Audio Book Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

Joyride CoverBook: Joyride by Anna Banks, narrated by Kyla Garcia and Andrew Eiden

Published June 2015 by Blackstone Audio|8 hours, 41 minutes

Where I Got It: I got the audio book via

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Blog Graphic-What It's About

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber’s mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

Joyride was so heartbreaking for me- and yet there were times when a particular character made me so angry!  It’s definitely worth reading.

I really felt for Carly, and she and her brother worked so hard to bring their parents back to the U.S. so they could be a family.  I can’t begin to image what it’s like to have your parents deported, or what it’s like to have to work two jobs while still in high school to save enough money to even try to bring them back.  Her story is very different from Arden’s, and I have to say, I spent quite a bit of the book wanting to get back to Carly’s chapters. I liked her so much more than Arden, who, for a lot of the book, came across as entitled, spoiled and unaware of the struggles other people have to go through.

I get why Arden’s story is so important in telling Carly’s, and Carly’s definitely changed Arden. Knowing her, and her story, did make him more aware of the world around him.  There is a moment that really changed Arden, and while I wish it didn’t take that to make him realize things, I can sort of understand where he’s coming from.  He’s very privileged, and doesn’t realize his privilege (also, he’s a teenage boy, so I’d be surprised if it was something he thought about or realized) until that one moment.

I did feel for Arden, having to grow up with the dad he did, but in comparison to what Carly was dealing with, his problems seemed to pale in comparison.

I loved that Carly wanted to do so well in school so she could have a bright future, and I don’t blame her for wanting to have a life.  I totally understand why she would tell her brother that it’s not her responsibility to help bring her parents over, and also why she’d feel guilty for feeling that way.  And that she’d help them become legal citizens once they got to the U.S.

I love how family is so important to her, even with how frustrating family can be sometimes.

I have to say, the sheriff is despicable.  Utterly despicable.  Never have I hated a character more than I hated him. Blackmailing Carly into doing what he wanted in exchange for not deporting her parents, and the way he talked to her…I really wanted to yell at him.  I’m actually sort of amazed at how awesome Arden is, especially when he sticks up for Carly, and pretty much does whatever his wants in order to protect Carly and ensure that she’s reunited with her parents.  The dad definitely got what he deserved- and he deserves so much worse than what he got.  Anyway, I am glad that Arden is awesome…although, I do wonder if his dad did rub off on him in some way.  There is a point where he meets Julio (Carly’s brother) and assumes he doesn’t speak English, and I really can’t help but wonder if maybe he does have assumptions he doesn’t realize he has.  But he also really cares for Carly, and he is taking Spanish classes, so he really is trying, and that definitely gives him a lot of brownie points.

It really is a great look at poverty, racism and immigration, and it’s so relevant to some of the issues/thing that seem to be coming up/happening recently.  It’s handled so well, and yet, it’s sad that I can see something like this happening.

I do wish we got more closure with what happened to her parents, and I wish we knew if they made their way to the U.S.

While I liked both Kyla Garcia and Andrew Garcia as narrators (I could totally picture them as Carly and Arden), I especially loved Kyla Garcia’s narration.  She was Carly to me, and I liked her so much I even added one or two other books she’s narrated to my wishlist.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

4 stars.  I do wish we got more closure with what happened to her parents, but at the same time, I’m okay with how the book ended.  And it’s such a great book that I’m willing to overlook it.

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