Review: Road to Paradise – Paullina Simons

One more day of school and then prepare to be bombarded with sooo many blog posts.

Because school is winding down, and I have been in serious academic mode, I have only been able to finish one more book in November and that was Paullina Simons Road to Paradise.

I’ve only read Simons more historical fiction novels, so I was very interested in this more contemporary piece.

*Side note, two contemporary reviews back to back…who am I?*

Did I enjoy Simons foray into contemporary fiction? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

The Book 

Love, passion, and friendship collide on the road trip of a lifetime in this breathtaking novel from Paullina Simons, internationally bestselling author of The Bronze Horseman and Tully.

There’s no telling where a journey will lead you…

Shelby Sloane has big plans for the summer of 1981. She’ll drive cross country in her graduation present—a classic yellow Mustang. In California, she hopes to find the mother who left her behind long ago, and then return East in time to start college. Her childhood friend Gina is desperate to reunite with her boyfriend in Bakersfield and has convinced Shelby to bring her along.

With Gina on board, Shelby’s carefully mapped-out itinerary is quickly abandoned. Soon, so is their “no hitchhikers” rule when Shelby picks up a mysterious girl named Candy Cane, who sets them all on a new and dangerous course. Streetwise beyond her years and decked out with tattoos, piercings, and spiky hair, Candy is on the run from a past darker than anything the two suburban girls have ever known. Candy draws Shelby and Gina into her terrifying world, where life as they know it is turned upside down and there is no place left to hide.

The Review 

When I first heard about this book I was really intrigued because the only novels I’ve read by Simons have been the Bronze Horseman trilogy, which I still haven’t read the last one, and her memoir Six Days in Leningrad.

Though you could technically also say that this novel is historical fiction, as it was set in the 1980s, I found it to be more contemporary than the other novels of Simons that I’ve read.

I enjoyed the overall premise of the novel, because lets be real, who doesn’t like a good road trip, am I right?!

Also, I found the characters of both Shelby and Gina to be characters that could stand alongside others created by Simons.

They each offered a differing perspective to the wider narrative of knowing how you want something to end, but enjoying the detour should it arise.

One thing that effected this book negatively was its length. Going back to Simons The Bronze Horseman trilogy, those books are massive and rightfully so given the history they are trying to say, but this 520 page novel felt a tad bogged down due to its length.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

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