Ride with Me by Lucy Keating

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Ride with Me by Lucy Keating

Keating, Lucy. Ride with Me. Clarion, 2022. ISBN 9780358468318 320 pp. $18.99

****

This was a book that made me feel like, dammit, I don’t have enough time to read all the YA novels I’d like to!

Aspirational architect / designer Charlie is saving up to leave this town -and prides herself on her near-perfect ratings on the local rideshare app she works for. When she accidentally runs into the piece of shit that passes for a classmate’s car, Charlie begs Andre to let her pay for the repairs and leave insurance — and app ratingst — out of it. Instead, he suggests she drive him around at his beck and call. Forced into proximity, they become friends, and Andre’s series of trips helps Charlie to see her boring Massachusetts hometown–and him–in new light.

Two subplots don’t feel crowded, because they are so well tied in: Charlie’s idol and possible mentor invites her to take on a project to improve her chances of landing a competitive internship, and Charlie accomplishes not one but two renovation projects, and learns a lot in the process; And, her parent’s oddly undefined relationship and level of satisfaction with their own life and artistic goals serve to further Charlie’s wants, needs, and drives: educational/career, artistic, and romantic become interwoven.

There is so much for me to love as a MA native, as an appreciator of architecture and design and as a fan of YA coming of age stories. The camera app and rideshare app may become dated when and if Instagram and Uber are replaced by the next big thing, but the themes of first love and figuring out your place in the world are eternal.

I read an advance reader’s review copy of #RideWithMe from #NetGalley.

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