All the Way

Andy Behrens, Author . Dutton $16.99 (216p) ISBN 978-0-525-47761-7

Most readers will gladly take this road trip from first novelist Behrens, even if its destination is obvious. The only thing 17-year-old Ian Lafferty has enjoyed about his summer is Danielle Morrison, a USC-Charleston co-ed he met on (a "Web site for aggrieved [Dunkin' Donuts] employees"), whom he calls "Miss Tasty." After he poses as a football-playing ladies man at Northwestern, and sends her a "tricked-out" photo of himself, Danielle says it's time they "mØØved 2 the next level." So he decides to take a drive from hometown Naperville, Ill., to Charleston. Only he had not counted on his womanizer friend Lance and his platonic pal Felicia coming along for the ride. In one sequence, Lance picks up a hottie at a gas station; the trio winds up at the hottie's apartment where she offers them cheese popovers (they give Felicia food poisoning) and where said hottie's ex catches Lance literally with his pants down. The characterizations of the three friends and the dynamics between them keep this road show rolling. Much of the humor derives from Ian's attempts to pass himself off as someone he's not, and his friends calling him on it (e.g., "Please, Ian," says Felicia, "Call me 'Miss Tasty' "). Readers will also likely guess what Felicia's several attempts "to tell [Ian] something" are about long before he does, but that won't detract from their satisfaction when the hero does finally figure things out. Ages 14-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/08/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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