Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean

Where the Road Takes Me - Jay McLean
Maybe we were both so sick of faking it—our breathing had somehow become natural around each other, the way it should be and not a struggle like it usually was.

Actually, breathing is one of the most natural things in the world. It doesn't matter where you do it or who you are around when doing it, it's still natural.

Let's face, kids at seventeen are not deep, they think they are, but in most cases the aren't. Unless you're in a John Green novel, that is. I mean, I was there only a few years ago and I'm ready to admit I was a moron at times. Still, if I attempted to be deep, I managed maybe one time out of a hundred. I'll be the first to admit I wasn't as smart as I pretended to be at seventeen.Where the Road Takes Me tries so hard at creating characters with great insight to life, and... I don't buy it.

The heroine have reasons for thinking of life, granted. It's her story after all. Chloe has spend all her life making herself invisible since, teeny tiny spoiler coming up, her mom and aunt both died in breast cancer at a young age. Since her father was absent all her life, Chloe grows up in a foster home where she spends all her time searching and learning about cancer until she one day decided no one can love her because she's going to die anyway. But one day, when she literally runs in with Blake, who also saves her from getting sexually assaulted, all that change. From the moment they meet they share an connection and slowly, or not so slowly, Blake begins taking down the walls she's built around herself. Still, Chloe has one goal, and that is when she graduates she is going to see the world, taking The Road. So, naturally, Blake aren't really allowed to fall in love with her.

I'll take the recycled plot from Nicholas Sparks with a spoon of horny teenagers and slut-shaming, thank you.

Yeah, I kept having flashbacks to A Walk to Remember, but that's not really the problem. The stories aren't that alike since Chloe is not religious and Blake is the school's jock. There's nothing wrong with the general idea for the plot, but it lacked execution. McLean tries to tackle so many issues; alcoholism, borderline abusive parents, child molestation, cancer, suicide, depression, teenage pregnancy, and whatelse. She should've stuck to one and explored that instead of using suicide and depression of secondary characters as plot devices.That pisses me off like nothing else. I guess Blake and Chloe's relationship grew on me, but that was more the general idea of their relationship, because I couldn't stand these characters.

Chloe. Oh, dear Chloe, how are you not dead yet? I don't want her dead, get me right here. But she lacks the self-preservation and any sense of what's smart. In the first few chapters, she goes from a random stranger who is sexually assaulting straight to a random guy's car. In the night. Where no one else is around. Then she accuses joggers of being potential murderer because they are the ones who always find dead bodies. Yet, the random guy she follows to his car is a jogger. As if that wasn't enough.

'Yet, here you are—walking with me in pitch-black darkness, at two in the morning, to a more-than-likely abandoned parking lot, under the impression I’m going to get you back to your necessities. You’re not even slightly afraid of what might happen to you?'
'No, Blake. I know I’m safe with you.'

Allow me to roll my eyes and sigh.

And then, at the end of the night - remember that she was practically sexually assaulted - she says.

'Tonight didn’t end up so bad after all.'

Maybe that one isn't so much of my problem with Chloe as it is with the author thinking this is a line okay to use. That girl is not going to be okay, not after almost being raped. That's diminishing victims of abuse's emotional response and the severity of the issue.

So now that we've come to the conclusion that Chloe is a moron, let's go on to some of her adoring personality traits.

They came in only one size: whore.

In regards to the shits she has to wear at work. No less, she then says wearing them would compromise her soul.

Then, for someone so special and innocent and whatever Blake calls her, Chloe judges other girls quickly, often by their clothes. Maybe someone can find it in them to like this girl, but I can't respect any woman who judges other by a, what they wear, or b, their sexuality.

Chloe's character is also very inconsistent. One minute she is a naïve, blushing girl, the next she sprouts off deep quotes and reflections on life. (Which, given her age, isn't deep or very reflective.) I get that she's thought of life and death a lot, but few of the things she said made sense or held deeper meaning. The author tried way to hard with this character and Chloe ended up a blubbering mess.

Then we have Blake. He might be a even bigger moron. He falls in love with Chloe the minute he sees her. She is so special he forgets he has a girlfriend. And, oh let's not forget the wonderful view Blake has on his girlfriend, Hanna.

She giggled. It was genuine, not like the annoying fake ones that spilled out of Hannah. Why did I keep comparing her to Hannah?

Hannah and I worked because we used each other. She used me for social hierarchy. I used her for sex. It was an unspoken deal.

Forbid this girl can have feelings. That would make her a human being and Blake would have to face his double standards.

Did I like Blake? No. Hell no. He is a creepy stalker who follows Chloe around and waits outside the house she's in for hours. He even admits it to himself that he's a stalker. Not that that makes it okay to be one, but still. He is ready to give up his life and goals after meeting Chloe three times. Because forget this guy needs a personality, all he is here for is to explain how amazing and special Chloe is. Then, he places guilt on his girlfriend for Chloe's sleeping in his bed. Because they weren't doing anything wrong, and it was Hanna's fault she came over and interrupted them. And then, he says something like this:

'We might get carded, so dress whore-ish.'

Wonderful guy. Absolutely wonderful.

Okay, I'm not quite done, but soon. Because the whole point of this book is Chloe's reluctance toward relationships. In the end, she decides she wants to change her perspective of life. Because of Blake. This is what bothered me. Both Blake and Chloe changes their life goals due to someone else. I would have given this book two stars, maybe even three – I'm feeling generous – if both Blake and Chloe had decided to change their lives for themselves, and not someone else. This is the kind of thing that, if you're in a relationship, can quickly turn into bitterness. I would've rather seen them come to the decisions on their own, based on their own feelings. Instead, I get another story about how love saves the day, and I couldn't care less.

New Adult Project
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