Alice, Summer and Tiernan used to be best friends and the self-proclaimed biggest fans of the band Level 3. But that was a long time ago. Before high school. Before Level 3 broke up and the girls’ friendship imploded.
Alice is okay with that. She’s moved on. Really. Except her post-graduation plans fall apart and, seemingly like magic, Level 3 is getting together for a one-night-only reunion show in Texas. When Alice manages to score three coveted tickets, she knows it must be a sign. If Level 3 can have a reunion, why not the girls who used to be their biggest fans?
Summer parted ways with Tiernan and Alice four years ago and never looked back. That disastrous homecoming dance is nothing but a (slightly painful) memory when Alice invites Summer on the road trip. Summer would rather be anywhere else. Until she realizes joining this one trip might be her chance to finally make some choices of her own.
Tiernan has cooler friends now and parties way harder. So hard, in fact, that Alice’s road trip might be the one and only chance for Tiernan to get out of the house this summer.
One VW van, two-thousand miles and a whole lot of problems are the only things standing between these three ex-best friends and the concert of a lifetime in Reunited (2012) by Hilary Weisman Graham.
Reunited is Graham’s first novel.
Written in the third person, Graham alternates perspectives throughout the novel between Alice, Summer and Tiernan. Graham expertly differentiates between the girls’ voices, giving them distinct personalities complete with strengths and flaws. Graham’s narrative is urbane and bright with loads of humor and moments of contemplative realizations for all three ex-best friends.
Reunited is a quintessential road trip book from the quirky vehicle down to the travelers with their own emotional baggage. With three winning heroines and great writing, this story stands out as an original addition to the road trip sub-genre. Graham even starts each chapter with song lyrics from Level 3’s discography. (The only downside being that I am now very, very sad the band is fictional.)
While the number of things that can (and do) go wrong for these three travelers verges on hyperbolic, all of the mayhem and disaster makes for an excellent and very funny read. Graham also amps up the tension near the end as more obstacles are thrown in their way. I won’t spoil the ending, but after all of the false starts and near misses Reunited ends on what musicians and music lovers might call a satisfying major chord (which non-musicians will be happy to hear is the “happier” sounding chord).
Possible Pairings: Never, Always, Sometimes by Adi Alsaid, The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Tara Altebrando, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, City Love by Susane Colasanti, A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein, The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy, The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson, Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales, Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
You can read my exclusive interview with Hilary Graham!
Also don’t forget to enter my giveaway for the Reunited Road Trip mix CD!
You can also find more about Level 3 (and two free song downloads) here: http://www.level3theband.com/p/free-music-downloads.html