Miss Riki’s Review:
Sixteen-year-old Luke has written a runaway bestseller novel titled Hallelujah, that has worked its way into the hearts of the nation. When his publishing house sends him on a cross-country book tour, his publicist has a prior engagement and decides that Luke’s older brother Matt will chauffeur. Irresponsible and reckless Matt has ulterior motives for the trip, and Luke is less than pleased to find out that Matt’s girlfriend and her younger sister will be joining them, since the little sister is none other than Luke’s former best friend and serious crush, Fran. With Matt’s mind on anything but the book tour and Fran changed in ways that Luke cannot fathom, nothing goes right. Despite a myriad of unplanned detours and hilarious mishaps, Luke must try to loosen up and discover the true meaning of faith.
What a delightful story of faith and redemption! I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Every one of them is flawed in their own way, yet wholly genuine. Luke is a smart, yet very much uptight sixteen-year-old teen who is baffled by his sudden fame and role as modern day prophet. He’s not in any way prepared for the onslaught of public scrutiny and struggles with not only the price of fame, but with his own emotions over losing the girl he had placed on a pedestal. Fran is a delightful and complex love interest with an intriguing backstory. Luke’s struggle to reconcile the outwardly rebellious nature of Fran’s current manner with the sweet, God-fearing girl of his past was a delightful plot line that raised bigger questions of acceptance and reconciliation. As for Luke’s brother, Matt, he’s clueless in the ways of love and careless with Luke’s newfound freedom. The wrenches he throws in what should be simple point A to point B travels make the novel fun, even when you want to smack him for being so shortsighted.
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip is well paced, lighthearted, and fun. You’ll root for these characters to find their way and might even learn a thing or two about forgiveness.