When Shelby Sloane is given a rare, bright yellow 1966 Mustang for her birthday, she decides to drive it from her home in New York, across to Mendocino, California, to find the mother who left when Shelby was just a child. Her sometime friend Gina comes along for the ride, with her own motives.
Along the way, Shelby breaks their ‘no hitchhiking’ rule and picks up a hitchhiker in the shape of wild and carefree, pink haired Candy Cane. What Shelby and Gina don’t know is that Candy is running away from a life so desperate and dark that the two girls cannot begin to imagine it, until they realise that their own lives are in danger.
Along the way, the girls learn some lessons about life, love and themselves.
I enjoyed this offering from Paullina Simons – an author I have always enjoyed The character of Candy was fascinating – not always likeable, but always interesting to read about. Generally the story flew along at an exciting pace, although in the middle, I felt it ‘sagged’ slightly. However, the first and final thirds of the book were excellent.
The book is told from Shelby’s point of view, and this meant that at times, knowing what we as the reader do of Shelby’s mind set, some of the decisions she made seemed implausible. Her friend Gina, who was probably the most unsympathetic of the three main characters, was more believeable in that regard. As I have always found to be the case in Paullina Simons’ novels, the characters are well drawn and fully rounded out, making them easy to believe in, if not always easy to like.
However, none of these slight criticisms detract from the fact that this book, on the whole, is a real page turner, with genuine tension for the reader, as the girls face fresh problems and fewer solutions, the further along their journey they go.
(Author’s website can be found here.)