Road Trip!

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Road Trip!

Young adult novels about hitting the road

Road trips are part of the American mythos - think Steinbeck hitting the road with just his dog, or the Kerouac searching for something more. But they're not only for pretentious dudes! Here are some great teen novel about traveling by car, whether for joyful summer fun, for an undesired move, or to save the world.

The Haters by Jesse Andrews

Jazz Camp is lame. So Wes and his best friend Corey ditch it, accompanied by their attractive and charismatic campmate, Ash, for an impromptu band tour. The book is called “The Haters” because Wes and Corey are the kind of guys who think everything is lame, but on their trip they learn how to be in the world and enjoy it. Wes’ voice is funny and believably teenaged, and you’ll enjoy traveling through the South with him.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy’s dad died and her mother decides to move the rest of the family across the country to Connecticut. But since the accident Amy won’t drive, so her mom enlists a friend’s son to drive with her. Amy and Roger ditch Amy’s mom’s planned route, make a lot of playlists, end up on the loneliest road in America, acquire a new wardrobe, confront Roger’s romantic past, and figure out how to live.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Cameron Smith is your regular underachieving unhappy teenage boy. That is, until he is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease and meets an angel in the hospital who tells him he needs to go on a road trip to save the world. Along with an asthmatic dwarf and the Norse God Baldur, Cameron embarks on an adventure for the ages. Sort of.

Run by Kody Keplinger

This book is not about the fun kind of summer road trip of the other books on this list. Bo and Agnes are best friends, despite Bo’s bad reputation and Agnes’ legal blindness and rule-following nature. Still, when Bo comes to Agnes with a need to get out of town, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to come with, regardless of whatever consequences will fall. So, they steal Agnes’ sister’s car and drive in search of Bo’s father. This book is heart-breaking, but with a simultaneous undercurrent of hope.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Former child prodigy Colin has just been dumped by his nineteenth girlfriend named Katherine. His best friend, Hassan, decides they need to go on a road trip to help Colin find his way. They end up in Gutshot, Tennessee where Colin works on a theorem to predict the future of any given relationship. They also get a job taking oral histories of the townspeople and Colin learns to move on. It's both funnier and weirder than it sounds!

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Colby has been in love with his best friend, Bev, for as long as he can remember. This summer - the summer after high school - Colby was supposed to go on a road trip with Bev’s terrible band, The Disenchantments, and then the two of them were supposed to go to Europe. Instead, Bev is going to college in the fall and Colby is left to figure out what’s next. This beautifully written novel is full of interesting characters. You’ll want to join Colby, Bev, Meg, and Alexa on tour.

What's your favorite road trip book?