Cover Image: We're Never Getting Home

We're Never Getting Home

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Member Reviews

This is my first book by Tracy Badua. Although I don't read a lot of YA, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. We're Never Getting Home follows a group of teenagers who go to a music festival and experience a series of very unfortunate and some fortunate events.

Jana Rubio and her best friend, Maddy Parsons, nearing the end of their senior year in high school, decide to go to a music festival to see their favorite band. They are already growing apart, but things get worse when they argue about Maddy spending more time with her boyfriend than her best friend. Jana decides they are no longer attending the festival together and instead goes with her friend Nathan. As luck would have it, they all still end up riding together to the festival. Jana has a lot on her shoulders and just wants to enjoy the concert and return before her curfew. After some fun at the concert, Nathan loses the keys to their only means of transportation. While looking for the keys and being near each other, Jana and Maddy are forced to confront the issue of their broken friendship.

We're Never Getting Home was fun to read. The characters and plot are very relatable. The story explores the complexities of friendship, coming of age, family, personal responsibility, decision-making, trust, and forgiveness. While reading this, I felt nostalgic and could relate to how Jana felt about Maddy spending more time with her boyfriend. I can also relate to not wanting to call your parents when things don't go as planned, fearing they will be upset and no longer trust you to be responsible.

As a teenager, I can see how the twists and turns, crashing parties, meeting new people, etc., can be fun and exciting. As an adult, this book stressed me out 🤣 Missing friends, missing phones, rude men, the ransom...I was holding my breath while reading. My adult voice kept wondering why they didn't have a million backup and emergency plans in case something happened and why they would ever allow the friend group to be split up.

Overall, this was an entertaining, fast-paced read. The story is well-written, and the character development is great. I loved Jana's personal growth. Everything can't be perfectly controlled, and you can't just dodge problems, hoping they will disappear. Some things have to be dealt with head-on with bravery and honesty. Change is inevitable. Change can sometimes be scary and throw you for a loop, but it can also be exciting and lead to new meaningful life experiences.

"We can't stop ourselves or each other from living in glorious color, from growing, even if it means growing apart."

OF NOTE: I listened to this book's VoiceGalley advance audio edition for this review. The synthetic voice does not reflect the audiobook, which a human narrator will voice, so I am not including an audiobook review.

Thanks to Tracy Badua, HarperCollins, Harper Audio, NetGalley, and Books Forward for providing an e-ARC. Opinions expressed are my own.

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We're Never Getting Home was a Hangover-esque coming-of-age story about the piling on of comically bad mishaps when trying to get home. Jana and her best friend have a falling out, and in her attempts to distance herself, she ends up in the same music fest carpool with bestie and bestie's boyfriend. The very same festival she had planned to attend with Maddie before their friendship became rocky.

Bad decisions, mishaps, reliance upon strangers, lost phones, lost keys, and lost friends plague Jana's attempts to get home in time to keep her promises to her parents. Along the way, Jana realizes she has to let go of childish expectations as she starts to enter adulthood and more mature relationships.

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Jana and her bf Maddie had plans to see their favorite band at the Orchard. But when they get in a fight Jana finds a different ride to the concert. After a series of unfortunate events, the keys to the van are lost and the group to the concert can't get home. Jana has to get through the night and race against the clock to find her way home. This definitely had "Take Me Home" tonight vibes, but instead of being lost in New York, they are trapped at a concert venue. There were some troubling run-ins with horrible people, I almost needed more from the interactions. There was something missing and I think it was having another perspective, Jana was very self-centered, which is fine, but I needed another person to even it out. I'm glad this was more about friendship than boys, it is a good reflection of friendship at the end of high school.

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We're Never Getting Home was a pleasant surprise for me. I started this thinking I wasn't going to like it and it would end up being a DNF but ended up enjoying it.

Jana and Maddy have been best friends for ages but, as many childhood friendships do, their relationship has been growing strained. The setting of being stuck at a music festival due to lost keys is a great juxtaposition for the story. The fun, carefree setting with the tension and drama from the characters was a nice touch.

Jana was a great main character to follow. You were able to witness grow and character development as the story went on and couldn't help but sympathize with her.

We're Never Getting Home is a realistic portrayal of young friendship and all the messiness that comes along with it. A great coming of age YA story.

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WE'RE NEVER GETTING HOME was a fun romp through a California music festival, featuring a group of friends looking for missing keys, mischievous younger siblings, and repaired relationships with best friends. The whole book takes place over the course of about 12 hours, but there is no shortage of problems for the characters to run into, keeping the pace moving.

My one complaint would be that I did find Jana, the main character, a little annoying as the book went on. Jana worries a lot about what other people want from her and thinks it's her job to solve all the world's problems -- which are definitely things I could've related to as a teen -- but at the same time, doesn't trust that anyone else is capable of picking up some of that slack. She also has a really hard time recognizing her part in causing the fight she's currently in with her best friend, Maddy. On the other hand, all of this read as realistic to me, so even though I found myself feeling annoyed with Jana, a lot of it also came from a place of feeling sad for her, too.

Overall, I enjoyed WE'RE NEVER GETTING HOME, and found it to be fun and fast-paced with a dose of friendship truths.

