes, including Penny's revelations of abuse, are well balanced with humor and entertaining road-trip experiences." --"Booklist""The dialogue sounds true without being crude and repetitive, and readers will enjoy narrator Lillian's sharp wit." --"Kirkus Reviews" Praise for "Get Well Soon" A "Kirkus Reviews" Best YA Book of 2007 Young Adult Choices 2007 "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""Reviews""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" Praise for "Into the Wild Nerd Yonder" A 2008-2009 Indie Next Selection "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""[The] narrative voice is unusually honest, and the at times bawdy dialogue is realistic and bitingly funny." --"Kirkus""Reviews""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 cliched, but this novel is particularly strong in showing how teen friendships evolve and sometimes die away, and how adolescents redefine themselves." --"School Library Journal"

 

Praise for "Get Well Soon"

A "Kirkus Reviews" Best YA Book of 2007

Young Adult Choices 2007

Praise for "Into the Wild Nerd Yonder"

A 2008-2009 Indie Next Selection

? --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like road trip books. It seems that something unexpected and quirky always happens.

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.
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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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Format: Hardcover
Lillian tried to help Penny, but she didn't think she'd actually fake her own kidnapping. When she does, Lil has to deal with all sorts of people trying to find information...Penny's parents, the police, even the FBI.

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
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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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