Tuesday 15 October 2013

Night Road - Kristin Hannah


Lexi and Mia find similarities in each other despite the differences in their background. They become best friends immediately and Mia comes to rely heavily on Lexi. This concerns Mia's mother, Jude, at first. However, after the girls have a night out with Mia's brother, Zach,  Jude finds that her worries over a friendship is minute compared to what she has to face. Their lives take a turn and nothing will ever go back to how it was before.


Night Road centres around four characters, Lexi, Mia, Zach and Jude. It can be split into two halves, the first being Mia and Lexi's friendship during high school and the second their adult lives.

I understand that the time jumps are necessary to quicken the plot but sometimes came across as choppy. There was a lot that wasn't covered, which I'd like to have known about but I guess Hannah thought it wasn't necessary.  Also, the time jumps would have been more successful if the voices of the characters had changed to match their ages. It seemed like the adolescent characters were just transported into the future without really ageing. Their tone and use of language stayed consistent throughout, which made the time jump seem a little unbelievable and made me feel a little annoyed.

Character wise, none of them really stood out to me. I think Hannah tried really hard to add levels of depth to her characters but they still felt flat to me. Both Lexi and Jude went through childhood problems, though neither the same, which affected their decisions in later life. Mia was socially awkward and Zach had too many expectations to uphold. Jude was the most annoying character, I can't even begin to explain how much I wanted to just slap her across the face via the pages in the novel (if that's possible). Yes, she was a protective mother and had her reasons for most things but her stubbornness and inability to let go made me want to just shake her and say snap out of it. If Hannah was aiming for that response in readers she certainly succeeded.

The novel though, comes down to its message, which I felt was great. Teenagers do make a lot of hasty decisions, especially on the brink of adulthood. Night Road explores the consequences of such decisions and it's effect in the long run. The concept of family also made its way into the plot, which did create an emotional tug. There were moments where I felt a little sympathy for the characters, especially Jude. But that quickly faded (as explained above).

Hannah's attempt to create a world that the current generation can relate to is well done. She could've probably made the first half a little less modern in order to transition into the second half better, making it more believable but it wasn't too noticeable.

Night Road had great moments but it also had quite a few bad moments. I powered through the novel though and it did leave an impression. There are pretty shocking moments and you probably will fall in love with Zach, even if he doesn't come off as a strong character.

Rating: 3/5

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