Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Joyride by Anna Banks - Audiobook Review

This is my first ever audiobook review. This is also a spoiler free review.

Written by Anna Banks
Audiobook Read by: Kyla Garcia and Andrew Eiden
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Pages: 276
Length: 8 hours and 41 minutes
Source: Audiobook from overdrive from my public library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!

Summary [from Goodreads]:

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.


I have just started getting into listening to audiobooks which is crazy because I never liked them before. In fact, I pretty much used to hate them because they were long and I thought I wouldn’t be able to do anything while I listened which is totally not true. If you are new to audiobooks like me, then I recommend doing things like blogging, drawing, cooking and cleaning. This book and audiobook have become a new favorite of mine and I am for sure going to purchase this soon to put on my shelf because I loved it.  Yes, I used to claim not to like contemporaries but honestly I am starting to love them and this one really shows that.


The cover is cute as most covers for contemporaries tend to be. Since Arden's truck plays an important role in the book, it is fitting for it to be on the cover. However, I don't think the cover completely fits the book but that is a small detail that I have decided to overlook.


The setting is modern day Florida which is fitting for a book that tackles many issues such as deportation, immigration laws and racism. The town is a small one and small bits of information are consistently being given about it throughout the book.

Then there are the characters.


Carly was the perfect protagonist. She is a Hispanic girl living in the United States with her older brother. Their parents were deported years ago and now her she and her brother are forced to scrape together enough money for the necessities as well as smuggle their parents back across the Mexico/United States border. She works at a small convenience store on the night shifts in order to help her brother who works at a construction company and is determined to also keep up her grades enough to get a scholarship so she can go to college. She is a very determined character who I loved a lot. She's a hard-worker and knows exactly what she wants and really wants nothing to get in the way of her goal.

However, one night, an incident at the convenience store where she works, causes her life to change in an unwanted direction. She meets Arden Moss, the school popular boy, who is determined to befriend her and against all her willpower, they form an unlikely friendship. She is scared that her brother might find out, however, so she tries to keep it on the down low.

I loved living Carly's life through this book even though it was very hard. It reminded me of how other people have harder struggles than I do and how she persevered through it. She is a fearless, determined character who has to deal with the racism of the county sheriff, the demands and pressure from her parents and her older brother and the endless amount of schoolwork. I adored Carly and she is definitely a new favorite character for me.


This book is told in two perspectives. Arden's is in third person and Carly's is in first person.

At first, I was not a fan of Arden. He seemed like the typical popular kid who was self-absorbed and didn't care about what others thought which meant he thought he could do whatever he wanted to. Then he started to grow on me because his character, like many characters, had layers and underneath several of those layers was just a broken, sweet boy who I adored. He looked out for Carly even when he didn't know the whole truth about her life. And omg, I can't believe he had to grow up with his father who was honestly a racist dirtbag. I hated him and I don't know who wouldn't hate him.

Arden Moss had his own problems to deal with and yet he managed to take on Carly's problems later on in the novel which I thought was perfect and sweet. I really enjoyed Arden's humor and perspective and he has also become a favorite character of mine.


Family is everything to Carly and her brother. In fact, the main point of this novel is getting Carly's family back from Mexico. Family is their whole life so it's safe to say that family plays a significant role in this novel. Carly learns that even though family is very important, your family shouldn't control you and you should do your own thing.

Friendship is also very important in this novel. Carly learns that she can have friends and she can form attachments with other people without it ruining her life which she thought beforehand. She tried not to form attachments with anyone because she didn't want to explain her life to anyone or have them just be friends with her because they pitied her. I really enjoyed Carly's friendships with others.

I won't say too much because of spoilers but the plot was not your typical contemporary plot. That is what makes it so interesting and unique. Carly wants to be left alone, do her job at the store and earn money from her family. However, one night when one of her regulars leaves the store, she hears commotion outside and discovers a kid is holding her customer at gunpoint. She surveys the situation and then grabs the store gun in order to try and scare the guy away. It turns out that the robber is none other than Arden Moss who is the popular guy at her school who was trying to scare off his uncle from driving drunk, with an unloaded gun. There are more twists and turns that are amazing and unexpected.


Arden and Carly start off as strangers but they are thrown together when she tries to help Arden's uncle. Soon they start an adorable friendship and the more time they spend together, the stronger their attraction grows. However, their love story isn't simple. Arden isn't known to have long relationships and Carly doesn't want to become close to anyone due to her situation with her family. Arden also has a racist father and Carly keeps secrets from Arden so their relationship isn't the smoothest. But their relationship is still amazing and I adored it.


The audiobook is read by two different people. One person reads Carly's parts and one person reads Arden's. Kyla Garcia does an amazing job with the voice of Carly Vega. I was surprised that she even successfully pronounced the Spanish words. I could really imagine her as Carly because of the depth she brought to the character. Andrew Eiden does a wonderful job reading Arden's voice and made the audiobook seem a lot more realistic. He got the cocky attitude down and sounded age appropriate. I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook and I look forward to seeing what else these readers narrate.


I highly recommend listening to the audiobook if you are unsure whether or not to pick this one up. The audiobook completely transfixed me and it fully immerses you into the story. I have found that fast-paced contemporaries are better to listen to then to read because you get the full story better. I loved the narration and the way the author tackled difficult ideas in a fun YA Contemporary. This is a must read for every Contemporary and diverse fan.

Quotes from the Book:

“But are there really good people? Good people, through and through? Or are we all just varying versions of bad people, some trying harder to be good?” 

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns

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