Thank you to HarperCollins for providing a review copy.

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Good premise--teens go to an outdoor festival only to have a myriad of things go wrong, including losing the keys. Though the setting is primarily the festival, there are flashbacks to allow the backstory of the main character. The story really hits home about these teens on the cusp of adulthood as they weave through the changes of friendship and growing up.
Jana Rubio and her best friend, Maddy Parsons--and the reader learns of different instances of how their friendship has evolved over the years but also their differences in terms of family loyalty and responsibility. Jana, has been feeling as though she is being replaced by Maddy's boyfriend as well as Maddie not understanding the commitments she has to fulfill. What person has not had these feelings?
As the night wears on and Jana becomes more anxious, things get heated and a lot is said. Jana is called out for how her actions have been perceived as much as how she has been feeling lately. This will hit close to home for many teens.
Story wrapped up well leaving nothing hanging while also sending a subtle message. This will certainly be a book YA will enjoy.
Though I was not listening to the actual narration that will be on the finished product, the audio version was still enjoyable and did not distract from the story. Thank you NetGallery.

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The narrative takes an unexpected twist when Yena's friends misplace the keys to their car, a simple mishap that sets off a chain of events leading to a night Yena will never forget. As she grapples with the decision to either abandon her friends at the concert or fulfill a sense of responsibility by picking up her father, the story delves into themes of loyalty, responsibility, and the precarious balance between youth and adulthood.

The author skillfully weaves suspense and humor into the plot, keeping readers engaged as Yena faces obstacles and relives memories that test the strength of her friendships. The pacing is excellent, with each chapter building on the last, creating a sense of urgency that mirrors the ticking clock of Lily's impending responsibilities.

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This is a fun contemporary YA book set at a music festival which is what initially drew me. I also love any story about female friendships and friendship break-ups. Jana and Maddy's friendship and eventual break-up was realistic and I appreciated the messiness of it all. The various hurdles they had to overcome as the night wore on were sometimes frustrating yet entertaining. The dual timeline didn't feel necessary and could be confusing at times. I appreciated Jana's struggle to take on so much responsibility from her family. Overall, a satisfying enjoyable read.

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Voice Galley Review - We're Never Getting Home is your typical coming of age story where friends find themselves drifting apart as they prepare to head to college and unknown futures. The setting of a musical festival is fun and leads to many misadventures. However, the heart to hearts between the main character and her best friend happen frequently and it seems like the same conversation is had 10 times throughout the novel. The frequent flashbacks also interrupt the flow of the story. Secondary purchase for larger collections.

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This book was a bit different than I thought it would be. The title had me thinking that maybe the characters were held by a terrorist, but no. The book was something that a typical teenager could run into at any time, This book showed how the kids had to work together to solve a problem. The responsibilities that they needed to take, and how you can’t always rely on technology. This book could be used for my sessions and we would talk through the problems and come up with different scenarios. I could also use it as homework and have them write a paper to help with their writing skills, what if it happens to you….

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I really did not like this book. The voice in the audiobook (I know, it's not the definitive one) was really boring and Robotic.
On the other side, this was my first audiobook ever, and I really think that audiobooks in general aren't for me... Maybe I would've liked the book better if I didn't choose the audiobook format...

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Though I really enjoyed this book, the main character was very hard to like. She was very relatable, but stubborn as all get out. She only cared about how things made her feel, not the feelings of those around her. And even though she had a good amount of character development throughout the story, I do not feel as if that was enough.

That out of the way, the twists and turns that were encountered on what was supposed to be the perfect night out were highly entertaining. There was always something new and exciting happening making you want to immediately start the next chapter. The insertion of the flashbacks help to connect the current situation to the main character's current feelings.

All in all, I feel as if the ending wrapped up the story well. With the main character finally starting to internalize that she doesn't have to do everything alone. She also starts to realize that change isn't always a bad thing, it can be scary but also exciting.

☆》Thank you NetGalley and Harper Audio for sending this audiobook for review consideration. All opinions are my own.《☆

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This was an interesting read. First off I actually listened through NetGalley’s automated voice system. It was really good. I liked this book and was interested the whole time, but the main character was not likable in my opinion. I know a big part of the book is about insecurities but the more the book went on the more I had a hard time with her. Especially when the rest of the characters were all nice and sweet to her.

I really liked the plot and how the story unfolded. It was fun and unique. And I feel like all the secondary characters made up for the main character because they were all very likable. I do understand these are things you feel and go through while being a teen and growing up, such as refusing to apologize when you are also partly (if not moreso) in the wrong or constantly comparing yourself with certain people. And I like how the author showed the other side of those feelings through the other characters. Such as the parents did not compare the daughters when the MC always thought of herself as the good daughter, and the best friend apologized in the past for the sake of the friendship even though she wasn’t always in the wrong. But it also felt like these characters were treated unfairly by her.

I did feel the plot was original and I definitely appreciated that.

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This is a fun and tender take on the out-all-night coming of age genre. The premise is simple. A group of friends attend the concert of their dreams. The driver loses the van keys. They spend the rest of the night hunting down the keys, having colorful adventures, and working through friend and family conflicts. Through flashbacks and conversation this becomes a complex and wise novel, but never loses its pace or sense of fun

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