Along the Way
by Jacqueline Kolosov
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Source: ARC for Review
Three lifelong friends have decided to do the famous Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage before they begin college in the fall. They have been preparing for a year and are finally heading out on this once in a lifetime experience. Tessa, entranced by her grandparents love story, is also looking for a fairy tale ending of her own. Piper—dealing with her estranged mother constantly popping in and out of her life—and Dani—struggling with the fact that her mother and her fiancé are pregnant with twins—just want a summer to remember. Despite the fact that the girls have since moved across the country from each other, their friendship and bond has remained constant and is only strengthened by this journey.
I had never heard of this pilgrimage but I am now really interested in doing it myself. Although this is fictional, it still seems like a great experience and like an amazing thing to do before college. I feel like this is not something that most 17 year olds would want to do since it is by no means a vacation—they walk hundreds of kilometers a day, sleep in overcrowded hostels, and even have to endure a rain storm. The walk really allows them to get to know themselves and each other. They each discover who they are and become comfortable in their own skin. They realize that what seemed important or overwhelming at the beginning of the walk really isn’t that big of a deal. Although there were a few major bumps in the road, I was pretty proud and impressed that they were able to fight through and finish.
This is a great read and I think that it would appeal to a large audience. It is told in alternating view points which I know is an issue for a lot of people. I usually don’t mind, but this time it was a little hard for me to keep track of who’s turn it was because it was all in the first-person perspective. But it does allow you to really get to know each girl individually and experience their emotions and feelings throughout the Camino. Tessa was a bit annoying at first because she is used to the finer things in life and has a hard time slumming it on the Camino, but she eventually steps out of her comfort zone. Dani was extremely sweet and really shy at first—out of all the girls I think she is the one that comes into her skin the most and you can really see her gain confidence day by day. Piper comes to terms with her relationship with her mother and even falls for someone with the same illness. What I really liked about the three is their relationship and how open and honest they are with each other; they seemed more like sisters.