Ride with Me

Clarion. Jul. 2022. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780358468318.
Gr 9 Up–Opposites attract in this coming-of-age YA contemporary romance set in the Berkshires in the small, predominately white, mountain town of Chester Falls, MA. Charlie Owens is a junior with a passion for historic architecture who has her sights set on leaving her small town and attending Cornell. She drives for Backseat, the town’s rideshare app just for high schoolers, and makes good money, though her friends wish she’d balance her social life better with her job. When a minor fender bender with Andre Minasian, an Armenian American senior and popular lacrosse player, threatens her job with Backseat, the two work out a plan for Charlie to carpool Andre to school and everywhere in-between until he can get his car repaired. What follows is a slow-burn romance that challenges Charlie to discover all there is to love about Chester Falls and pushes Andre to consider a future outside of his beloved small town. Keating offers readers a swoon-worthy romance rooted in friendship, set against a dreamy setting ripe for making memories. Secondary plots have Charlie struggling with her parents’ relationship status and life choices, and the opportunity of a lifetime to intern with Ava Adams, a social media phenom who works in sustainable building and design. Opportunities surround Charlie, but it is only through understanding herself more completely that she is able to narrow her focus and map out her future.
VERDICT Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will love riding shotgun on Charlie’s journey to discover herself and will fall in love with Andre right along with her.

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