Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Setting: Modern-day California
***I received an eARC copy of Allie and Bea from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley.***
Review: A sweet tale of a road trip, friendship, and finding one’s self along the way.
Allie and Bea, written by Catherine Ryan Hyde, started out a bit frustrating for me in that I didn’t connect with Bea. The book begins with us meeting Bea as she gets swindled out of her money, and she decides to just take off and leave in her van. I really had trouble connecting to this behavior, and I didn’t understand many of her actions at the beginning of the book. So, I was a bit frustrated and wasn’t sure that this book was going to be one that I liked. And then I met Allie.
Allie is a teen girl, whose parents have just been arrested, and Allie enters “the system” and has to live in a group home called New Beginnings. Allie is naïve and trusting, and things do not go well at New Beginnings, and Allie and Bea end up crossing paths. I really liked Allie; I could feel her sadness and confusion about her parents, and her desire to hope for the best in people. So, as frustrating as Bea was at the beginning, I found myself drawn to Allie and her story, so continued on reading the book, and I’m so glad that I did! Once Allie and Bea connect, their friendship becomes the driving point of this book, as Allie helps Bea rediscover life, and Bea becomes a mother figure of sorts to Allie.
Bea and Allie travel the West Coast, as they try to get to Washington, and the scenes along the California coast remind me why I love California so much! Their adventures along the coast were a lot of fun, and by the time the book ended, I felt a connection to Bea.
There was a comfort and ease to this book, and there are a several scenes that ponder life’s bigger issues that readers may find a bit cloying, but sometimes you just need to read a feel good book, and this definitely falls into that category! In many ways this reminded me of a cleaner, lighter version of the book Wild.
Bottom Line: Sweet and lovely. I really enjoyed the friendship between Allie and Bea! Recommended for those looking for something sweet to read.
And here’s a link to another Catherine Ryan Hyde book that I’ve read and reviewed:
Does this sound like a good read? Have you read any other books by Catherine Ryan Hyde?