The Lauras by Sara Taylor

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

After one more fight between her mother and father, Alex wakes up to find that Alex and Alex’s mother are going on a trip. No explanations are given to anyone, as they make their trek across the country. As they travel, Alex’s mother reveals the story of her life piece-by-piece. Together, they trace back through a life full of struggle and adventure to put to rest unfinished business, heal old wounds, and seek out old friends.

When I began reading this novel, I was very intrigued as to see where this story would go. A 13-year-old child is woken up from bed and whisked away on a road trip. That is one heck of an intro! I really liked the author’s writing style, as it had a good flow and gave a great description of the setting. The main character in the story, Alex, was also intriguing in that Alex ascribes to no gender. Never in the story is it revealed whether Alex is male or female – and this intrigued me both because of the fact that this is a unique character and because the author so successfully hid the gender identity throughout the story. I liked the way little bits of Ma’s life were revealed as the story progressed, and how they reflected the trials and random events that can occur in life as well as the way these experiences shape you. However, by the time I got to the end of the story, I felt a bit disappointed and confused as to what the point of the whole story was. Granted, it is a coming-of-age story, one that shows how life leaves one with many memories that can be good and bad…. but that’s about it. After that whole road trip, I kind of expected a bit more. So while there were definitely some positive things about this novel, the overall plot seemed to have no real purpose and left me disappointed. I didn’t love this novel but I didn’t hate it either.

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