The Detour - YA Review by Sam T

Reader: Sam T.
Age: 16
Title: The Detour
Author: S. A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pub Date: 10/06/15
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: The vivid scenes of Livvy being kidnapped and the scenes involving Flute Girl are nerve-wracking, terrifying, and tense. They are well-done and evoke a sense of fear quite well through the use of imagery and dialogue. 
     However, even though I felt that the scenes where she is imprisoned were terrifying, I don't think much of the rest of the book was really necessary and just doesn't seem to fit. Livvy's various memories don't really relate to the rest of the story, and the Rory subplot is completely unnecessary, contrived, and disappointing. 
     The entire last third of the book and some of her flashbacks could be removed and the book would be 100% better.  After she got rescued, I thought, "Why are there so many pages left? It should end right here!"
     Not only does the main character get kidnapped and get her life threatened multiple times, but she also ends up finding out that her book's ideas were stolen (which I find a little ridiculous and contrived, as you'd think that she'd remember doing something like that), and also finds out that her online boyfriend is really a creepy psychopath (What are the chances that she also happens to be imprisoned by the lady who is that boy's cousin and that the main character just happens to crash her car at the exact right spot?). 
     These events did not make for a good or satisfying ending. Sure, she meets a new nice guy who looks exactly like her old love and shares all of her interests (again, what are the chances of that?), but her life is still fundamentally ruined by this crazy lady and her crazy kid (the former of which was somewhat justified in her anger, because the main character's stealing of her ideas and general entitlement does make Livvy just a little bit annoying). 
Memorable or Forgettable: It didn't really seem to do a ton of original things with the kidnapped-by-a-crazy-person-and-locked-in-their-basement genre, although it certainly tried to convince the reader that it did by using predictable plot twists.
Cover: It was a little on the drab side, although the cover reflected the book's contents.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 2Q - Needs more work
Popularity: 4P - Broad general teen appeal

tags: suspense / thriller / ya lit

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