ARC Review: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

AllieandBeaCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.

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.

Links to Allie and Bea on  Amazon  |   Goodreads

And here’s a link to another Catherine Ryan Hyde book that I’ve read and reviewed:

When I Found You

Does this sound like a good read? Have you read any other books by Catherine Ryan Hyde?


5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

  1. I was surprised that you wrote that this book is like Wild. I’d like to hear more about that! Also, which point of view was this book narrated in? If Bea is hard to relate to, I would imagine it was in 3rd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was a bit odd that I thought of Wild, but I think that was because both books involved journeys of self-discovery, and while Wild was inland, Allie and Bea’s journey was on the coast, and both books involved women going through personal issues and making life changes. Wild was way more intense and dealt with heavier themes (like the drug use and death), but both books dealt with a journey from California to Washington and self-discovery.
      And ah gee… the dreaded “point of view” question. I have such a hard time narrowing down POVs! It’s in third person, but we get to see into what both Allie and Bea are thinking as the focus jumps between the two of them. I’m really terrible with pinpointing how books are narrated. There wasn’t any “I” or “me”, so it wasn’t in first person 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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