From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—An achingly beautiful story about the profound impacts of opening oneself to a stranger. Seventeen-year-old Leila, on a road trip to Alaska, gives each person she encounters a different reason for traveling to see the Northern Lights. First she meets Hudson, the best mechanic around and a medical school hopeful. With him she finds love but not before she leaves Hudson's dreams in shambles. As she continues her journey, Leila picks up hitchhiker Bree, whose skewed moral compass and heavy baggage land the girls in jail overnight. The protagonist is pivotal in Bree's intervention, pushing her to work things out with her orphaned sister. Next is Elliot, whom Leila almost kills with her distinctive too-red car. These two conspire to use '80s movies as inspiration to convince Elliot's unrequited love of his true feelings. Lastly, the teen consoles Sonia, who has lost and found love at the most inconvenient and confusing time in her life. They embark on a quest to smuggle missing wedding rings across the Canadian border, while Leila coaxes Sonia into letting go of her past and embracing the future. Readers learn little about Leila's motivations until the very end, when her tragic truth is revealed and some questions are still left unanswered. Reminiscent of John Green's Paper Towns (Dutton, 2008) and road trip novels that feature a teen paving the way to adulthood, Alsaid's debut is a gem among contemporary YA novels.—Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City
"Reminiscent of John Green's Paper Towns, Alsaid's debut is a gem."
-School Library Journal
"Characters are portrayed attractively and with a colorful authenticity... An entertaining and romantic road-trip debut."
"Debut author Alsaid creates enough adventure to make the stories feel breathless."
- Publishers Weekly
"With romantic interludes, witty banter, some exhilarating minor drinking and law-breaking, an empowering message, and satisfying conclusions for everyone involved, this will likely be a popular summer hit, especially for older teens about to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery."
- Sarah Hunter, Booklist
"...An impressive novel by a rising star with effortless style and voice."
- RT Book Reviews
"...for readers of John Green or any realistic YA authors, I would highly recommend this new wonderful novel."
"Follow Leila...on her action-packed quest toward self-discovery. This feel-good novel is four love stories for the price of one."
-Wendy Wunder, author of The Probability of Miracles