Driving Sideways

Jess Riley, Author . Ballantine $14 (342p) ISBN 978-0-345-50110-3

This seemingly endless road trip novel has the potential to become a thrill ride, but it makes too many wrong turns and never gets above low gear. After receiving a kidney transplant, 28-year-old Leigh Fielding notices some strange developments: sudden interests in, for instance, graphic novels, kayaking and ethnic food. Convinced she’s channeling the spirit of her donor, Larry Resnick, Leigh decides to go on an “Unfinished Business Tour,” visiting her best friend, an ex-boyfriend and her mother, and tracking down Larry’s family. The notion of Leigh inheriting Larry’s traits and tastes is explored amusingly and a few surprises pop up (a supposedly stranded teenage girl among them), but Riley puts too much stock in Leigh’s voice, which, while sometimes funny, is too self-involved to leave much room for the reader. This particular trip is too long and exhausting for its own good. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 249 pages - 978-0-345-50744-0
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