Review: Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean

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Summary:

Chloe has one plan for the future, and one plan only: the road. She’s made a promise to herself: don’t let anyone in, and don’t let anyone love her. She’s learned the hard way what happens if she breaks her rules. So she’s focused on being invisible and waiting until she can set out on the road—her dream of freedom, at least for a little while.

Blake Hunter is a basketball star who has it all—everything about him looks perfect to those on the other side of his protective walls. He can’t let anyone see the shattered pieces behind the flawless facade or else all his hopes and dreams will disappear.

One dark night throws Chloe and Blake together, changing everything for Blake. For Chloe, nothing changes: she has the road, and she’s focused on it. But when the so-called perfect boy starts to notice the invisible girl, they discover that sometimes with love, no one knows where the road may lead.

Review:

Hey book lovers, it’s Manu! I just finished reading Where the Road Takes Me, and woah! What a roller coaster! One moment I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt and then next I was curled up in my bed sobbing! But that’s what Jay McLean always does to me, so that’s exactly what I wanted.

She wanted to know about school, I told her about sports. She asked me about home, I told her more about sports. And then it struck me, why we were both so comfortable, here, on this one night, as complete strangers. Maybe we both had something to hide.

While Blake is out running one night, he meets, more like lands on, Chloe. Blake immediatly becomes protective of her and they spend this one night together. Chloe is this mysterious fragile girl, who seems to be from another planet. They talk a lot, even though she doesn’t want to share anything personal, but regardless the bond starts forming.

“Dude, you’re like superman.” “Does this make you my kryptonite?” She smiled then, and raised her nose in the air. With a gleam in her eyes she said, “Maybe.” And that was when it happened. Something changed. A switch. It felt like someone had taken away the gray dullness behind my eyes and splashed color into them.

Blake’s povs were definitely my favorite. The way he saw her, how he thought about her, it was so fascinating. At first he was kind of a jerk, (not with Chloe but with another situations) there were things he did, that I really didn’t like, but that was okay. I mean, they’re both eighteen years old, and being perfect, or too mature, would have been fake. He has a lot going on; a barely there father, and an alcoholic mother (she goes through a great character development though, and I loved it). And he has to choose what he wants for his future. Chase his dream, and play basketball for Duke, or follow his father footsteps and join the army.

“You wanted one night to be someone else. There’s nothing wrong with that. Unless, I guess, you’re running from an unchangeable reality. Then you’ll be running for the rest of your life. And you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to feel so trapped in your head that you’re constantly running.”

But that’s what Chloe is doing, she’s constantly running, but she can’t run away from this reality. She knows what she’ll probably have to go through, a black shadow over her head that took the one she loved away from her, and she doesn’t want to bring anyone down with her. So, her plan is to keep people at arm’s length, because that’s easier for everyone, and as soon as she graduates, the road. She wants it to be only her and the road. Blake is not too happy about this plan though, work, school and friendship bring them together, and they both start to change.

But Chloe, she brought something out in me that had never existed before. She made me want to be there. She made me want to stay. It was as if she had reached inside me, taken my heart in her hands, squeezed tight, and made it start beating again. And it did, whenever I was around her, I could feel it thumping harder, faster. All because of her.

I really, really loved the character development both Chloe and Blake went through. It was slow and happend gradually with ups and downs, just like their feelings. Blake is the one to show them first, Chloe is more guarded, but it’s hard to resist Blake’s charm.

He pulled back slightly and looked into my eyes. “Chloe,” he said again. He removed his hand from my thigh and curled it around my neck, pulling me down to his waiting mouth. I let out the breath. Game. Over.

Chloe is a difficult character to describe but I liked her; she was cute, and funny, even though she had so much going on. Maybe her decisions are wrong, but, again, she’s eighteen (people seem to forget how young a lot of characters are) and her situation is not really an easy one. It annoys me a lot how easily people complain about female characters, like they expect them to be always strong, badass, flawless but vulnerable and nice and all that stuff; but seriously, no one in real life is like that. Try to put yourself in these heroines’ shoes and let’s see how strong and perfect your reactions are. Sorry for the rant, but I always see reviews full of hate for these girls. Anyway, back to the review…

Mom sighed. “Just ask yourself this: If you could describe your days with Chloe as black or red, what would it be?” I smiled, remembering how she used to tell me about red- and black-letter days. Black-letter days had negative impact. Like when you got news of someone’s death. A red-letter day was the opposite of black. A positive experience or something unexpectedly phenomenal. “Red,” I told her. “Definitely red.”

Up till the first half of this book, I was loving it but the second half, just, wow! It blew me away. I was completely invested in what would happend to these characters. They both showed their true feelings and they grew so much. My heart pounded till the very last page, tears at the ready, welling up in my eyes.

“I know that you did your best to keep people from caring about you, or whatever, but you’re pretty hard not to care for. You’re pretty hard not to love.” He paused and cleared his throat. “Really hard not to love.”

I’m an easy crier, I know, but trust me it was really emotional! Jay McLean’s writing is beautiful, really funny and heartfelt, you always know what a character is feeling through the little details on their actions, and I adore that (if you haven’t, check out her More Then series, one of my favorites).

A smile that turned my world red.

Also, the side characters (!!!), they were all amazing! Chloe’s adoptive family, Blake’s mom, and Josh! My Josh! He’s Blake’s best friend and I’m completely in love with him, all his scenes were among my favorites. So, Jay McLean, I know this was supposed to be a stand-alone, but please consider writing a book about him and turn my world red!

You can run, you can hide, you can choose not to see, but where the road takes you will always lead to me.

I loved Where the Road Takes Me, it was definitely my red-letter day.

manuela calloway sisters

 

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One thought on “Review: Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean

  1. Pingback: Review: Combative (Combative #1) by Jay McLean | Calloway Books

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